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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 03-24-2010, 09:14 PM   #1
JD McGee
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Default Catering Invoicing Question...

What is the general opinion for charging a gratuity? Is it common practice or too presumptuous?
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Unread 03-24-2010, 09:25 PM   #2
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NEVER! Invoice what the job is worth. A tip is earned. never expected.
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Unread 03-24-2010, 09:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
NEVER! Invoice what the job is worth. A tip is earned. never expected.
Agreed. Charge accordingly for the job, a tip is bonus.
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Unread 03-24-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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My wife and I only pay gratuity according to service.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 08:51 AM   #5
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We do not charge gratuity or a service fee of any kind. I just don't believe in it. We are compensated adequately for the meals we provide. It states that on our website, but it also states that gratuities for good service are welcomed and shared with service staff. Last year, with 15+ events (75-200 people), we got stiffed on all but three. My crew works their ass off to provide exceptional service, I can list examples from just about every job where we went "above and beyond"... it gets kind of frustrating. I usually present the invoice after service so they have an opportunity to 'pad' the cheque, but that doesn't seem to help. So in 2010 I am adding a comment to the bottom of the invoice to suggest a gratuity that will be shared with the service staff. A gentle reminder.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 10:53 AM   #6
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I add it in to all catering gigs. This is standard for my area, if you do not add it you won't get it majority of the time. YMMV!

You do as many weddings as we do and you may change your mind about adding a gratuity, lol!

Please keep this conversation civil. It gets out of hand on other forums!
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Unread 03-25-2010, 11:16 AM   #7
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Same here - Standard gratuity for groups over 50. Makes up for all the extras that you end up doing for large groups. Our invoices are due in full 10 days in advance - Very standard for this area.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 02:22 PM   #8
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I have not seen it here locally on the few catering sites I have visited...until I do I'll leave the gratuity up to the customer. Thanks for your input.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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It's a market thing. If caterers in your market(like the west coast) do so, you would be crazy not to.

If your market is like mine, you'd never get away with it.

I wish I could, but I can't...
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Unread 03-25-2010, 05:29 PM   #10
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Everyone in my area expects to be charged a gratuity and we add it to all invoices and it is disclosed on the bid. Every restaurant in our area charges a gratuity for large groups automatically.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 05:29 PM   #11
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JD, do some more research in your area, it seems to be a standard practice to auto grat in the Seattle/Tacoma market.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 07:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hughes View Post
JD, do some more research in your area, it seems to be a standard practice to auto grat in the Seattle/Tacoma market.
Will do...I know a few local folks I can call...thanks!
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Unread 03-25-2010, 10:17 PM   #13
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i wouldnt do it.
in california, even gas station attendants have a tip jar.
haha.
i just do my job.
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Unread 03-26-2010, 02:58 PM   #14
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We call it a service charge but yes we do it. And we earn every penny of it.
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Unread 03-26-2010, 03:05 PM   #15
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Let me jump in here as a consumer...

If you charge me it's not a gratuity...it's a charge. I you add on a service fee or "gratuity" that's all you're going to get. And in my case you normally short change yourself.

And I have been known to subtract the "charged" gratuity if the service did not reach the level of service I would expect for the money charged me.

Personally, I don't believe a "service charge" or "gratuity" should be added. As a consumer I would prefer you actually charge me what you think the product/service is worth.

Just my 2 cents worth...
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