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Thread: Buffet tips

  1. #1
    Senior Member MrFredricksen's Avatar
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    Buffet tips

    What do most people tip their servers at the buffets? Do you tip a normal 20% like you would in a restaurant where they take your order and bring you food, or do you give less since they only take a drink order?

    Family of 4 eating at Chef Mickey, 20% tip comes in at around $40. Seems like a lot for a person that just brings me a glass of orange juice.

    DW and I argue over this all the time. Looking for what others do.
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  2. #2
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    20% pre-tax, a bit more, or round up, if the service was exceptional.
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    Senior Member mgarbowski's Avatar
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    Every thread on this topic becomes contentious. I think it is fair to say there is no consensus.
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    It is alot. Too much if that's all they did. If service is good i overtip. But if "service" is just walking to your table and bring you juice then 20% is completely out of line.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member nolarookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgarbowski View Post
    Every thread on this topic becomes contentious. I think it is fair to say there is no consensus.
    I agree. Also, happy wife=happy life
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  6. #6
    he's right
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    I follow Miss Manners’ advice: tipping is based on the social contract, independent of service style. So I tip at he same rate in all TS locations.

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    Our default is 20% at WDW because service is usually very good - refilling drinks as soon as they are empty and removing the many plates no longer used. Occasionally, it is subpar. If we're paying attention, tip will be reduced.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Anne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnoble View Post
    I follow Miss Manners’ advice: tipping is based on the social contract, independent of service style. So I tip at he same rate in all TS locations.
    This.

    Having waited tables while in school, I'd much rather work standard TS over a buffet. There is just as much "work" (or more) for the server at a buffet. Clearing plate after plate, refilling drinks. There are other "backstage" duties (like restocking, cleaning) that are essentially unpaid becaue the hourly pay from the employer is negligible for tipped positions. Watch your servers at a buffet, then watch your servers at a signature. Who is hustling the most? Count the number of times the server comes to your table. Often the buffet server ends up making more trips than at a standard TS.

    I dislike the construct of tipping and wish wait staff were paid a fair hourly wage and the cost of service was rolled into the menu prices. But until that happens, I feel an obligation to pay for my servers time, since the employer does not.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nolarookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne View Post
    This.

    Having waited tables while in school, I'd much rather work standard TS over a buffet. There is just as much "work" (or more) for the server at a buffet. Clearing plate after plate, refilling drinks. There are other "backstage" duties (like restocking, cleaning) that are essentially unpaid becaue the hourly pay from the employer is negligible for tipped positions. Watch your servers at a buffet, then watch your servers at a signature. Who is hustling the most? Count the number of times the server comes to your table. Often the buffet server ends up making more trips than at a standard TS.

    I dislike the construct of tipping and wish wait staff were paid a fair hourly wage and the cost of service was rolled into the menu prices. But until that happens, I feel an obligation to pay for my servers time, since the employer does not.
    This is so true. I worked at a restaurant in high school that had a “super-bar” and the tipping was pitiful. Of course the waitstaff made about 1/2 of minimum wage, but they definitely had the hardest jobs in the joint.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    20% pre-tax, a bit more, or round up, if the service was exceptional.
    This. It shouldn't even be an issue/question.
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  11. #11
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    I was hoping this thread would be more like "don't fill up on the rolls" or "the Boma Pecan Praline sauce goes great on everything."
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  12. #12
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DopeyRunr View Post
    I was hoping this thread would be more like "don't fill up on the rolls" or "the Boma Pecan Praline sauce goes great on everything."
    My buffet tip is, “Don’t do it!” Fingered food, eating out of a public trough. Nope, not for me.

    And what’s African about Pecan Praline sauce? I suppose it doesn’t matter if it’s that good. But still.
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  13. #13
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    And what’s African about Pecan Praline sauce? I suppose it doesn’t matter if it’s that good. But still.
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  14. #14
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DopeyRunr View Post
    "Under thatched roofs, savor vibrant flavors from over 50 African countries—along with favorite American classics."
    And not in that order!
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  15. #15
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    Having been in food service myself, I agree with everything this board says. We always tip 20% pre-tax, rounded to nearest dollar. Server rudeness is the only reason we'd bring that percentage down.

    You'd be surprised the responsibilities possible for servers: stocking food, preparing food, dishes and drying, cleaning refrigerators/furniture/stations/menus/etc. There's many behind scenes possible along with many untipped hours getting those done.

    If it was an easy job that regularly paid over $20/hr, everybody would be running to do it and they're not.
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    Most people would be appalled to find out that in many places servers are preparing a certain portion of the dishes, and often without gloves. Sorry if I just shattered anybody's appetite but it is one of the accepted illegal things in the industry. Inspectors come, employees make believe they always use glove, inspector leaves and it's back to business as usual per upper management. Make sure your server looks clean :D
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  17. #17
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeyHeather View Post
    Most people would be appalled to find out that in many places servers are preparing a certain portion of the dishes, and often without gloves. Sorry if I just shattered anybody's appetite but it is one of the accepted illegal things in the industry. Inspectors come, employees make believe they always use glove, inspector leaves and it's back to business as usual per upper management. Make sure your server looks clean :D
    Gloves are overrated, and wearing them offers no guarantee of cleanliness. It’s just as easy to stick your finger somewhere whether you’re wearing gloves or not, if you catch my drift.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member RMmom's Avatar
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    I have witnessed people with cuts on their hands (open wounds) serving and preparing food....so sometimes gloves aren't overrated.
    I have also seen people with gloves on rub all over their face and then go right back into serving and preparing food.

    If you haven't prepared the food yourself from start to finish...chances are likely that it is contaminated in some fashion.
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  19. #19
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    I guess I am the old fart holdout in this one. When I started eating out, accepted tip was 10%. I don't normally tip 20% at a regular restaurant, I tip somewhere between 15% and 18%, unless the service was excellent. Then I'll tip 20% or more.

    At Disney, the prices for all the food is SUPER overinflated in the first place, to help pay for all the theme parks. I have heard that a server at CP or the other big, busy buffet's are clearing 6 figures each year.

    I tip 15% at Disney buffet's, because I am already paying over the standard amount for substandard food, so I figure the server is still making a better tip from me that any server outside of the Disney bubble would on any given day. At the TS restaurants like HDDR, or even Prime Time Cafe, I'll tip a full 20% to honor the fact that my waiter is also an actor for my enjoyment.
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  20. #20
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThemeParkCommando View Post
    I guess I am the old fart holdout in this one. When I started eating out, accepted tip was 10%. I don't normally tip 20% at a regular restaurant, I tip somewhere between 15% and 18%, unless the service was excellent. Then I'll tip 20% or more.

    At Disney, the prices for all the food is SUPER overinflated in the first place, to help pay for all the theme parks. I have heard that a server at CP or the other big, busy buffet's are clearing 6 figures each year.

    I tip 15% at Disney buffet's, because I am already paying over the standard amount for substandard food, so I figure the server is still making a better tip from me that any server outside of the Disney bubble would on any given day. At the TS restaurants like HDDR, or even Prime Time Cafe, I'll tip a full 20% to honor the fact that my waiter is also an actor for my enjoyment.
    So, if you were a server at a place with “inflated” prices, you’d be OK with only making 2/3 of the socially-accepted norm, whatever that might be? Is there a reason why someone who can pay $50 for a mediocre buffet shouldn’t also tip accordingly? Or is it the server’s responsibility to defray that expense?

    I realize that OP simply asked what other people do, but the logic sometimes baffles me.

    PS: Tip is included in HDDR rates.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member MrFredricksen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    So, if you were a server at a place with “inflated” prices, you’d be OK with only making 2/3 of the socially-accepted norm, whatever that might be? Is there a reason why someone who can pay $50 for a mediocre buffet shouldn’t also tip accordingly? Or is it the server’s responsibility to defray that expense?

    I realize that OP simply asked what other people do, but the logic sometimes baffles me.

    PS: Tip is included in HDDR rates.
    I never understood why the tip was a percentage of the price of the food. If I am at a restaurant and I order a burger for $10 and the person at the next table orders the fish special for $30, why does that person have to tip the same server 3 times what I am tipping? Does the server work harder or differently depending on the cost of each item ordered? Tip should be a flat rate per person.
    Do you tip house keeping? We tip $1 per person per day (because we are 4 people I actually tip $5). Each day I leave out out $5 for the person cleaning the room that day. Should I tip differently if I am in a standard room or one with a water view? The rooms are the same size. The work is the same, but the cost per night is more expensive.
    A cold and rainy day at WDW is still better than a day at work.

  22. #22
    wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tagline George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFredricksen View Post
    I never understood why the tip was a percentage of the price of the food. If I am at a restaurant and I order a burger for $10 and the person at the next table orders the fish special for $30, why does that person have to tip the same server 3 times what I am tipping? Does the server work harder or differently depending on the cost of each item ordered? Tip should be a flat rate per person.
    Do you tip house keeping? We tip $1 per person per day (because we are 4 people I actually tip $5). Each day I leave out out $5 for the person cleaning the room that day. Should I tip differently if I am in a standard room or one with a water view? The rooms are the same size. The work is the same, but the cost per night is more expensive.
    It sucks that there’s not much clear logic behind it. Nevertheless, that’s what etiquette and social norms dictate.
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  23. #23
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Tipping threads usually make me angry at people.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    20% pre-tax, a bit more, or round up, if the service was exceptional.
    This.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DopeyRunr View Post
    Tipping threads usually make me angry at people.
    And this.

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