Nebraska-Omaha

reception "tipping"

So our contract includes our food & beverage minimum, the 20% service charge and 10% sales tax but it doesn't include gratuity. The service charge isn't the gratuity, correct? AND if not, how much should we budget to tip the wait staff, and who do we hand that to? Also, our coordinator is amazing-- how much should we tip her? It's at a hotel fyi... TY!!

Re: reception "tipping"

  • edited December 2011
    I was wondering the exact same thing.  We have a service fee, but our coordinator (ours is also at a hotel) made it explain that would be like gratuity.  I am still confused about it though.

    Wish I could be of some help, but I'll definitely keep my eye out for a response on this thread :-)
  • edited December 2011
    I would assume that the service fee is the tip and gratuity. They shouldn't have a fee and then charge an extra 20% on top of that.

    It depends on how much you feel you should tip her. A lot of places on the knot say between $50-$100 for a tip.

    image
    06.09.2012

  • edited December 2011
    Yeah, I was thinking the "service charge" is tip/gratuity but wanted to make sure before we budgeted in money to tip them! that's a pretty hefty tip, too! After wedding planning and seeing all the time and money spent, I feel like I am in the wrong business!!
    LOL! Thanks everyone!
  • edited December 2011
    I would ask your wedding coordinator. At our hotel, the service charge DOES NOT include gratuity. In that case, it is up to you how much to tip. (Maybe wait until the end of the wedding night to see how well the servers preformed. You would give the tip the the manager in charge that night.

    I agree that the wording is confusing. Hope this helped!

    -Lacy Jo Marshall
    Beacon Hills and Country Inn & Suites
    402.802.0043  [email protected]
  • edited December 2011
    Where does the Service Charge go then?

    I know at a hotel I work at the wages of the employees depend on the event, how many and how the service charge is split between all of those items.

    image
    06.09.2012

  • edited December 2011
    phew-- I emailed my coordinator and she said it is tip/gratuity. Thanks for all your help ladies!! :-) Hope everyone's planning is going well!
  • edited December 2011
    To answer your question on where the service charge goes... It actually goes to pay the wages of the servers working that night. (Not their tip.) I know that different venues do this different ways, which is why it is always good to ask your event coordinator to be certain.

    I'm glad your's could help answer your questions!

    Hope I was of some help.

    -Lacy Jo Marshall
    Beacon Hills and Country Inn & Suites - Lincoln
  • edited December 2011
    Always, always ask what the service fee is for.  When I had my reception, the service fee from our caterer was not a tip, however, it was used to pay wages for the serving staff.  This summer, my sister is getting married and the caterer she using charges a service fee which is NOT a tip/gratuity, but it covers expenses for the caterer such as gas, etc.  Makes sense with the rising cost of gas and other things these days.  I also have a family member that is in the food service industry, while they do get a decent hourly wage, any person (any good person anyway) in the service industry deserves to be treated well.  At receptions, I think the servers get overlooked a lot of the time, even when they are good.  Make sure you ask what the service fee is for - don't always assume it's a tip - because that's not always the case.  Another good point someone mentioned to me - if you do decide to tip, give cash - don't include it on your payment.  If you include it on your payment, the employee is taxed on that tip - and that is only if the company they work for gives it to them.  I've heard horror stories about that!  Nothing says thank you better than an envelope with some cash, doesn't have to be a lot, but any amount would make that great server or what have you, feel really great! 
  • cerissacerissa member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    the 20% includes the gratuity.  If there is a service charge, you shouldn't be paying for gratuity.  The difference is that if they charge a gratuity, it is because that is how the staff is paid.  If there is a service charge, it's typically becuase the staff is paid a wage which comes out of that service charge. 
  • mollykreshamollykresha member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I am an event coordinator at a convention center here in Omaha. We are not allowed to accept gifts greater than $50. Our catering staff doesn't accept tips- the service charge is used to pay wages. Ask your catering manager what the policy is on the servers, banquet captains, bartenders, etc. accepting gratuity. Sometimes a letter to the business is a better way of saying "thank you." More recognition is received and promotions are often given off of letters and thank you notes, rather than $50 handed to your facility staff.

    Also, if your facility offers a survey option after the event, it is very helpful if you fill these out. The CEO, board of directors, etc. see these and changes can be made to improve the venue and the service. These things are all taken very seriously in the industry! Good job for thinking of others and the great service you receive on your special day!!!Smile
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