FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 


Gratuity? Automatic or let customer decide?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Catering
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sat Apr 18 09 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a client were to refuse to pay our mandatory gratuity, I would still show up and provide them and their guests the "best barbecue they have ever had" with the biggest smile I could muster....Feel sorry for the staff though.. Shocked

I will say though, that in 16 years, this has NEVER happened. Shocked Shocked
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Bryant
BBQ Fan


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
Joe Bryant wrote:
The huge plus on the autogratuity is that it's a great way to sort of hide the true cost of the food. It's always covered I"m sure so there is no surprises but it's one of those "tack it on at the end" costs that by the time you get you to it, you've already "hooked" the buyer.


Joe, What you are considering would be a very dishonest practice at best, and blatantly illegal in other cases.
I think it is something only a professional shyster would try to get away with.
The Meriam Webster defenition of a shyster is: a person who is professionally unscrupulous

By listing a mandatory gratuity on a bill, you are leading the client to believe that the gratuity goes to the employee's and those employees receive 100% of that gratuity with none kept by the employer. I belive there was a law passed in Washington state to address unscrupulous emplyers that were keeping parts or whole amounts of the mandatory gratuities that they charged their customers. I'll see if I can find the law and add it later.

it is getting even more interesting;
here is a snippet from the California Statutes on Gratuities, the webpage that I quoted from can be found here: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_tipsandgratutities.htm

Labor Code Section 351 prohibits employers and their agents from sharing in or keeping any portion of a gratuity left for or given to one or more employees by a patron. Furthermore it is illegal for employers to make wage deductions from gratuities, or from using gratuities as direct or indirect credits against an employee’s wages. The law further states that gratuities are the sole property of the employee or employees to whom they are given. "Gratuity" is defined in the Labor Code as a tip, gratuity, or money that has been paid or given to or left for an employee by a patron of a business over and above the actual amount due for services rendered or for goods, food, drink, articles sold or served to patrons. It also includes any amount paid directly by a patron to a dancer covered by IWC Wage Order 5 or 10.

Now here is the part I really find interesting, According to a NY state prosecutor "A Mandatory Gratuity Is Just a Tip, and Thus Not Mandatory"

The prosecutor states a client is not obligated to pay your "mandatory gratuity" if they do not want to!
reference: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/15/nyregion/15tipper.html

So if the client feels like scratching out that mandatory gratuity part of the bill, and only paying you for the food that was provided, They are legally entitled and lawfully protected to do just that.

Hmm, Laughing Laughing Laughing
I wonder what the law is in other states pertaining to how a mandatory gratuity must be handled by an employer, and if the client can legally refuse to pay.


Hi Harry,

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. And I'm not considering anything. I'm saying doing it exactly like Marv is doing it makes at "first glance" look like the cost is actually less than it is.

I'm sure it is covered very clearly before anything is agreed to. But the initial first glance is more favorable over a caterer that can't count on a set gratuity and has to price their product accordingly.

J
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Bryant
BBQ Fan


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marvsbbq wrote:
Because I charge a "mandatory gratuity" I charge state sales tax on it (required by law) but I also have to claim that as income on my business taxes and pay all the state and federal taxes on it as well.

So in all reality, that 18% gratuity is NOT 18% at all after it is all said and done. So by giving ALL of the 18% gratuity to my helpers, I am LOSING money in the end.

Shocked Shocked


But the fact you give them all the gratuity factors into what you pay them, right?

In other words, if you didn't give them any gratuity, you'd have to pay them more, right?

And the fact that you give them all of the gratuity (which is pretty much how I understand gratuity) means that you can pay them less salary.

Bottom line your staff doesn't really where the money comes from do they? They just care that they think they're receiving money that is fair for the work they're doing.

So you do wind up paying taxes on the money you give away. But if you didn't give that money away, that would cost you too by having to pay more salary. Unless your employees are different than any employee I've had.

J
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it odd that this subject has been discussed to death here on this forum and here we are on page 3 already Shocked Shocked Shocked
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
allsmokenofire
BBQ All Star


Joined: 26 Apr 2005
Posts: 5051
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marvsbbq wrote:
I find it odd that this subject has been discussed to death here on this forum and here we are on page 3 already Shocked Shocked Shocked

I find it even more odd that, although this topic has been discussed to death on this forum, you've got 20% of the posts on this thread so far. Shocked Shocked Shocked

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing
_________________
Mike
Team Enoserv
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

allsmokenofire wrote:
marvsbbq wrote:
I find it odd that this subject has been discussed to death here on this forum and here we are on page 3 already Shocked Shocked Shocked

I find it even more odd that, although this topic has been discussed to death on this forum, you've got 20% of the posts on this thread so far. Shocked Shocked Shocked

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing


I like to post on subjects I strongly believe it....this is one of them!

But thanks for keeping track.... buddy. Wink Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Bryant
BBQ Fan


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marvsbbq wrote:
I find it odd that this subject has been discussed to death here on this forum and here we are on page 3 already Shocked Shocked Shocked


I'm probably guilty here. It just seemed like maybe we were getting into some new ground.

I know that I'd like to see it go more in the direction of "here's how I'm successful with this" as opposed to "you're wrong doing it that way". It seems like we've had more of the former. And that's more productive.

I'd also add that I'm sure this board is like our footballguys message board. Lots of the same topics continue to come up - the definitive, case closed, we don't ever need to talk about it threads rarely come up. I find that lots of time rational discussion and new angles can come up with a thread topic that's been discussed a ton. If that were the case, we'd just eventually shut the board down once we "settled" every issue. It's been my experience that there's still lots to be learned from folks that bring positive discussion to the table. That certainly seems to be the case here.

J


Last edited by Joe Bryant on Sun Apr 19 09 9:42 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joe Bryant wrote:
marvsbbq wrote:
I find it odd that this subject has been discussed to death here on this forum and here we are on page 3 already Shocked Shocked Shocked


I'm probably guilty here. It just seemed like maybe we were getting into some new ground.

I know that I'd like to see it go more in the direction of "here's how I'm successful with this" as opposed to "you're wrong doing it that way". It seems like we've had more of the former. And that's more productive.

J


I don't think charging a gratuity defines rather you are a successful caterer or not... Shocked
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JimmieOhio
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 11 Mar 2008
Posts: 1125
Location: east side of Cleveland, Ohio

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I find it funny that the caterers are always the ones fighting over something as simplistic and great as BBQ...

Can't we all just get along? Or for that matter get a long little dogie? Or is it doggie? Like a dachshund? Wink

And yes, even a yankee like me knows a dogie is a motherless calf.
_________________
Jimmie Ohio
KCBS Certified BBQ Judge

"Never criticize a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Then, criticize him all you want since you're a mile away and you have HIS shoes."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Joe Bryant
BBQ Fan


Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Sun Apr 19 09 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marvsbbq wrote:
Joe Bryant wrote:
marvsbbq wrote:
I find it odd that this subject has been discussed to death here on this forum and here we are on page 3 already Shocked Shocked Shocked


I'm probably guilty here. It just seemed like maybe we were getting into some new ground.

I know that I'd like to see it go more in the direction of "here's how I'm successful with this" as opposed to "you're wrong doing it that way". It seems like we've had more of the former. And that's more productive.

J


I don't think charging a gratuity defines rather you are a successful caterer or not... Shocked


Of course not and that's not at all what I said. I think people here can talk about how they've been successful whether that's charging an automatic gratuity or not.

J
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
CarolinaQ
BBQ Fan


Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 268
Location: WNC

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20 09 8:07 am    Post subject: Grat: Reply with quote

If you go to a restaurant and the menu says that an automatic gratuity is added for parties of 6 or more, the restaurant CANNOT make you pay that tip! Tips and gratuities are voluntary at restaurants and they can't make you pay them, but most folks don't know that.

I don't add a grat on my invoice. We get one maybe 10 % of the time and it's the common folks who tip. The one's worth millions practically NEVER tip. I guess that's how they got and keep all their money!

And all my staff wear uniforms (black pants and white shirts with our logo on them, once we are ready to serve, I wear a chefs coat, but most of our events are upscale events, not backyard barbecues.
_________________
Ole Hickory EL-EDX
UDS
New Braunfels El Dorado
Weber Kettle
KCBS CBJ
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20 09 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: Grat: Reply with quote

CarolinaQ wrote:
If you go to a restaurant and the menu says that an automatic gratuity is added for parties of 6 or more, the restaurant CANNOT make you pay that tip! Tips and gratuities are voluntary at restaurants and they can't make you pay them, but most folks don't know that.

I don't add a grat on my invoice. We get one maybe 10 % of the time and it's the common folks who tip. The one's worth millions practically NEVER tip. I guess that's how they got and keep all their money!

And all my staff wear uniforms (black pants and white shirts with our logo on them, once we are ready to serve, I wear a chefs coat, but most of our events are upscale events, not backyard barbecues.


Hat too or just the coat??

Where do you get your coats??
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harry Nutczak
BBQ All Star


Joined: 01 Mar 2007
Posts: 8558
Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20 09 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marvsbbq wrote:
So by giving ALL of the 18% gratuity to my helpers, I am LOSING money in the end.


Ok, now I am confused!

If any of your collected gratuities goes 100% to the employees, then they are the ones responsible for paying taxes on that income.
the only reason that I understand why you would pay taxes on that money is if you kept it.

it seems like you are screwing yourself out of money if your paying taxes on an employees income.
_________________
Just remember that the toes you may step on during your climb to the top will also be attached to the a$$es you'll be forced to kiss on your way back down!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pit Boss
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2362
Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20 09 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand how any gratuity for servers would be considered income for your business? Only if you're keeping this charge for yourself should it be considered taxable income. If that's what your CPA is telling you, then you might need to get another CPA...or at least get another's opinion.

I can guarantee you that a restaurant that charges mandatory gratuities is NOT reporting this as their income...because it isn't their income.
_________________
Somewhere in Kenya...a village is missing their idiot.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
allsmokenofire
BBQ All Star


Joined: 26 Apr 2005
Posts: 5051
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20 09 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

marvsbbq wrote:
allsmokenofire wrote:
marvsbbq wrote:
I find it odd that this subject has been discussed to death here on this forum and here we are on page 3 already Shocked Shocked Shocked

I find it even more odd that, although this topic has been discussed to death on this forum, you've got 20% of the posts on this thread so far. Shocked Shocked Shocked

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing


I like to post on subjects I strongly believe it....this is one of them!

But thanks for keeping track.... buddy. Wink Wink


Then why be concerned(or "triple shocked" Shocked Shocked Shocked ) with how long the thread is? Confused
_________________
Mike
Team Enoserv
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
allsmokenofire
BBQ All Star


Joined: 26 Apr 2005
Posts: 5051
Location: Oklahoma

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20 09 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cape_fisherman wrote:
I don't understand how any gratuity for servers would be considered income for your business? Only if you're keeping this charge for yourself should it be considered taxable income. If that's what your CPA is telling you, then you might need to get another CPA...or at least get another's opinion.

I can guarantee you that a restaurant that charges mandatory gratuities is NOT reporting this as their income...because it isn't their income.

Ding ding ding....we have a winner!! Cool
_________________
Mike
Team Enoserv
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
roxy
BBQ All Star


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 9329
Location: Wasaga beach, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20 09 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
marvsbbq wrote:
I do agree (and comply) as I am sure all the other caterers here, that we should (and do) give 100% of our very best service for our clients and their guests. Anything less is unacceptable...IMO


You bring up a valid point,
Maybe that other caterer we did the pig for was giving the very best that they had to offer with the maximum skill level they possessed.

lets use restaurants as a comparison, You're paying big bucks to be served and treated like royalty. Would you be more willing to tip properly if the crew was dressed professionally as pictured below, or wearing jeans and t-shirts and baseball hats?

I am not in that picture, becuase I was the one with the camera.

How about that guy that comes into your office to maintain that $100K+ digital copier/network printer you have? Are you going to feel better about the cost paying him/her the $130/Hour service charge while they are dressed in a suit and tie and had the correct tools for the job?
What about if they are showed up wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and decided to use a butter knife for a screwdriver and pulled a snotty hand-kerchief out of their back pocket to clean the optics!

This has nothing to do with the question about "Should I charge mandatory gratuities"
it is just and example of how to earn bigger and better tips and make the client feel better about paying the bill, and wilfully adding a healthy tip on top of that.


Harry, I do get a kick out of those funky paper hats. Does the food taste better the higher the hat is..???? Dang glad I dont have to wear one Wink Wink

I dont think you cant compare apples to oranges and IMO comparing a fine dining resto to BBQ catering is just that. I am sure that for most BBQ catering clients, they think the tip is already billed in and that is why it seems that most do not tip. To be honest, I would be much more comfortable booking a BBQ catering gig with some one that was in blue jeans and a AC/DC hells bells t-shirt than I would be with some on in a suit or a white chefs jacket.

On the other hand this last Friday night we had a table of 6 that had apps, mixed drinks, dinner, dessert and a couple bottles of wine. The food was awesome, I know cause I cooked most of it.. They were there for 3 hours having a wonderful time and rec'd a bill of just over 400.00 and left a tip of 10.00..
By the way, I wear chefs Jacket, not that I am a chef, and we ensure that if a coat gets soiled it is changed as we have an open kitchen concept.

We have been pressing the owners to instill the mandatory tip program that would also include a portion going to the kitchen but they are resisting.. Firday night alone would have been 60 bucks in my pocket if this was in place. It is only fair to the servers and kitchen staff or the caterer and crew to receive a fare tip for the services rendered..

Again, IMO
_________________
Chargriller Akorn
WSM
LIAR #100
_________________
Do not rely on a rabbits foot for luck, it did not work out too well for the rabbit...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
roxy
BBQ All Star


Joined: 29 May 2005
Posts: 9329
Location: Wasaga beach, Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20 09 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
Myself and our cooks always wear black chef coats no matter how formal or relaxed an event is.
Early in the day before the guests arrive some of the guys might be wearing white coats to keep their black ones cleaner for serve time.

I consider the chef coat a mandatory piece of safety equipment, if something hot is spilled on you, or if you catch on fire, it protects your skin from severe burns, the coat should always be slightly loose fitting so you can separate yourself from the fabric if an accident were to happen. And in a worse case scenario like being on fire, you can be out of that coat in less than 1 seconds time.

We have the servers wear more or less formal aprons depending on the atmosphere of the event and what their function is for the particular event.
The serving line is always staffed with people in formal looking attire, We have different style aprons for different types of events. If it is a casual event, they will wear flame-print aprons, For formal events they have black aprons to go with their black pants, black shoes and black socks, with white buttoned shirts. No visible jewelry is worn by any cook or server that interacts with the food or the guests.
although Nipple, belly button, and labia piercings are allowed, and encouraged. there is no visible tattoos allowed either.

for our few vending events that we do, the cooks still wear black chef coats, with any other dark colored pants (No blue jeans or tennis shoes ever) and they also have a logo'd t-shirt to wear underneath. When they take a break to walk around or grab a smoke or something to drink, the chef coats come off to show the t-shirts. This usually generates some shirt sales and other interests for us too.

I can sometimes go through 2-3 chef coats in a single day depending what I am doing. Any cook that may be on the serve line during the event will always change into a fresh, pressed, chef coat for that position.

I might be over the top with all this, but this is just what I have been taught and have always done.
it isn't just about the food, it is the special atmosphere that you are able to create for your client and their guests to enjoy. I would rather hear that we were over dressed than have a comment come back to us that we looked sloppy or unprofessional.

I'll see if I can find some pictures to post that show how our servers and the cooks dress for different events.


I dont know about your Jackets Harry but the one I wear has 7 buttons up the front and it takes me some time to get it off let alone if it was on fire.. I'd much rather have a t-shirt on if I was on fire and needed to get the shirt off to save my sorry butt from getting burnt as I can remove it with one have in half a second. Beside, how often in all your years of work have you been on fire and needed to get your jacket off..??

You bother to take the time to press your Jackets... Come on Harry.. You have fallen from 5 star dining to BBQ catering and there is just no way you can expect those that cater BBQ to live up to the standards you claim to have for your business.

This is BBQ catering not fine dining...

Labia piercing is encouraged... Do you read what you write before you post...??
_________________
Chargriller Akorn
WSM
LIAR #100
_________________
Do not rely on a rabbits foot for luck, it did not work out too well for the rabbit...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
marvsbbq
BBQ All Star


Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 6186

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21 09 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, when I do events by myself, I keep 100% of the "mandatory gratuity" that I charge for EVERY event. At those times it is applied as business income....either way I have to pay taxes on it but I am paying taxes on 100% of the gratuity.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
OddThomas
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 2010
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21 09 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

roxy wrote:
Labia piercing is encouraged... Do you read what you write before you post...??

LOL! I've been doing tons of reading and not a lot of posting because I've been super busy these days... But I tell you dude that it the funniest thing I've read here in a while!

I've asked that same question myself in the past... Only Harry Nutczak can preach the merits of professionalism and "encourage" (ffs) labia piercing in the same post and be totally sold on himself enough to click submit. Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    The Smoke Ring Forum Index -> Catering All times are GMT + 8 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 3 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group