Tasting Menu

Joined Oct 6, 2015
The question has arrived will I do tasting menu for groups of 6-12 people at the chefs table. I reccomended it, i agree to it, I think it's a great idea, we have the space and I love doing that sort of thing for special groups.. The question is GRATUTITY, I believe if I make a customized off menu 4-however many course tasting menu I deserve 1/2 the tips considering I'll be describing what's in the plate to the patrons and it's a lot of extra effort for me to make this happen (as you all know how much spare time us chefs have on our hands) In the past this is how a former restaurant I was chef for did the tasting table 1/2 the tips. What does everyone else's think is fair? Honestly have you ever done this and what percentage of top did you gain?
Joined Sep 5, 2012
I'm not sure where you're located but in most, if not all of the USA a non traditional tipped employee can't share in any tips.

When I had a chef table in my kitchen at the country club I considered it a honor to do the menus and to be honest it was a ton of fun.

The service staff should be doing all the presentation.

Do the tasting menus, make a name for your self, and leave tips to the service staff. Your financial reward comes later when you can demand much more than a server could ever make.
Joined May 7, 2012
Ate you going to be doing all the cooking as well? As a line cook I would see you as greedy if you made me cook food and then took the tips for it.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
In my neck of the woods, Chefs Table, Tasting Menus, etc. are usually a group of people who somewhat understand food. (Foodies). Usually the bill will require a percentage tip for that number of people.  The group will usually decide to tip the FOH above percentage if they had great service, and they will also decide to tip the BOH if they had a great menu and food.

I would never consider dividing tips unless the FOH provided only beverage and the BOH took care of service which is pretty popular here. Usually there is one back waiter for removal and a Sommelier for pairings and pouring . The food is plated and served by the Chefs. The group will leave two tips on the bill. It's that way because cash is not popular here. Someone usually throws the plastic.
Joined Oct 31, 2012
Forget the tips. A good waitstaff who supports your efforts deserves the tips. Everything you describe having to do is part and parcel of the tasting menu concept. As Lagom points out, this should be a lot of fun and a welcome break from your standard activities. Don't create an issue where there isn't one. 


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
As Lagom pointed out, in many parts of the US there are laws forbidding managers (that usually includes chefs) from requiring that tipped employees share their tips with them.

And as others have stated, why bother?  Your "tip" is the fact that you get to do something fun and outside of what you normally serve.  When I've been in that situation, where the table wants to tip me, as well as the waitstaff I always decline, but tell them that if they would like to buy my cooks a round of drinks after their shift that would be much appreciated (and yes I know that there can be issues with that also).  The point being that my staff deserves the "little extra" not me.

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