Author Topic: Speaking of tipping a caterer  (Read 1735 times)

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Zilla

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Speaking of tipping a caterer
« on: September 11, 2012, 02:46:34 PM »
I was part of making catering arrangements for a non for profit and had a situation where I was curious what the correct answer would be.


The restaurant/caterer had a very casual meal, all self served and easy to transport.  There were trays of pulled pork, another one filled with buns and yet another with premixed salad and a selection of dressings.


There were 3 servers that cleaned up and refilled drinks but did not touch the food part.


The invoice was "heavily" discounted but when compared to other similar restaurants, the discounted amount equaled what a restaurant would charge without a discount.  (in fact this year they are doing it with the restaurant I found)


The uproar was over the tip.  A few on the committee said we need to tip a full 20% of the non-discounted total.  Others said 20% of the final total.  Still others felt that since they didn't serve the food and only topped off drinks and cleaned up (there was a cleaning fee charged) that a flat rate should be given to each server, which I believe was $10 each, for their hour's worth of work.  (the luncheon lasted an hour)


What do you all think?


ETA: The three servers split the $75 cleaning fee.  The entire luncheon was an hour and they were there for about an hour and half total.  (15 min beforehand and 15 min)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 03:55:03 PM by Zilla »

NyaChan

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Re: Speaking of tipping a caterer
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 02:54:15 PM »
Normally I would say tip on the pre-discount total.  But this is one hour's work and it seems they didn't really do much in the way of what we normally tip catering staff for.  Still, $10 seems a little...small.  My answer might change if I knew what amounts were at stake if the percentage standard was used, but with basic info of what they did & for how long, I would go for $20 each and call it a day.

Zilla

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Re: Speaking of tipping a caterer
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 03:00:16 PM »
Normally I would say tip on the pre-discount total.  But this is one hour's work and it seems they didn't really do much in the way of what we normally tip catering staff for.  Still, $10 seems a little...small.  My answer might change if I knew what amounts were at stake if the percentage standard was used, but with basic info of what they did & for how long, I would go for $20 each and call it a day.


The cleaning fee was $75 and was not part of the discount.  Which is why they came up with $10 as they thought each server would get $25 each from the cleaning fee. 

Kaypeep

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Re: Speaking of tipping a caterer
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 03:43:37 PM »
I think that you should speak to the catering manager to clarify what, if any, fees in the bill covered the 3 staffers who served you during the lunch.  If their service is covered in the cost of your bill  then the tip should be minimal since they were paid outright (as opposed to working a minimum wage waitstaff fee as base, thus relying on generous tips for service.)

Based on this type of service as you explained, either way, I would not tip based on the bill amount discounted or not. I would give a token amount ($10 or $20 depending on how many people were at your lunch and how long you were there) as thanks, but not too cheap because management was kind enough to give a discount and you wouldn't want them to think you treat their staff too shabbily.

SpikeMichigan

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Re: Speaking of tipping a caterer
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 02:51:35 PM »
  I'm from the UK, so it may be different to wherever you are, but as has been stated, I don't think caterers are paid with tips in mind like some waitstaff (a practice I have never been keen on), so there's no need to necessarily do it mathematically.

   I worked catering for a long time, and staff tips were extremely rare, and appreciated whenever they were received - not many people ever tipped the staff, and this was a high end catering company. It just wasn't really expected. Once we were allowed to take home a bottle of the leftover wine/champagne - that was nice at the end of an 12 hour shift.

 Again, practices may be totally different, but I think a small amount per staff member would be appreciated - 15 or 20 perhaps, and I can't imagine anyone would compare it to the bill.