New Jersey

Service Charge vs Gratuity?

If your venue charges an 18-20% "service charge", did you tip on top of this amount? If so, how much $$ or what % did you tip? Also, we are being charged $300 for the maitre d $300 for the chef team $200 per bartender Would you tip those people on top of the fees? I don't want to commit a tipping "faux pas", but honestly, when does the money stop???

Re: Service Charge vs Gratuity?

  • edited December 2011
    My venue charges 22% service charge which makes me cringe everytime I think abut it. Yes, we are expected to tip in addition to it like some ridiculous suggested amount. We are prob going to tip as we see fit.I am not sure that I would tip in addition to what they are already including for the above mentioned waitstaff though.         
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  • inthelove03inthelove03 member
    edited December 2011
    one place i looked at charges $150 for the bartender if you decide to place a tip jar. or you can pay $200 for the bartender without a tip jar. i don't think i would tip these ppl. lol, that's just me, i'd sooner tip florist and photographer,
  • edited December 2011
    We paid 20% which included aervice charge and all tips. I wouldn't tip additional on top of what they are charging you.
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  • edited December 2011
    I think the 18% goes towards the service staff as is it and a tip is considered additional for going above and beyond expectations. 22%! geez. that's a little crazy. I def. would not tip on top of that.
  • kimmyf15kimmyf15 member
    edited December 2011
    I am also getting charged 22% but didn't know you were supposed to tip anyone on top of that? who do you tip?
  • real dealreal deal member
    edited December 2011
    Don't tip more than what they are contractually requesting of you in services and fees.  It's so stupid to me how a venue will auto include service fees etc to have their staff work at their business.  I get that you should "tip your server" in general, but it peevs me off wrt weddings... how the heck do I know what service I'm going to get from whom if I have to pay it up front?  And would I get my money back if they suck?  :o)
  • eMiLee920eMiLee920 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I was told by the banquet coordinator at my place that the "service charge" went towards the servers' paychecks.  A tip or gratuity was at our discretion.Also, a friend of mine who used to work a catering hall mentioned this bit of advice... If you're going to tip, have the maitre d pull all the servers aside for a few minutes later in the evening.  Then you (or whomever you appoint) can give the money to them individually, or to the maitre d to hand out to the servers.  This is to prevent a dishonest maitre d from pocketing all the tips for themself.  She said it had happened a time or too.
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  • edited December 2011
    My venue charges 20% service, I asked my coordinator and she said that the waiters do not get paid 2 bucks they get paid pretty well, I then turned to FI (who used to cater waiter) and he said no, he never got tipped.  I have decided that if they "outdo" themselves I will tip them. I am also going to allow my bartender to put a tip cup up, I know this is tacky to some people but Ive spoken to my closest friends and they all said "well the bar will have a tip cup though" so its the norm for my guests.  If I feel they did an extraordinary job, I will tip them, I already plan on having extra money to tip if necessary.
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