What to Expect in Tips for Serving at a Banquet

The services done by banquet servers or catering servers are different from the services done by those in a restaurant. Banquet servers are informally known as cater waiters. They are servers who work for big catering events and banquets such as weddings and birthdays.

Some of the main responsibilities of banquet servers and catering servers are heavy lifting, covering the chairs and tables, keeping the flatware spotless, folding fancy napkins, attending to the needs of the guests in the event, and keeping the tables clean. They can earn a decent amount of money from their hourly wages but they are also required to receive tips. Since banquet and catering servers do more tasks, how much tip should they get?

Most of the staff working for a banquet or catering company rely on tips for their living. The tips they receive can also be a sign of appreciation for their hard work. If you’re serving at a banquet, here are the amounts of tips you can expect to receive.

Expected Tips for Banquet Servers

A banquet or catering service is composed of different staffs with their own tasks and responsibilities. Therefore, the tips they can expect to receive depends on how heavy their task is. Here are some of the staffs in catering service and how much tip they usually get.

  • Baker: The baker is common in wedding events and he’s the one responsible for creating beautiful cakes and pastries. Tipping the baker is not required but if the customer appreciated his work, he might be given 15% tip of his bill.
  • Caterer/Banquet Captain: The caterer or the banquet captain is the one who oversees the servers and makes sure the guests’ food and beverage wishes are met. They act as the head maître d’ for the reception and works closely with the wedding coordinator. The tip they get is 15% to 20% of the catering bill. These are usually included in the contract. If the caterer or banquet captain has done a wonderful job, they might receive an additional $1.00 to $2.00 of tip per guest.
  • Wait Staff: The tip for the wait staff are also typically included in the contract. This includes the kitchen staff and the bartender. The wait staff is usually given a tip of 15% to 20% of the catering bill. If they’ve done a great job, they might receive an additional $1.00 to $2.00 tip per guest.
  • Deliverers: These people are responsible for dropping off items for the catered event such as tables, chairs, decors, and foods. Deliverers are usually given a tip of about $5 to $10 each.
  • Owner: The owner of the banquet or catering service is not required to receive a tip because he is getting the majority of the profit. But there are some customers who give tips to the owner especially when he has gone above and beyond the agreed-upon duties, throwing in extras at no charge. It will be up to the customer how much tip they will give to the owner.

How Banquet Servers Receive Their Tips

Just like in a restaurant, servers in banquets or catering receive their tips after doing their job. However, if the catering contract includes a Service Charge and gratuity is counted in, which is usually 18% of the total bill, the customer will no longer leave a cash tip on the day of the event because the tip for the whole catering staff is already included in the bill they paid.

The first people who receive their tips are those who will not be around at the end of the event. These include the delivery and the set-up people. Therefore, their tips are given to them right away after they’ve done their duties. For the catering staff or servers who will stay until the end of the event, the catering manager or banquet hall manager is usually the one to distribute the tips to each member of the staff after the event.

Banquet servers can earn a good amount of money not just from their hourly wages, but from the tips they receive as well, especially when they do a wonderful job.