Should You Include a Tip in Your Contract?

February 18, 2017 by Jason Rubio

In today’s public and private event services industry, contracts are a must. Contracts should cover your needs and expectations, as well as what you agree to provide with your services. All the important terms must be included, such as: when payment is due, inclement weather procedures (including extreme temperatures), cost for services, and anything else that is important to you and your clients. One thing we’ve been asked about by clients, is tipping.

Your tipping policy is completely up to you, but in my opinion, vendors should not require a tip. We’re all used to the mandatory tipping procedures at restaurants, when you have a large group or party, and even then, is it really necessary to include a 25% mandatory tip for the waitstaff for doing what they’re hired to do? I say this because I was in the service industry, as a bartender and I also waited tables, as needed. My job didn’t get any easier or harder having a group of 15 at one table, versus 5 tables with 3 people each. All in all, it was still 15 people I had to serve meals and drinks to (I even had to make their drinks, since it was a smaller bar/restaurant). I’m sure I’m the only one in the service industry with this opinion. 🙂 Back to tipping in the private event industry.

Our policy is that we do not include a tip in our contract. We set our prices at rates we’re happy with, with or without a tip. If you want to earn an extra 20%, build it into your price. Clients will be much happier if you don’t require a tip and they won’t know if you already included it in your pricing. We’ve spoken to several clients who were very unhappy being required to tip, on top of paying a high price to their vendors. I completely understand that vendors hire people to do the events and the tip is an extra incentive that usually goes directly to the staff working the event, but again, why not build it into the price and pay the staff that extra that they would make? Companies who look out for their employees will have happier employees. We offer the highest hourly rate in the Austin and central Texas area for our DJ & photo booth staff. Happy staff means they’ll do a great job with or without a tip, which also means happy clients!

Jason Rubio Jason Rubio (84 Posts)

Jason Rubio is the co-owner and founder of Austin’s Best DJs, a professional DJ & photo booth company that provides music and entertainment for hundreds of weddings and events in the Austin and central Texas area. Jason started his DJ career as a mobile DJ, at age 13, and has since DJ’ed thousands of events, providing music and entertainment for clubs, bars, radio, concerts, festivals and various other events. In addition to writing for Mobile Beat, Jason also writes “The DJ Insider,” and has been featured in Canadian Special Events Magazine, Wedding Planner Magazine, and numerous other sites and publications. Jason is also a graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education, as well as a Master’s of Public Administration, from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Contact Jason Rubio at

Filed Under: DJing Weddings, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Sales & Marketing, Photo Booth Tips