Starting a catering program and wondering how much tip to expect for your delivery drivers? I wish I could say a ton but that is not always the case!
A lot of companies pay their employees assuming they will get tips, there is actually a separate tipped federal minimum wage that you can pay your staff as long as their tips bring them over minimum wage. We have never done this so our employees never expect tips but are always appreciative.
Tipping has been in the news recently and for good reason. It can bring out the green monster in some of your best employees.
Do catering delivery drivers get tips on every delivery?
Unfortunately, the answer to this is no, your delivery drivers will not get a tip on every order. That is why we like to pay them above minimum wage so they don’t have to worry about it and they are happy to provide superior customer service.
Some government entities are less likely to tip we have found in our experience. For example, we do a lot of deliveries to two local colleges in town and they hardly ever tip.
On the other hand some other industries are known for tipping like banks, especially credit unions. One of our largest customers uses us to serve all the local public schools in a two week span and they tip 20% on over $60,000 in catering sales!
It is a hard two weeks but knowing that tip is coming provides motivation for the staff to push through.
Should you included the tip on your catering invoice?
I would not recommend including a tip on your catering invoice for simple deliveries however, you will see some companies doing it or calling it a service charge. I guess this is a personal preference all though you might offend some customers.
We always felt like a tip should be given if the customer feels it is earned. So for simple deliveries we do not do this.
However, after doing a few large weddings that we know we rocked the service and not getting tips, we decided to increase our service charge and share part of that with the staff. Weddings can be long days, over 15 hours sometimes so this built-in tip helps us recruit staff knowing they have a long day in front of them.
Should they share with the rest of the staff (tip pooling)?
This is where things can really get tricky. We always encourage our catering delivery drivers to share with the staff who may have assisted in putting their order together.
Think about it if you put together an order for a delivery driver who just had to show up and take the food somewhere then didn’t share their tip with you, are you going to feel some kind of resentment or not be so quick to put their next order together? Probably not.
The employees that excel in our company understand this and break everyone involved a piece of the tip, even if it is just a few bucks. It makes their job easier and keeps everyone happy.
Tips, especially for catering delivery drivers can be tricky situations. Unless you have a defied tip sharing program, you as management are really not supposed to get involved.
If it becomes an issue you can always go to a tip pooling program there is just more paper work to fill out for the government which is why we stay away from that.