catering charges

Hi girls

I'm probably going to sound obsessive and idiotic but i'm asking anyway.

We are on a super super strict budget. I analyze each and every charge/purchase with a fine tooth comb. When I was running our food numbers recently I was coming up with a total that was $60 less than what my caterer was telling me. I asked her for an outline of charges and realized that she's charging us gratuity on top of labor charges.

Now I've never catered before but I have waited tables for several years. The gratuity is figured based on the amount of the check, not on the amount of the check, plus the hourly rate the restaurant is paying me.

So our food charges are (these are made up numbers)

$100 then we're being charged $50 for the servers (which she claims doesn't go to the servers) and then $25 for delivery and then $30 for gratuity.

Does anyone understand what I'm saying? I understand that we're paying a separate charge for both labor, and then a tip on top of that, but I don't understand why the gratuity percentage is being figured on both the labor fee and the food total.

Before I made a jerk of myself in front of my caterer, I figured I'd ask and see if that was something that other have encountered, or if I should ask her about it. I don't want to seem cheap but $60 is a lot for a wedding as small as ours...I could add an extra 10 bottles of wine to our bar for that! or buy fancier silverware or something..

so if i'm nuts, please tell me. I thought someone had mentioned before that famous daves was their caterer too and I can't remember who that was. help?

Re: catering charges

  • edited December 2011
    Hmmm...tough one to answer.  I get where you are coming from and why the figures didn't add up.  I'm not sure I would calculate the gratiuity on the server charges either if they were separated out.  Although I do believe most venues do charge gratuity on top of all charges, and labor is typically built into that rate.  So really, I don't think the caterer is doing anything unethical.  I just think it's how it works.  Personally I would not make an issue out of it.  I know you're on a tight budget so I won't say it's just "$60" because it's very easy for a lot of "just $60's" to add up to a lot.  But I think one of my biggest personal fears would be to piss off my caterer since their food and services are one of the biggest components of my night.  It just wouldn't be worth the chance to me.  But if it bothers you that much, talk to them about it.  You'll have to personally weigh and decide if it's worth it to you.  Either way, don't let it stress you out too much!  At the end of the day I know the $60 won't be worth any extra stress!  

    Married 9.4.11
  • jelenybeanyjelenybeany member
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    you're totally right. i think i was just going into panic mode about how much we've spent so far.
  • edited December 2011
    I so know the feeling!   I've already had my own mini-freakouts about things too.  I promised myself I'd be better about watching the budget but honestly I've let quite a few things go lately because it's just not worth the extra stress.  I can't bear to think about the total of what we are spending.  Ugh.  
    Married 9.4.11
  • BigOldBrideBigOldBride member
    edited December 2011
    They shouldn't be charging that.  My florist was calculating sales tax on the total, but service charges (inc. delivery fees) are exempt from sales tax. The delivery charge was 200 dollars, and thats not taxable, so I had her take that off.  Just approach it like that. 
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