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jamesglewisf
04-15-2003, 12:18 AM
This one came via email Local Rotary Club hosts dinner. Hires a caterer to provide food only. No waiting on tables or cleanup. High school kids wait on tables serving drinks/bread/cleanup.

Rotary member says we should pay the caterer a tip of 15%. I say we do not pay the caterer anything other than what they charged per plate. Am I wrong?

jamesglewisf
04-15-2003, 12:18 AM
The best thing is to ask the caterer in advance. Many caterers have a service charge that is included in the bill and is distributed to the cooks, driver and wait staff. If there is no service charge or it is not for the people doing the work, then I would tip.

jamesglewisf
04-15-2003, 12:18 AM
You make a good point about no waiting tables or cleanup; however, you tip the pizza deliverer and he doesn't wait on you or clean up. I believe in erring on the side generosity. Most people who work for catering companies probably don't make much money. Consider how you would want to be treated if you were doing the work.

jamesglewisf
04-15-2003, 12:18 AM
If it is a one-person caterer, and that person is the owner, then I probably would not tip. The owner can charge more if he wants to make more.

RoadRunner
04-17-2003, 01:28 AM
We had a caterer bring food to an event, set it all up, but not serve or clean up. We didn't tip, but it was a one-person company.

jamesglewisf
03-30-2004, 09:53 AM
I just got a question via email about tipping caterers:If you have a caterer with 2-3 servers for a buffet style meal, are you expected to tip them? There will be no table service, such a providing drinks or anything. This is for a party of about 150. If there is a tip expected, at what percentage?Answer:I just hired a caterer like this for our company Christmas party that was held in my home.

Normally the gratuity or service charge is included in the price of the catering. Ask the caterer. If it is not included, the customary amount is 15% to be divided among the servers. If it is included, you don't need to tip any more. Of course, if someone really goes out of his way for you, then feel free to tip that individual extra, remembering that it will be extra.

jarvis13
09-01-2004, 11:44 PM
We received our bill for the caterer from our recent wedding. It included the cost of 9 servers at $12/hour and a server captain at $15/hour. There was no tip line item as part of the bill. We didn't discuss the tip prior nor did we sign a contract. My friend talked with her neighbor, who is a caterer, and the caterer told her that typically it is already incorporated into the cost of the food. Since we paid relatively high hourly wages we think that also merits no tip. I don't want to ask the caterer now about whether the tip is included because I think she will just say yes. In our past discussisons, she would say an item is a certain price, I would write that down, and than she would change it later if I misspoke the price, e.g. she told me the champagne would be $15.79. I would write this down than in an email I would accidentally make a typo of 16.79 and she would start using that as the cost over the phone and in emails.

jamesglewisf
09-02-2004, 12:50 AM
I agree with your friend. If you paid for the food plus a high hourly wage for the servers, then no tip is expected. The wage is their compensation.

Grimey
09-02-2004, 03:49 PM
Man, this tipping thing is complicated. It sure would be nice if business owners would just pay their employees and charge higher prices for their goods or services.