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Giving Tips to Waiters

Shalom. I am making a bar mitzvah in a hotel in Jerusalem. Most of the waiters are not Jewish. Would you advise me to tip or not? If I should, what would you recommend as a proper amount? Also, if I should tip, should I give each waiter individually, or should I give the event planner from the hotel money to distribute to the waiters and kitchen staff, bearing in mind that I have no idea as to whether or not the event planner from the hotel is honest? Bracha v Hatzlocha, Shimshon Krell.


Tips are considered part of the payment for the service one receives, and there is no problem in paying tips, even for non-Jewish staff. See Sefer Lo Techanem (Rosner), p. 15 (2:6), who writes that it is better to arrange the tip before the event, so that one receives “better service” in exchange for the tip.

See also Be’er Moshe (3:117) who permits giving tips (to taxi drivers) for a different reason (of making a bad impression and causing potential damage for future customers).

It is hard to comment on the proper amount, because this really depends on the type and style of caterer taken, and the jobs involved.

I think it is fairly common to give the tip to the head waiter to divide among his staff, and you can consult him as to the amount.

Mazal Tov, and best wishes.

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