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Author Topic: Tipping at catered events?  (Read 7886 times)

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Re: Tipping at catered events?
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2012, 02:36:17 PM »
Is the guy who prepared and served the food a part of the foodie group?  Or was he hired to cook and serve?  If he is a member of the group, I don't think he should be tipped.  I don't think he should be looking to turn a profit and make money off of his friends.  And a bottle of wine per person?  I find that to be excessive and it makes him seem like he's trying to line his pockets AND his wine cellar.

The guy runs the meetup so I assume he "owns" it.  His dinners all seem to be the same price, regardless of what he's serving (one recent one was a shrimp tapas "feast," which I thought might be interesting but when I looked at what he was serving -- about five shrimp appetizers -- vs. the price, I thought it too high).  Also, I rarely drink but will have sips from the wine of DF on rare occasions.  Two bottles of wine for us would be excessive; he wouldn't be able to drive if he drank an entire bottle himself (and the 2nd bottle of wine would be pointless for me since I wouldn't drink it).  I enjoy cooking as well -- so much so that I take classes from a professional program when I can (sidenote -- a local specialty market is offering basic butchering classes, which I've been looking forward to taking all year).

With sparksals explanation about the cost of the meetup, I can understand better about wanting to recoup that cost...but $35 PLUS a bottle of wine each PLUS a gratuity still seems high to me when it's in someone's home (and I used to regularly spend about $35-40 on a nice dinner out without wine -- now I'm reluctant to pay someone else that which I can do myself).  As others would say, YMMV.

I'm glad for the explanation about the wages of catering staff because I had no idea they weren't at least standard minimum per hour (not server's hourly).  DF and I weren't going to hire staff for our reception, but I'm no longer wanting to handle everything myself so was thinking about hiring students from my school's program (so students who are studying to be chefs and since it's a program of which I've been a part off and on for the past four years, I know firsthand it's a good program).


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Re: Tipping at catered events?
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2012, 07:21:33 PM »
If an event is truly a hosted event, then guests should not be expected to pay a grutuity.  And while unfortunate so many servers seem to be getting unfair wages, I'm not sure how a guest (or even a host) is expected to know the employment negotiations for the caterer or event place. 

In the other thread I mentioned I always tip at open bar events and weddings, etc.  And upthread I explained my experience with working such events.

I agree a guest should not be responsible for or expected to know about wages.  But I tip precisely because people don't know how catering staff salaries work.  Many people think the "service charge" on a catering contract is a "tip" but its not.  Its paying the salary of the workers, not above and beyond their salary.  Also many people assume if they tip the banquet manager or waitstaff captain that means the tip will trickle down, but it does not, it stays in the hand it was handed to.

I guess I could go around asking hosts if they are aware of these things, or informing and educating everyone... but it seems easier to discreetly slip a waitress or bartender a fin.

Its definitely a problem that shouldn't exist, its wrong, its tacky, its unfair, its all sorts of negative stuff, but it also is what it is.  It's a problem that does exist so I do my little part to off set it.  Not as an insult to my host, but simply because its quick and easy and something I am able to do (I don't expect every guest should - I know when I was a waitress $5-10 in tips in a 7 hour shift was awesome, I never expected it and certainly never begrudged the amount).

At my own up coming wedding I have already discussed with the best man that we'd like him to handle waitstaff tips - he will be given a stack of $5's and will be responsible to getting on in the hand of each waitstaff and each bartender.  (He's thrilled with this idea - he works as a bartender himself and believes in tipping often and generously so he likes the idea he'll be seen as the "tip guy".)  While I like my caterer so far in no way to a trust they'd distribute tips evenly like that.

But the difference here is that as the host of your wedding, you are doing this.  Do you believe your guests should be tipping the waitstaff, too? 


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Re: Tipping at catered events?
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2012, 08:18:53 PM »
^ I am 100% certain some of my guests will tip. So long as the staff isn't soliticing the tips (tips jars, etc) I consider that to be the private business of guests. They don't need to tip, and those close to me will know I have tipped, but I have no say over how or to whom others give money.

A lot of the guests at my wedding have or stil work in the service industry, and well there's an old saying "waitresses are the worlds best tippers." My social circle is full of people who tip everyone.