Do people usually tip a caterer? My dad doesn't understand why you wouldn't, my mom thinks it's built into the price. What is the norm?
Most caterers charge an up-front gratuity fee of 18-22% on the bill. If you are dealing with a caterer who does that, then I say you've ALREADY tipped the caterer.
I do NOT do that and I find it arrogant to do so. A gratuity by definition is "monetary appreciation for service above and beyond what was paid for." I find it pretty arrogant to charge for that up front.
Also .... when I ask caterers "you DO give that 22% to your staff, right?" they blow me off and say, "Nah! It goes right in the register!" Double-
Be leary of those who call it a "service fee". If they dont' call it a tip, then it appears to me that they expect you to pay this "service fee" AND still tip their staff ... and you've no idea if the staff even sees any of that tip money. If they are charging you an up-front-tip, I'd ask them just what does this cover and make them tell me if their staff sees any of it.
A co-worker told me a caterer told her sister that the "gratuity" fee covered plates and forks. My question was: So when they sell you food for $18.95/person, it's just the food, but if you want a plate to eat it off of, it's extra????" Then just call it a plate rental fee and NOT a gratuity fee! (insert ANOTHER here!)
I do not charge an up-front tip, nor do I expect one. If the client chooses to tip my staff (and it ALL goes to my staff), then it's their choice to do so. I would say we get tipped 80% of the time and my crews average anywhere from $40 to $100 each on each event.
Thank you so much.. the answered my question perfectly (and then some!) I'll have to check on the 'service fee' to see if there is one or not.