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Dec 20, 2009 07:31 AM

Do I tip for a cooking class?

My husband and I will be taking a cooking class put on by the chef/owner of a local restaurant. I have never been to a cooking class before and don't know if I should include a gratuity on top of the class fee. Assuming that is the case, what is an appropriate amount?

The class is $175 per couple and includes wine with the food we prepare.

Any guidance is appreciated.

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  1. When we give cooking classes at our restaurant, the guests eat the food they prepare, and they're also served other dishes that have some relation to what the topic is. Wine is ordered separately.

    Our servers set the tables, bring the ingredients/other dishes, serve the wine and clean up. I think they ought to be tipped on the estimated value of the food/wine (one shouldn't have to tip on the cost of the instructor). For a $65 cooking class at our place, with 2 $7.50 glasses of wine, I recommend to the guests who ask me that they tip what they would on the wine plus $25 for the meal (total $40.00).

    In the OP's situation, I'd tip on an estimated total of the wine and the food consumed. I'd hazard a guess that servers will be used to bring dishes/wine etc. Now, if there're no servers to be seen -- and you help yourself to the wine -- then no gratuity is necessary.

    1. My guess is you are going to receive more nays than yeas on this one because you have identified the first inclination is to say yes if you want to do so...., but if it were me, I would l reserve my decision based on whether I enjoyed the class or not in conjunction with (shagao)'s advice.

      $20 is plenty for a couple as a gesture......this is not a dinner out.

      2 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        I just noticed that I need to make myself very clear. I would not tip the instructor at all. They get plenty of $$ for doing what they do. Any gratuity I'd give would be clearly intended for the servers/bartender.

        1. re: shaogo

          Plus one in the nay column..... a spirited debate which may or may not help you:

      2. Not as a rule...the restaurant I worked at has cooking classes all the time...the chef (instructor) sets up the room and cleans up the room..he's already charging for his services and his food & wine so personally I would not...but feel free if that's your inclination

        1. If there are no other service personal involved and it is just the class and the instructor than tipping is not required, however most will gladly take it. When I conduct classes I put very clearly that TIPS are not accepted OR tell people that it is customary to tip the wait staff that will be serving them through the dining portion of the meal and then give an amount to tip off of like shaogo suggests. I find it better to be upfront with the people rather than keeping them guessing. You might want to suggest this to whomever is running the class.

          So it all boils down to if wait staff are involved, if they are then it is customary to tip them but not the instructor.

          Just wondering $175 per couple seems high unless you are doing multiple courses with expensive ingredients and wines or is this just a regional pricing deal.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RetiredChef

            Yes, we will be cooking multiple proteins and utilizing more expensive ingredients (locally raised organic meats, etc.). The price also includes a full meal with wine at the end of the class and we'll be sent home with left overs.

          2. Personally I think this tipping thing has gone way out of hand. Would you feel the need to tip the instructor if you were taking this cooking class at a local community college? How about the lab assistant who set up the class at the college? I tip servers at restaurants, because that is the expected behavior and the IRS assumes that servers receive tips and tax them accordingly.