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Thread: Spinoff--Meal Plan Tipping

  1. #1
    Netflix queue currently at 3,912 - all Disney related LizD's Avatar
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    Spinoff--Meal Plan Tipping

    After reading Ellie's post about the value of the Dining Plan I wonder if we could talk tipping; especially in regards to eating at buffets. waltdisneyworld.com recommends a tip of 18% for all types of meals. We rarely eat out, but when we do I would say that we tip on the higher side. But at a buffet if the server merely fills drink orders and clears plates is 18% [I]of an $150 bill[I] truly appropriate? I surely wouldn't want to stiff a server but it's not like it's just a few bucks here. What type of a tip do you guys typically leave at a Disney buffet?

    One thought--do the servers have to share their tips with the costumed actors and that is why Disney suggests tipping on the higher side?

  2. #2
    THE RULES!!! vicki_c's Avatar
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    I tip the same at a buffet as any other table service restaurant, minimally 18% these days for good service, 20% for better. We generally don't tip 15% anymore. Perhaps as we get older and have more disposable income (not a lot, but definitely more than in our younger years) and we have more appreciation and recognition for what a tough job serving is.

    I don't believe how much the bill is is relevant. Tipping is just something that is factored into our budget in advance. If we couldn't afford the tips, I would not book table service restaurants.
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    this site is awesome. i've never visited, but i love josh. Janine's Avatar
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    You are right though, I think technically the rule is that you can tip a lower % for buffets, but I never do. I end up tipping the same (~20%) regardless.
    Janine




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    Karen DizDragonfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vicki_c View Post
    I tip the same at a buffet as any other table service restaurant, minimally 18% these days for good service, 20% for better. We generally don't tip 15% anymore. Perhaps as we get older and have more disposable income (not a lot, but definitely more than in our younger years) and we have more appreciation and recognition for what a tough job serving is.
    We do the same. I've been told that 20% is the new "standard". But, I'm not convinced by that. Service has to be really good for me to tip 20%. We usually tip 18% standard (unless service is not good at all).

    With the buffets, we find that as long as they keep our drinks full and our dirty plates cleared, that's service enough to earn the 18%+. We're always soooooo thirsty in Orlando. We tend to tell servers to bring us a double to start. That first drink goes down fast. How thirsty you may ask ...



    And that was _after_ he drank a regular large iced tea.
    (Just) Karen

  5. #5
    does judge lisapennie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    You are right though, I think technically the rule is that you can tip a lower % for buffets, but I never do. I end up tipping the same (~20%) regardless.
    It depends on the type of buffet. For example - typical Vegas buffet, you see the server once, the plates stack up on the table, and you might be able to flag the server down for a drink refill? I'm not tipping what I normally tip.

    At a Disney buffet, however, the servers typically work much harder than those at most buffets. Very regular drink refills (often without asking), plates are cleared before you get back with a new one (more often than not - and they often apologize if they didn't get to it before you get back), and the sort of friendly service you don't see most other places. Of course, I have a soft spot in my heart after a server at Crystal Palace proceeded to get our entire section of the restaurant to sing Happy Birthday to me - but I'm typically impressed with the service at the Disney buffets (and restaurants in general).
    Lisa






  6. #6
    tests unsafe roller coasts in china blyday's Avatar
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    We don't usually have a choice as we travel in larger groups (at least 7 people!!) however, I would also tip the full 18% at Disney Buffets. I'm not sure where I read this but I do remember reading once that tips are shared with other employees so it is appropriate to tip the full 18%. I have to admit that when it comes to clearing off the tables and refilling drinks......the CMs at the buffets are second to none!!! I honestly feel as if I get better service from buffets in that regard then at regular restaurants. The first time I had to pay the full 18% tip, I felt that it wasn't fair that it was forced on me at buffets but after actually seeing all that they really do an how hard they really work.....I'm good with tipping the full amount and sometimes will add on a little extra!!!
    Brenda

  7. #7
    Certified Disney Addict. No Really, She Has The Paperwork joy4tigger's Avatar
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    I also tip between 18 and 20% overall and at least 18% for buffets. I find most buffet servers work hard to please me by bringing drinks and refilling them, keeping the table clean and promptly bringing my bill when asked.
    Joy

  8. #8
    waiting for a street car
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    We usually tip 18-20% as well for very good service..... more for smaller meals as I believe there should be a minimum dollar amount for servers if you're being served at a table. I did put in 15% 'base' amount for my calculations in the other post originally.
    Last edited by ellie; 03-08-2011 at 09:23 AM.

  9. #9
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    I tip depending on the level of service. However, I can agree that you can get excellent service at a buffet. Our last trip in '06 we were on the dining plan (tips included at the time). My kids and I ate at Chef Mickey's for dinner. That waiter was the best I have ever had anywhere. My drinks were refilled before I even noticed that they were empty. He was very attentive in a number of ways. So in addition to the tip that was included, we tipped extra - I left money and DS and DD (9 and 12 at the time) took money out of their own pocket and left it for him too. We had eaten at a number of restaurants during that trip, some signature. We also wrote a letter when we got home.

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