tipping special event staff

Living Wage Certified

We want our guests to know, that as a living wage certified business, all of our staff are being compensated at a living wage. Meaning, they do not depend on tips to bring them up to a reasonable hourly wage. Living Wage is based on the cost of living in an area and varies based on many factors. You can read more about the Living Wage Movement by visiting the Just Economics website.

That being said, some guests still like to tip the servers who have helped make their event a success. So we are offering the guidelines below.

Covid Update

Tipping has become trickier due to Covid-19. Cash is not as attractive as it used to be. We encourage clients to tip via Honeybook so that your tip can be added directly to their paycheck. There will be a line item to let them know that you appreciated their service.

Other options include Venmo and Paypal. To utilize these methods the host would need to download these apps to their mobile devices and make sure you have your servers’ usernames. All in all, unless you are a digital native, or are only hiring one bartender, we think the Honeybook option is probably the easiest method. If you find you want to tip and you have already paid via Honeybook, we encourage you to either send a check to the office, or utilize Venmo or Paypal. Office Staff is happy to help you connect to your server’s accounts if needed.

Tipping at the Bar

BRES has two rates for Bartenders, a tipped and a non-tipped rate.

Some hosts will hire our Bartenders at the Tip Jar Rate. We leave this decision up to the client. Either decision can be correct based on the nature of your event. As the host, you know your guest list and event profile better than we do. If you know that most of your guests will want to tip and will be comfortable doing so, then this can absolutely be the right decision for you. If you feel like it may make some of your guests feel awkward, or know that no one will have pockets in their evening gowns or room for cash in their clutches, you may want to choose the No-Tip Jar Rate.

Bartenders Without Tip Jars?

For some events, the host does not want their guests to feel as though tipping is obligatory. Two great examples: Weddings, particularly destination weddings, & Fundraisers.

Wedding guests have often traveled, booked a hotel, bought a gift, maybe they even participated in the money dance, the host understandably may be wary of asking them to tip at the bar.

The focus of a fundraiser is to funnel as much money as possible to the charity/non-profit in question. Many times fundraisers will pay at the No-Tip-Jar rate, but set out tip jars which benefit their cause. This is actually an effective way to raise some extra funds and should help offset the higher hourly rate.

When you have a Bartender contracted at the No Tip Jar Rate, some of your guests may still tip your bartender. Our Bartenders are instructed to politely decline once, “No thank you, that has been taken care of this evening”. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the guest will insist. Our Bartenders are then instructed to graciously accept, and to remove the tip from sight so that there is no indication to other guests that tips are sought or expected.

The host for either pay rate may choose to tip their bartenders for a job well done. We recommend tipping as you would at a restaurant or bar, 15-20% of your bill.

Tipping Wait Staff

Our Wait Staff work hard, and often go above and beyond to make your event special. Our recommendation for Wait Staff is to tip as you would at a restaurant: 15-20% of your bill. Since our invoices are itemized it is easy to determine the amount paid for the captain and waiters, divide by the number of waiters and determine the appropriate percentage. You also may check with the Captain to see if any last minute purchases were made on your behalf: ice, disposable forks, limes, etc.

When to Tip

Many clients will tip at the end of an event. Simply give the tip to the Captain and they can split it between the waiters. We recommend tipping the bar separately. You may also send a tip to the office for distribution to the staff if the evening gets away from you. Maybe you forget the envelope in your hotel room (nerves!). We give 100% of the tip to the staff from your event and can split it as directed. You may also decide to tip preemptively through our booking site, Honeybook. When you make your final payment there will be an option to add gratuity then.