I don't understand how a banquet server can get $10.00 and no gratuities for all the work we do.

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Comments (27)

Bomax in Cocoa, Florida

62 months ago

mgmbeatle in Seattle, Washington said: I have to comment on this. I do banquets by choice. It does require alot more knowlege than you think. Yes everyone works hard in the business. But do not classify all banquet servers as dummies. Some of us take our jobs a little more seriously. Yet some do not and are only there to get a check. They are usually the lame workers. Some of us do work and deserve more.

I tend to agree here. I am certain I am an exception.

I care
I blend personality with service and know when and when not too be heard. Flow around the table.

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Annie in Minneapolis, Minnesota

60 months ago

I worked many years (part-time) as a banquet server to supplement my income. It is true that you don't need to go to college to learn the art of serving, but hotels/ venues underestimate the amount of work expected to put on a successful event. I have never worked with such hard workers in all my life as I did when I was serving. I left banquet serving when the hotel decided to follow others by taking gratuity away from the servers and keeping it for themselves. I think it is unfair that they charge customers a "gratuity/service charge" but the people who perform the service don't see any of it. The customer is already charged "inflated prices" for food, event room rental, alcohol, setup, etc. How are hotels justified getting the gratuity/service charge too. When seeing what I earned after an eight hour sift at the $10 flat wage, as compaired to what I earned when I received a percentage of the gratuity, I decided to quit. Not only was it unfair, but I wouldn't have survived financially. How the servers survive on that as a full time job, I don't know. Not only is the hotel making a killing off its guests/customers, but also its employees too. Servers are the link to a happy customer and they can make or break an event. They should be compensated with a decent wage, of which $10/hour is not. When you consider the prep work, setup, serving, removal, and sometimes teardown, etc., as well as providing "customer service" to hundreds of guests attending, just who do you think is doing all the work. Not the hotel. Hotels are just buildings. It takes good staff and dedicated employees to make it run. Pay them what they are worth. If you put a sign up at every event stating that all gratuity/service charges will go to the hotel and NOT the servers...how do you think it would be received. Try it and see. I bet you take it down well before the end of the day. It is just another corporate scam to take additional money from customers...and now employees.

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Noneya in Irvine, California

58 months ago

That comment was to "Dude in Mission Viejo"

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dovelet in Saint Louis, Missouri

58 months ago

debbie evans said: I work at Old HICKERY GOLF COURSE in st. charles and i only make $10.00 an hour and no gratuities,we set for all sorts of events,fold napkins,polish silverware,lift tables and chairs and etc.i don't get why that pay rate is so low.

My sister is a server at a Buffet style restaurant in Missouri...she makes a whopping $3.62 an hour. People are eating out in tis economy, but many of them are NOT tipping at all. So $10.00 sounds really good.

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Jayradical in Washington, District of Columbia

55 months ago

I heard you can make $45.00 an hour!!!

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Annie in Minneapolis, Minnesota

55 months ago

$45 an hour had to be as a regular server for meals, coctails, etc. I would guess. That doesn't sound like any "banquet servers" wages that I know. When restaurants charge $10 for a potato and $50 for steak, plus bottles of wine, etc. your total cost of the check rises fast. With a 15-20% tip, you may average $45/hour. But for most, that would be the exception to the rule. You may be lucky enough to earn a fair wage in hotels that still share gratutity, but most are starting to keep it for themselves. After reading some of the comments made, $10/hour could be a good wage for some people in certain areas of the country. But, if you live where there is a higher cost of living (like where I do), the $10/hour doesn't make it (especially if you are single with children). Most have to look elsewhere for a better paying job or take on more than one job. Several years ago, I was hired at a hotel that shared gratutity. After a couple years, it was bought out by a different hotel chain that opted to pay a flat $10 wage with no gratuity. I left before the switch. When the chain bought the hotel, they decided to let ALL the workers go them and not rehire them. Several of the older workers who had worked there most of their lives applied again but none of them were hired. They took the younger people, saying they were better able to lift the trays and had the speed to work faster. (The hotel could also pay a flat $10/hour with no tip to the younger kids who weren't used to anything better.) Rules change with new ownership. Was it fair? Depends on what side of the fence you were sitting on...managment or worker. I say if you have the banqueting skills and they won't share gratuity, look for a regular serving job that allows you to keep your tips. You earned them. Usually the bigger the check total, the bigger the tip. Use those banquet serving customer service skills to get into regular restaurant where you get paid for the work and skills you use.

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Server in Nashua, New Hampshire

53 months ago

The fact is most clients see the banquet gratuity added to the bill they think that the money goes to the servers. It is in the best interest in the sales marketing people not to explain the details of the banquet gratuity or service charge to avoid any confusion. So when the hotel or function facility pockets the money that is implied to go the the people actually making the event happen, it is wrong. When a 15,000 wedding bill has a 3,000 gratuity on it most would assume that the service staff is taken care of. The truth is the majority of the server never sees. Although most places do the same practice, most would still say it is deceiving. $10 may not seem low to some people but given the nature of the hours and working conditions, these people don't have understanding on current social and economic hardships these people sacrifice to make a honest living. When people spend big bucks on wedding on high end corporate events, exceptional service is expected. Many people working at McDonald's and Target get $10 an hour and most of these people don't have a concept on what customer service actually is. Not to mention the hours of a banquet server are extremely inconsistent. Basically you are working long hours and late nights when it is busy and not at all when it slow. I don't know any banquet servers with a so called regular schedule. With such an inconsistent schedule it makes it hard to work other jobs or adapt to any type of routine schedule. Sometimes I get a few a bucks left behind by either the contact or the guests. Usually it is not much, but just enough to let me know that my hard work is recognized and appreciated. So next time you are a wedding or event and you get great service, let your server know that you appreciate their efforts.

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baz in Clearwater, Florida

52 months ago

debbie evans said: I work at Old HICKERY GOLF COURSE in st. charles and i only make $10.00 an hour and no gratuities,we set for all sorts of events,fold napkins,polish silverware,lift tables and chairs and etc.i don't get why that pay rate is so low.

I have been a banquet server for 26 years. You need to not for companies that pay flat hourly rate. Work for a hotel, I work for a well named hotel and make 50k per year

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Annie in Minneapolis, Minnesota

52 months ago

baz in Clearwater, Florida said: I have been a banquet server for 26 years. You need to not for companies that pay flat hourly rate. Work for a hotel, I work for a well named hotel and make 50k per year

50K a year is great wages and tips for a banquet server. You are very lucky. Unfortunately, all the hotels in my area have switched to the flat rate for banquet servers as they are learning there is more money in it for themselves. They are in business to make money...from their customers...employees...vendors...whoever. It is a vanishing hotel chain that still shares gratuity with the servers...in Minneapolis anyway.

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mauricee in Mokena, Illinois

50 months ago

we get 8.75 an hour and not even more than 20Hrs a week with no gratuity at all its BS!!!

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mgmbeatle in Virginia Beach, Virginia

49 months ago

First, I am the same mgmbeatle from Seattle earlier in this posting about a year ago. I relocated to Virginia Beach, VA. about 2 months ago.

What I am finding here in the Virginia Beach/Norfolk area is that they can get away paying $2.13hr to tipped employee's. I stayed in catering because I like the creative side of it. I am now starting to rethink this. Yes, I will always like the catering end but it would be extremely difficult to stay in this career choice here.

Checking through different sites for work such as the newspapers, hcareers and other websites like craigslist, etc. I have come to the conclusion I would be extremely lucky to make $10 or more per hour here. I applied with a very well known hotel chain who is internationally known and you would expect to be something a little better. What they were offering was a flat 9.50hr. flat rate. No gratuity/tips.

I just don't get how places like this for instance can screw their employees when say the meal per person was roughly mid-upper 20's on the average. Then they charge a mandatory 20% gratuity charge. Lets say the meal per person is 25.00 X 20% = $5.00. If they had say 150 people they would pay $3750 for food and collect an additional mandatory $750 for a gratuity. That is $4500. Perhaps they charged the client for the use of the room or maybe they waived the room rental, I am not sure. Of course they probably would have had at least 3 to 5 or more servers. Who would never see any part of this $750. I think it is screwed up. I worked for a place in WA. where they would have divided the 750 giving a percentage to servers.
Why should I work hard for 9.50hr when I could do a regular 40 hr. consistent work week making maybe 8 or 9 hr. doing some non thinking, less physical work job?

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Joe in Las Vegas, Nevada

48 months ago

um, i have an interview at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas strip for a banquet server. Now according to majority of the comments here i do believe. I've worked recently worked as Banquet Server for this huge event about Ed Bozarth Chevy dealers. i had a flat rate of $9.00 an hour and thats all i got just the flat rate pay. Not too familiar with banquet serving, most of the time i have been a server for many restaurants. Servers in general put up a lot stress just to make a living, sometimes selling ourselves to give the best quality service to get the best tips. Serving definitely is not an easy job at all. Many servers lose their jobs because of the stress level, especially in Las Vegas. And Baz if it is true that you make 50K at a hotel as a Banquet server, then this interview i have with Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas I definitely have to really try my best and show good impression. But, aside of that yes server takes a lot of knowledge its not easy, i remember when i was a server right when i turned 21 i got paid $2.14 an hour and tips usually maxed out only $40 per night. For the work and constant awareness is definitely not worth it. but for most people they don't have a choice. That's why its considered to be a blue collar job. so it all depends on how you see it.Alot of that speak or commented are the hard workers of restaurant and hotels. you cant simply say we set up stuff and that is nothing. the preparation we do is a lot more then what you think, so in other words dont say get another job unless you have alot of experience in serving or have experience in the food and beverage. I always appreciate my fellow servers and back waiters.

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jp in Clearwater, Florida

43 months ago

Joe in Las Vegas, Nevada said: um, i have an interview at Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas strip for a banquet server. Now according to majority of the comments here i do believe. I've worked recently worked as Banquet Server for this huge event about Ed Bozarth Chevy dealers. i had a flat rate of $9.00 an hour and thats all i got just the flat rate pay. Not too familiar with banquet serving, most of the time i have been a server for many restaurants. Servers in general put up a lot stress just to make a living, sometimes selling ourselves to give the best quality service to get the best tips. Serving definitely is not an easy job at all. Many servers lose their jobs because of the stress level, especially in Las Vegas. And Baz if it is true that you make 50K at a hotel as a Banquet server, then this interview i have with Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas I definitely have to really try my best and show good impression. But, aside of that yes server takes a lot of knowledge its not easy, i remember when i was a server right when i turned 21 i got paid $2.14 an hour and tips usually maxed out only $40 per night. For the work and constant awareness is definitely not worth it. but for most people they don't have a choice. That's why its considered to be a blue collar job. so it all depends on how you see it.Alot of that speak or commented are the hard workers of restaurant and hotels. you cant simply say we set up stuff and that is nothing. the preparation we do is a lot more then what you think, so in other words dont say get another job unless you have alot of experience in serving or have experience in the food and beverage. I always appreciate my fellow servers and back waiters.

if you get into the cosmopolitan as a full time A list banquet server you will be making 100-120k per year

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jp in Clearwater, Florida

43 months ago

if you get fulltime Alist at the cosmopolitan as a banquet server you will be making 100-120k per year

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A-List in North Las Vegas, Nevada

41 months ago

jp in Clearwater, Florida said: if you get fulltime Alist at the cosmopolitan as a banquet server you will be making 100-120k per year

Curt is that you????

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Job in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

38 months ago

I work at a hotel that starts the begginer's wage over the minimum and gives a raise to the worker yearly if you do a good job. I wouldnt mind a better wage since there is such an incosistency of the hours worked weekly. The use of temps seems to be another problem. This creates an issue where the hotel borrows temp workers that they pay a dollar less than ours, and they pay an
added hourly fee to the temp service for each worker added presenting the cost of each borrowed worker a higer amount than our wage. This is irritating becuase instead of just hiring permanent employees and increasing the amount earned biweekly for the permanent employees, they are paying more to rent out employees from temp services. There will still be a need for temp services for major events that hold up to 700 to 1500 people, but the ones below that should be covered by the main crew.

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jffstad@live.com in Washington, District of Columbia

35 months ago

debbie evans said: I work at Old HICKERY GOLF COURSE in st. charles and i only make $10.00 an hour and no gratuities,we set for all sorts of events,fold napkins,polish silverware,lift tables and chairs and etc.i don't get why that pay rate is so low.

Your getting screwed/ In Boston you get hourly plus 15%, prehaps the company is charging the cleint gratuity and management is pocketing it. Very illegal in Mass. Starwood hotels just settled a $10 million dollar lawsuit against them for that reason. Good Luck

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jffstad@live.com in Washington, District of Columbia

35 months ago

mauricee in Mokena, Illinois said: we get 8.75 an hour and not even more than 20Hrs a week with no gratuity at all its BS!!!

quit, your getting screwed by big corp.

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Brian Francis Fenlon in Palm Harbor, Florida

28 months ago

Bomax in Cocoa, Florida said: Debbie, I went to work as a banquet server and left my former job of 24 years because of the Director of Banquets and the reputation that proceeded him. A good Banquet Job revolves around the Director. Service of food requires payment by tipping. The tips are based on a percentage of the contract . If a facility is only paying 10 an hour , you are receiving way below 10 percent of a bill if it were broken down to per person. The hourly amount is not relevant to regular joe smoe jobs. A lot of product is moved in a VERY short amount of time. A server may easily move 8 hours worth of food in 1 1/2 at a banquet. The client pays for that and the servers, stewards managers and so on get normal or less than normal gratuity. The convention company the client uses "Contact" take a large peice as well.

as a former Director of Convention services for a large hotel and resort I must agree that your gratuities percentage is quite low. however, I must admit that I've seen a decline in perks and benefits offered to the service staff now a days than I remember not too many years back. unfortunately, as it becomes the normal way of doing business more and more properties will take on this behavior and end up with an unhappy service staff.

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mizzcbreezy in Orangeburg, South Carolina

28 months ago

ten dollars sounds real good to me as a part time being that I work in retail and only make 7.45 an hr and i started off makin 7.25 after my first year i got a .20 raise..when i was a waitress i made 2.13 and hr plus tips and i did pretty good. I guess it really depends on the area u live in .

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server in Seminole, Florida

22 months ago

Jayradical in Washington, District of Columbia said: I heard you can make $45.00 an hour!!!

Maybe in HI ?
I have worked in the 3 major areas of FL ( lower wages overall) then the Northeast and CA anyway.
and as a banquet server in the good hotels as a leader/full-time server getting the better shifts, as they can vary from less then minimum wage to maybee $45/hr. But the average hourly total tips, grat and cash tips is around $20/hr.
Not bad for no educational requirements and only decent communication skills and a few hours of real hard work.
But nothing great, many of the people I have worked with in this industry should be making double that with their work ethic and skills.

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discouraged in Jackson, Tennessee

21 months ago

I was taught to work hard and quickly and to please my guests. When there is a standard base rate and gratuity share there is little incentive to be as efficient and courteous
as possible. Regardless of how well you perform you receive the same or little more than less experienced co-workers. In Tennessee, twenty years ago I earned a base of $10.00 hourly plus gratuity share. I earned between $12.50 TO $26.50 based on the management of the function. I now earn the flat $10.00. With taxes removed I end up with less than $8.00 hourly to take home. A 40 hour week brings just $320.00. As minimum wage increases and my hourly rate does not. Bringing many like me down to poverty level. I am educated in Food and Beverage Hospitality. I am simply dumbfounded. Working harder than ever to stay in place.

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discouraged in Jackson, Tennessee

21 months ago

Brian Francis Fenlon in Palm Harbor, Florida said: as a former Director of Convention services for a large hotel and resort I must agree that your gratuities percentage is quite low. however, I must admit that I've seen a decline in perks and benefits offered to the service staff now a days than I remember not too many years back. unfortunately, as it becomes the normal way of doing business more and more properties will take on this behavior and end up with an unhappy service staff.

Unhappy staff who will not respect the employers. Have little interest in providing good service and take advantage of those who do. Are we to lower our standards, to give employers what they are paying for?

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Larry in Orlando, Florida

20 months ago

My new book The Banquet Captains Bible has a chapter on gratuity and non-gratuity cities, it is available on Amazon.

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Alexis in Scottsdale, Arizona

14 months ago

Jayradical in Washington, District of Columbia said: I heard you can make $45.00 an hour!!!

I was working at the scottsdlae princess and was consistently making 30-45 + an hour...so I do that that there are jobs put here...other resorts sill pay well but more on the 25/hr rate..I am planning to move to ATL can you please give me advise about which resorts pay at least close to 45/hr. I Sinserly appreciate it!!!

Thank u
Alexis

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Chad in Allen Park, Michigan

14 months ago

I worked at a banquet center as a supervisor and only made a flat hour rate of 9 dollars an hour with no gratuity. I got a job as a banquet sever at a hotel that offered me 3.25 per hour plus guaranteed gratuity that averages 12 dollars an hour. To me, that sounds like a better deal than being in charge of a 300 person wedding for a flat rate of 9, but I am nervous that the gratuity will not live up to the hype. Has anyone else have the issue of not getting paid well from guaranteed gratuity?

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bboards1 in Buffalo, New York

1 month ago

I currently am the Banquet Manager at a 4 star hotel. On all of our banquets there is a 20% gratuity with 4% going to the house and 16% to the servers. They are paid $8-$10 per hour plus their share of the tip pool. It is the rule not the exception that they can earn $1000 or more a week in gratuity's

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