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Etiquette

Catering Tip

Hi Ladies, 

I know that there are a couple of other posts going around about tipping, but I wanted to ask about my catering company. They do not have a tip added into the bill as a lot of vendors do. My question is, do I tip 15 - 20% on the food total or should it be on the over all bill (food, rentals, and labor)?

The cost differnce would be significant to me. 

Food Total: $6,300
Rentals: $2,700
Labor: $4,295

Any suggestions would be helpful. 

«13

Re: Catering Tip

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited October 2012
    food total.


    ETA - we also had to pay a labor charge.  Since we knew the staff was getting a good per hour rate we didn't give them 20%, more like 12%.






    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. 
  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]I think that OP needs to find out what this labor is for and not guess.  Willy nilly tipping, if the establishment has built it into pricing is silly.  Many venues build in tipping into prices. 
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]
    Whatelse, besides what Stage said, would be considered labor?? OP stated that there was no mention of gratuities in the contract and if she's seeking out advice she isn't willy nilly tipping.

    OP, base your tip off of the food total, but if the service is not what you expected (awesome or terrible), feel free to add/subtract, just like any other dining experience
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  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]Stage Manager, just because you would like to see people tip in additon to venue charging gratuties does not mean it is necessary. 
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    No but she can expect to get prime seating in her favorite restaurant because she seems to know when to acknowedge good service when it warrants it, while you will probably get stuck by the bathroom or kitchen doors.
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  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catering Tip : Is this "make up crap and say other posters said it" week or something?  Where did I EVER say that one should tip in addition to gratuity?  And when I say ever, I mean ever in the history of my time here on TK. Are you on meth?  This is the second time you've pulled something randomly out of your asss this week and claimed another poster said it.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Stage-You're one of my favorite posters and you have never said that, as long as i've been reading your posts!

    I'd def make sure what the labor was for and probably tip based on the total food cost.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I often tip 40%.  Sometimes even 100%.  Although not generally on high priced items.

    Between labor and tip it came out to be over 20%.






    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. 
  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catering Tip : Whatelse, besides what Stage said, would be considered labor?? OP stated that there was no mention of gratuities in the contract and if she's seeking out advice she isn't willy nilly tipping. OP, base your tip off of the food total, but if the service is not what you expected (awesome or terrible), feel free to add/subtract, just like any other dining experience
    Posted by sydaries[/QUOTE]

    Servers get paid "labor" too. It's called minimum wage. That doesn't mean you don't tip them.
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  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]I think that OP needs to find out what this labor is for and not guess.  Willy nilly tipping, if the establishment has built it into pricing is silly.  Many venues build in tipping into prices. 
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]


    Labor is for everyone working the event. It includes the following:  Wedding Coordinator Head Chef 4 Assistant Chefs 5 Servers 3 Bartenders
  • Also the labor is based on all people working 9.5 hours.... which is low on some and high on others. It does say that in the contract with the catering company. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catering Tip : Labor is for everyone working the event. It includes the following:  
    Wedding Coordinator 
    Head Chef 
     4 Assistant Chefs
    5 Servers
     3 Bartenders
    Posted by abussen[/QUOTE]
    We had a similar list (not exact though). 
      We tipped the servers $175 each.  We tipped the bartenders $250 each.  We gave the assistant  chefs and dishwasher $50 each.    Not that we had to give the last group anything.  But our wedding was unique because it was a tent wedding had a Tropical  Storm hit.  All hands were on deck for setup and stuff, so we thought we would give the chefs and dishwasher something for helping the servers out.  
    We also tipped the Coordinator, but I can't remember what, but it was a few hundred.

    ETA - we also had to pay a per person rate for minimum of 8 hours.






    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. 
  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]So that is an average of 330 per  person, and I doubt the waters and bartenders work more than 2 hours more than reception -- I would consider the cola in your area, but that seems to be 35/hour for the 9.5 hours or 47 for say 7 hours.   Lets say what 7% for employer share of fica, and a total of 10 to cover all employer wage costs, so 32-42 hour.    Realistically, its more likely more than average for the head chef and less for the others, but still it seems like a lot.   Maybe OP should ask for an itemization. I think tipping 15% of food on top of that is not necessary.  That would be say .15 x  6300 or 945, split across the serves or over an additional 100/person. 
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    You're failing to realize that the labor cost is not taken and divided equally amongst the workers.  Some of it goes to them, of course, but some is also going to go to pay things like the insurance that covers them, the vehicle and gas to get them there, etc.
    OP, check with the venue to be sure gratuity isn't hidden in labor, though I highly doubt it is.  Then tip on the food.
  • In Response to Re:Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]You can't GET an itemized bill of how much is being paid per person. It's illegal to just give out wage rates on individuals willy nilly. It's the same reason you can't walk up to your boss and demand to know what your coworker is being paid. Why is that so hard to comprehend? And 10 percent is a VERY low estimate on what is taken out. In Arkansas, it averages 14 just to covet payroll taxes and the employer's FICA contribution plus any benefits the employer may contribute, insurance, workman's comp, etc.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]
    All of this! In what universe do people tip based on what the person they are tipping makes per hour anyway? I know it's been said before, but REALLY. SERIOUSLY. I am completely unable to comprehend why OP finding out what these people are being paid per hour would have anything to do with what OP should tip them.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I do not know how much each staff memeber was paid.  

    We paid $30 per hour per staff for a minimum of 8 hours.    We tipped on top of that.  Plus I'm sure a lot of our guests gave tips (although there was no tip jar out, it's just how they are).


    I really don't care if they got extra money from us.   I'm sure there are times where they work their butts off and don't get anything in additional.  I figure it's a bonus.  Who doesn't like a bonus? 






    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. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I don't know why any venue would disclose what they pay their employees.   I'm not sure the sales person would even know that answer.   








    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. 
  • I'll happily answer a few questions about what I make as a banquet server. On-premise (in our two halls), shift pay is $100/shift. Four hour standard party, we arrive two hours before for setup and are usually there about 45 minutes after the party for cleanup, which takes me into the ballpark of what, $15.50 an hour?. Off-premise, we get $20/hr if we're paid directly in cash by the client and $28/hr if we're paid by check (my boss keeps $8/hr of that, and then I still pay my taxes on it). Our on-premise halls do not itemize servers on customer bills; we're paid through the 20% service charge, which isn't a gratuity. It's our salary. The 20% isn't always enough to actually pay all the necessary staff, by the way (the remainder comes from business overhead). We also rarely get tipped on on-premise parties, because the assumption is that the service charge is a gratuity.

    And that's in the NYC area (one of the boroughs), so I'd wager it's one of the better paid regions for waitstaff. I know it's similar to other banquet halls in the area as I know people who work in halls of varying price points in the same borough.
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  • I don't normally post here, but I had to jump in on this one.  So, by NYU's logic, she should be able to walk into Applebee's (where I used to work) and ask how much I made.  Pretty sure they can't disclose that information.  I would be pretty ticked if someone did that just to base their tip on that.  However, they would have seen that I didn't make very much ($2.13 an hour).  Maybe we should have disclosed that information so I could have gotten better tips sometimes..haha.  

    Anyway, I teach and I can't disclose my students grades to anyone but the student and their parents.  I can disclose it to other teachers when the situation calls, but no one can just walk in and ask about a student's grade, even their employers(which is basically what is being implied here).  I don't see why employers should do the same with their servers.  

    It's clear to me from lurking that, things are clearly done differently in New York, according to NYUgirl.  
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited October 2012
    And lets not forget that some employees get higher rates because of experience or seniority, etc.  Are you really going to adjust a tip for one server over another just because she might make $1 more an hour?   


    eta - spelling






    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. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]Stage, do you have any cite, any where that federal law prohibits employers from disclosing wage data?  Or were you just making that up?
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    I don't know of any fed law that Stage is talking about, but every company I worked at has a policy that employee salaries are not be discussed with anyone.  I would imagine that would include potential clients.






    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. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catering Tip : No, I wouldn't adjust a tip for a dollar, but OP is talking about substantially more than minimum wage being paid to servers. Or at least the liklihood of such, so she pursue with venue.
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    So just out of curiosity, what would you consider a rate that you would not tip additional?






    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. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catering Tip : Lynd, the National Labor Relations Board considers it a violation to restrict employees from discussing salaries.  The most an employer can do is tell people they can not discuss it on company premises.   This is a labor right.  http://www.vancott.com/media/IntheTrenches_May06.pdf
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    Well, that is discusing your own salary with other employees.   
     It's different when you are talking about an employee talking about other employee's salaries to potential clients.






    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. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    No your right on that.

    Where I use to work we were not allowed to tell customers that the house gets 25% of the service charge.  If asked we just said were taken care of.  Whatever that means. I'm sure it was the same for the sales person.


    My average salary (rate+tips) was $30+ per hour.   I would not work a waitress job for $15 an hour.   No way.






    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. 
  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]No, I am talking about the boss or owner discussing salaries.  Still waiting to see if anyone has any cite that it is illegal.   Employers generally dont want employees discussing salaries so they can keep salaries down.  btw, do you think an employer can not advertise, waiters jobs avaiable,  $20/hour?
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    You are possibly the dumbest and most intolerable person I have ever interacted with.  Cite is a verb.  Either you are asking for a citation, or you want a site that states something is illegal. 
    Please try going into any restaurant and asking for the wage of your server so you can determine how much you will tip.  Please tell us how that turns out.
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited October 2012
    In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]Where I use to work we were not allowed to tell customers that the house gets 25% of the service charge. If asked we just said were taken care of. Whatever that means. I'm sure it was the same for the sales person. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- If that happened in NY, it would be a labor law violation - not certain about other states.   However, if you mean that you got 75% of the service charge, and the rest went to taxes, that would be legal.   If your employer was lying, that is not the customer's vault -- I think you should quit -- which you did.
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]


    It was perfectly legal where I lived.   The house took 25% of the service charge.  Which went to revenue. We split the other 75% 
    I didn't quit because of this issue (actually didn't see it as an issue).  My husband got transferred, so I had to leave.  I would still be there if I could.  Best job ever. 

    ETA - only 10% of our tips was cash, the rest was in our check. They matched our 401K contribution dollar for dollar up to a certain percentage on.  So indirectly I got back that money anyway.






    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. 
  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catering Tip : Rsanna, "cite" is frequently used to refer to a case or statute that supports a position.   Sorry you dont like the abbreviation.   Stage keeps saying it is illegal, I have asked for support.  I dont think any restaruants pay appreciably more than minumum wage.  I do think many venues for larger affairs do, similar to what Stardust referred to.
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    And invite is typically an abbreviation for invitation. I cannot send you an invite, but I can send you an invitation. I can cite my sources but I cannot go out and find you the cite.  Language, maybe you should learn it?
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]Lynd, I was suggesting you leave, as you implied your employer was less than honest.  That would bother me. Rsanna, -  in class, and in many workplaces, people ask for cites.  But in any event, Does anyone have any citation to support that it is illegal to disclose employee salaries?  I do not think so.   
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    How are they being less than honest?
    The federal gov't views service charges as extra revenue for the business to do with as it pleases.    Some states (MA and I guess NY) have ruled tips and service charges are one in the same.  In those cases, the state law rules.
    http://www.restaurant.org/pdfs/legal/lps/business_tips.pdf






    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. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    While I see your point,  we also had a policy that we could not solicit tips.  So by saying anything like "no we don't get the whole amount" could equal  "give me more money".

     Of course, we always were willing to take any extra if they wanted to give us (which was most of the time).

    Also personally I think it's tacky to discuss tips with a customer.  It was not a conversation I wanted to have anyway.






    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. 
  • I don't really giveashit what you earn. You serve me well, you get a good chunk of change. You give me rubbish service, you get nothing. UK residency may skew that though... Over here minimum wage for 21yr olds is 6.19 per hour. Tipping is just not expected in the same way as over there. As a manager in the food and service industry, I would absolutely not give out anyone's wage information. Not to public, not to other employees... People ask what we pay, and I say minimum wage with the opportunity to increase. All my staff are on different wages depending on skillset and training level. Dunno if that makes any difference to anything or not.
    So, maybe things don't always go as planned... Maybe that's okay. I may be alone for now, but my baby boy is on his way, and I wouldn't change a thing.
  • A tip should never ever ever ever ever be based on what the employee makes. A tip or gratuity shows gratitude for the service rendered. OP can ask for an itemized list of the labor, but a service charge is not the same as a gratuity. Your cell phone comapny, insurance company, cable company, etc. have service charges, and they certainly are not tips! If a customer wants to ensure they show their appreciation to their vendors, they should really add on an extra tip if gratuity isn't included.

    And, gas, vehicle maintenance, etc. are worthy of being rolled into labor costs- its the labor and charges that the catering company has to incur to perform their service.

    NYU girl, I really hope that isn't a tribute to your alma marter, for the sake of the whole alumni population's reputation! And if you do live in NY, good luck with your black and white attitude on everything.


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  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]A tip should never ever ever ever ever be based on what the employee makes. A tip or gratuity shows gratitude for the service rendered. OP can ask for an itemized list of the labor, but a service charge is not the same as a gratuity. Your cell phone comapny, insurance company, cable company, etc. have service charges, and they certainly are not tips! If a customer wants to ensure they show their appreciation to their vendors, they should really add on an extra tip if gratuity isn't included. And, gas, vehicle maintenance, etc. are worthy of being rolled into labor costs- its the labor and charges that the catering company has to incur to perform their service. NYU girl, I really hope that isn't a tribute to your alma marter, for the sake of the whole alumni population's reputation! And if you do live in NY, good luck with your black and white attitude on everything.
    Posted by sydaries[/QUOTE]

    The bolded times a million! It does. not. matter. what the servers make. You are giving them a tip based on how well they served you, not based on what they're getting paid!
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  • The only thing she needs to know is if gratuity is included. She doesn't need to know if they make 5 dollars or 100 dollars. She just needs to know if gratuity is included in any of the 3 pieces she listed. If it's not, which she said it isn't, she should base her tip amount on the food cost and then add/subtract based on her experience.

    I went to what was supposed to be dinner with someone like you, NYU. We had them reserve two tables at rush hour, we only filled one (several no-shows). The party I was with was upset because the drinks weren't strong enough (It was at the 99, if you want a boozy drink go to a real bar). When we asked for the bill, my BF put a twenty on top of it, for her troubles. One of the people then went up to her at the ordering stand/register and took some change from the tip because it was more than 15% and tipping isn't required on alcohol anyway. Needless to say we never dined with that group ever again.

    That is poor etiquette, just like asking about the compensation of the employees. Their wages are irrelivant, only whether or not the tip is included is relevant.
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  • In Response to Re: Catering Tip:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Catering Tip : Which is why OP should discuss with caterer, not throw money around without knowing.
    Posted by NYUgirl100[/QUOTE]

    She isn't throwing around money! She's placing it purposefully. Geezum crow
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