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Tipping the Vendors

Hello! So we are on a pretty tight budget in our homestretch, as is everyone I'm sure, because we had a lot of unexpected expenses pop up along the way. I just started thinking about the tips and if I tip 15% for everything that comes up to over 1000 that we just do not have. I am in no way suggesting I do not want to tip, because I do, but I am trying to figure out what is appropriate. For example, my ceremony pianist costs 275. She is not coming to the rehearsal and is doing some prelude before the ceremony. It will be about 45 min to 1 hour of work when you count set up and take down. 15% comes out to 41.25 and that is a pretty amazing hourly rate on top of what I'm paying her, heh. What is appropriate here? The catering total comes to 3854 and that is including all of the hourly wages of the workers. They had me pay the 22/hour for each staff members hourly wage on top of the food. The catering staff will be there 4 hours. If I divide 15% of the bill (578) by the 6 people, that means each persons tip is 96, which is over the amount that I am paying them to be there (88 each for 4 hours.) What do I do in this situation? Is it standard to tip 15% for every bill and service rendered? Thank you so much for your guidance.
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Re: Tipping the Vendors

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    You should check and make sure if your catering contract includes gratuity.

    Does your pianist own her company and/or workfor herself? If so it is my understanding that you do not need to tip th buiness owner.
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    I'm a little confused on the catering. Normally a gratuity is built into the catering contract and you tip because the servers are making servers wages. $22.00 an hour is not server's wages. I know it's normal to tip, but if you're already paying them $22.00 an hour I don't see why you would need to tip on top of that. That's a really good hourly wage.
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    hordolhordol member
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    In Response to Re:Tipping the Vendors:[QUOTE]You should check and make sure ifnbsp;your catering contract includes gratuity. Does your pianist own her company and/or workfor herself? If so it is my understanding that you do not need to tip th buiness owner. Posted by athomfor[/QUOTE] Yes, the pianist is self employed. Catering does not include gratituity.
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    hordolhordol member
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    In Response to Re:Tipping the Vendors:[QUOTE]I'm a little confused on the catering. Normally a gratuity is built into the catering contract and you tip because the servers are making servers wages. 22.00 an hour is not server's wages. I know it's normal to tip, but if you're already paying them 22.00 an hour I don't see why you would need to tip on top of that. That's a really good hourly wage. Posted by tammym1001[/QUOTE] That's what I was thinking too...they aren't making minimum wage and when I'm already paying them 88 for 4 hours, a large tip seems overkill to me.
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    We had to pay $30 per hour per staff min of 8 hours.   We still tipped about 10%  on top of that.  

    While they charge you $22 for each staff member, it's unlikely the staff is getting the whole $22.  Employers use part of the labor fee to cover their own payroll taxes/benefits.  For example, employers pay part of the FICA tax.  Their portion will come from the labor fee. 






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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    In Response to Re:Tipping the Vendors:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Tipping the Vendors: Yes, the pianist is self employed. Catering does not include gratituity.
    Posted by hordol[/QUOTE]

    I would not tip the pianist based on this. For the staff I would give $40 or $50 to each server. Chances are they are not making the whole $22 per hour. I work in construction and the hourly rate for labor we "show" customers is a marked up rate factoring in things like insurance, taxes, administrative fees, and profit. The employees are paid at a lower rate then our billing rate.
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    mlg78mlg78 member
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    I agree with tipping... My employer charges $90/hour for my services but I don't see ANYWHERE close to that.
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    edited May 2013
    I work for a catering company as a server. The company bills $28/hr per server, and I get paid $17. Which is still a good hourly rate, don't get me wrong. But if a client feels like I've done a good job and slips me an extra $20, even, it makes me feel great. If you can, I'd suggest giving someone in the WP an envelope of cash and tip the staff individually. Many catering companies might not be honest enough to pass on cash tips to the servers, and speaking as a server, it really feels good to get that cash handshake!

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