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During a recent conversation with a client, the topic of tipping was discussed. As simple as offering additional compensation to the person who providing a service to you can be a complex decision with many variable to consider.  Our conversation focused on the venue policy for tipping, the tip amount that was factored into the cost of the menu, who should receive a tip other than waitstaff and the amount of the tip for exceptional service.  My responses reflect my 12-year history within the food and beverage industry and my personal experiences working with local professionals within the wedding/event industry.  If you haven’t allocated funds for a tip, there are other options to show appreciation for providing exceptional service.  The subject of tipping can be stressful and cause havoc to your already tight budget.  Consider the following Q & A as a guideline to your decision.

What is a tip?  Cash given to a person who provided a service

Who gets a tip?  You can tip anyone you wish.

Who expects a tip?  If a tip has been previously negotiated, those staff members of the company that you signed a contract with expect a tip.  No one providing a service should expect a tip.  If exceptional service was provided, consider giving a tip based on their role/responsibilities/tasks/performance.

When to tip … Immediately after the service they performed was completed

Where to tip … In person making eye contact with the person receiving the tip

How to tip … Communicate your gratitude and hand the person cash, folded

Why to tip … Exceptional service received

Have you allocated funds for a tip? Allocate a line item within your budget spreadsheet for tipping

Should you have to tip? No. But, there may be a clause in your contract noting a tip & the percentage expected and the headcount of staff who will receive the tip.

Is the tip already factored in? Sometimes. Refer to your contract.

If you feel that the service provided was just okay, do you still tip? Personal preference.

Would you communicate to the person providing the service that you are dissatisfied with their service and tip or not tip accordingly? Yes, if you feel the message will be received with a positive response. No one like to be confrontational or hear why they aren’t getting a tip in front of guests or people walking by.

Is there an industry standard for tipping? No, but in some industries (food and beverage) a tip is expected due to the minimum wage a server receives from their employer. The amount you give as a tip can be dictated per establishment, private venue, Club.

To forgo the tip, would you be willing to or offer to write a review? If cash isn’t the form of gratitude you wish to offer, writing a review about the service received will replace the compensation.

Can you negotiate a tip? Yes, but not at the time of offering. Negotiations are done before you sign on the dotted line.

Can a tip be refused? Yes. There are businesses owners that communicate a ‘no tip’ policy to their staff.

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