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May 9, 2008 07:41 PM

Tipping at a Tea Service

I am going to attend tea at the Four Seasons Hotel next week. Should we tip the normal 20% if the service is good or more if it is fantastic? The waiter will serve tea and leave the finger sandwiches & pastries on the middle of the table. I wasn't sure what the proper thing is but I always lean towards leaving a generous tip. Thanks!

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  1. Yes and Yes, maybe... Are you orgainizing the tea? Is it a small or large group? Many places have a policy for adding gratuity onto the bill if it is a group. I had never been to a Tea Service before and was invited to a "Bridal Shower" tea. The group consisted of mainly bartender ladies and relatives of the bride to be. Many of us had never been to a Tea Room and were looking around to see what the others were doing. Our "server" did a great job, we had a lot of fun, the sandwiches were great. Another woman was there to read people's tea leaves. It was cool. This is how we worked out the bill: The woman who arranged the Tea Service added a 20% gratuity (I think the Tea House added 15% to the bill and we bumped it up to 20%) divided the bill by the number of guests minus the Bride and the two Mums. Some of us kicked in more for a larger tip.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hot breath

      I'd tip 15-20%. If the server simply brings the tea, and leaves a big stand of food, and doesn't return, then 15% is suffiicient. If the server refills your teapots, and/or brings water, and refills your tray, then I'd tip 20%. Watch the other tables; if this is an assembly line process, then there's no need to tip excessively.

    2. Same as in any restaurant. 20% for good competent service, 15% for barely adequate service, and 25% if the server goes out of his/her way and is especially helpful and attentive.