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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 09-15-2008, 04:45 PM   #16
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PS - We get a gratuity maybe once every 10 jobs. Not all that common in the midwest. If we get asked to do extra's, our contract has a per hour, or any part thereof, price.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 05:06 PM   #17
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Just gotta say set up looks great.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 05:58 PM   #18
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Nice set-up Marsha! Yes, I include gratuity, tip, service charge in the balance (not going there with the semantics). I still have a headache on this topic from another forum I used to participate.

Your area dictates if you should add it or not! If you do not add it, you will not get it most of the time. If you add it, you will get it most of the time. YMMV
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Unread 09-15-2008, 06:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
Beautiful table Marsha!!

We just changed our contracts and took gratuity off. WE now use the all inclusive term "service charge". That includes all of the little things that we get asked to do that weren't in the original job description of the servers.

And we request the final check 1 week before the event so we don't have to hunt down anyone to get paid after the event. All we have to do is clean up and get out.
Thanks! My tables get better all the time. I try to make it look nice, but not overly froo-froo, if that makes sense.

I am going to change our contract. We now ask for the final check the evening before or morning of the event. I think I will follow your lead and ask for it the week before.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 07:00 PM   #20
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Just gotta say set up looks great.

Thank you. The decorating is my favorite part of the day. It's hard sometimes when you are not 100% sure how they will have everything decorated if you are not involved in that end of things. I am learning to ask a lot more questions in advance.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 07:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
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There is an ever ongoing fight between those who mark gratuity on the bill.

If you call it a service charge and standardize it it a logical fashion then I'll pay it, but if ou call it a mandatory gratuity, you have missed the meaning of the word gratuity IMO, gratuity means "freely given" and if you included it in the bill as mandatory, then it's not "freely given". A circular argument ensues after this point!

If you have to constantly charge a mandatory gratuity, in order to cover your costs, then you're not charging enough in the first place.

I don't at this time cater, but I have in the past and I will in the future, as a client I'd prefer to pay an honest bill and then be allowed to add a gratuity of my choice, that is after all the meaning of gratuity. If there is need for a set up or tear down fee, or an additional transport fee because of the distance I made you travel, I'm happy to pay it all as long as it was part of the agreed quote and the work I contracted for.

But I won't use a caterer that can't discriminate between forced and free, that's just the way I am.

Just my 2 cents!
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Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
We never add a gratuity to an invoice. If we earn it, great! Our largest tip to date has been $1,000 on a $5,000 bill. There were 5 of us working that night, so it got split 6 ways (1 share each, and 1 back to the business - which we put in our kids college fund).
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PS - We get a gratuity maybe once every 10 jobs. Not all that common in the midwest. If we get asked to do extra's, our contract has a per hour, or any part thereof, price.
I am still on the fence on this issue. One client asks us to add it to the bill and others just ignore it. Then there was one couple that was really on a tight budget and gave us a great tip. Maybe, again, I should start asking a lot more questions up front. The first couple catering jobs we did we didn't figure in the tax. I guess I have a steep learning curb on this stuff.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 07:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
PS - We get a gratuity maybe once every 10 jobs. Not all that common in the midwest. If we get asked to do extra's, our contract has a per hour, or any part thereof, price.

Same here it's kind of hard to ask for a tip before you even do the job. I get half up front and full payment ten days prior.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 07:37 PM   #23
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Same here it's kind of hard to ask for a tip before you even do the job. I get half up front and full payment ten days prior.
We get 1/2 up front and half on arrival.
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Unread 09-15-2008, 09:11 PM   #24
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$300 booking charge; balance a week before the event.
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Unread 09-16-2008, 01:16 PM   #25
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I don't currently do catering, but am keeping an eye on these discussions because I am getting more and more people asking me about cooking for them.

I guess I understand the miscellaneous service charge to cover for various tasks that pop up and aren't spelled out in the contract like Mista mentioned, but wouldn't you simply price your job at a rate that makes you some decent money and any gratuity would just be icing on the cake? I wouldn't think a "tip" would be spelled out in any way on the contract with the client.
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Unread 09-16-2008, 06:58 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afreemaniii View Post
I don't currently do catering, but am keeping an eye on these discussions because I am getting more and more people asking me about cooking for them.

I guess I understand the miscellaneous service charge to cover for various tasks that pop up and aren't spelled out in the contract like Mista mentioned, but wouldn't you simply price your job at a rate that makes you some decent money and any gratuity would just be icing on the cake? I wouldn't think a "tip" would be spelled out in any way on the contract with the client.
Well for this event they asked us to pick up all the glassware from the tables down a flight of stairs below the deck. That part wasn't in the contract. I didn't want to say "No, you didn't pay for that, just for us to pick up the china at the end of the meal!" Glassware was still being used a couple hours after dinner service was complete. My staff wanted to go home.
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