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* What kind of tips should I expect from a cook session or event?


It's a common question, "What kind of tips should I expect following a meal prep session or dinner party?"


A seasoned business owner knows that tips are not always part of offering a service. There are those who offer generous tips and there are those who are loyal customers, but never ever give monetary tips.


The reality is that just because your client appears to have money to spend doesn't mean you're going to receive a tip. As a business owner, you must come to this understanding quickly or you'll begin resenting your clients, which may result in the downfall of your business.


If you're going into a job expecting a tip, you're setting yourself up for potential disappointment.


You're in the service industry, therefore offering a service in exchange for money. Going into the job, your client is already aware of how much your service costs, so if you feel you deserve more, you should charge a higher service fee.


Offering to perform additional services during the event does not always mean the client translates that into offering a tip. 


Meal Prep Services: I can share with you that in the history of the thousands of meal prep sessions I've performed, there has been maybe two families ever that left a tip at the end of meal prep service. Even if the person I cooked for was given a gift certificate, there was no tip offered at their one-time meal prep. 


Private Events: When you go out to dinner, you may leave the server a 15-25% tip, but in the world of private dinners, the tips are often lower.

  • My experience is that my regular clients, meaning those that I do meal prep for weekly, pay exactly the cost of the private event quoted to them, often never adding in a tip.
  • If someone who is not my regular client hires me for a private event, there is usually a tip, but more likely in the 10-15% range.
  • Of course there is the occasional super tipper that gives an awesome 50% tip, but it's a rarity and often occurs around the December holiday.


In summary, you should be charging clients what you feel your services are worth and if a tip emerges, bonus. Acting otherwise could be setting yourself up for disappointment.


Remember, your goal is to build a business you love and work with clients you enjoy. Approaching a job like you "deserve" a tip is a red flag that you're either undercharging or you're in the wrong business.


Do you agree?



Best Wishes & Much Success to You, Virginia Stockwell

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