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Dining Discuss Tipping for Buffets in the Vacation Planning forums; I tried to find a topic on this in this forum but couldn't find one, so here is my question: We are going to Disney World tomorrow and have a ...
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    Spodie's Avatar
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    Tipping for Buffets

    I tried to find a topic on this in this forum but couldn't find one, so here is my question: We are going to Disney World tomorrow and have a reservation for Chef Mickey's. I have dined there and at several other buffets at WDW, but when it comes time to leave a tip, we have no clue what to give our server. There is the suggested gratuity written down, but I just can't see tipping $25 for someone who only clears our plates and refills our drinks. Now don't get me wrong - I will gladly tip upwards of 25-30% for excellent service at other table service restaurants where the server is taking our order and catering to us a little more, and never have tipped lower than the suggested 18% when the check arrives. I was just wondering what you guys thought when it came to tipping at buffet where you do much of the work.
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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    I can only speak for what we do. We do not tip based on whether it's a buffet or if the server is bringing us our food. We tip based solely on the attentiveness and friendliness of the server. One major thing with my hubby....if you keep his tea glass filled without him asking, you will for certain be rewarded generously!

    While at WDW we generally tip 25-30% for any and all table service meals, although we've been known to leave more for exceptional service.

    Have fun at Chef Mickey's! We just ate there a couple weeks ago and were lucky enough to be seated in the new section from the remodel. The natural lighting is great and I was able to take the best pictures ever while dining there!

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    I've heard that between 10% and 15% is the going rate.
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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    oops
    Last edited by Disney05; 09-16-2009 at 01:22 PM.

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    Just got back. 10% is fine. Disneydreamer98 is right though. We were there the same time and the servers were all very good. Although we don't tip as high as her, props to you , we do stick to the traditional 18%-20%. Even the wait staff at the buffets were all very good.
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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    Personally, and speaking about buffets in general (we tend not to eat at Disney very often) we treat the base tip (corresponding to 15% for full service) as 10%. Better servers get more.

    For example if we get the type of service that would prompt us to tip 20% if it was table service, then we'd probably tip 15%.

    I did once look for guidelines on tipping at buffets, but couldn't find any, so we just decided on our own that this was appropriate, based on the fact that the server has less to do for each table, and can therefore handle more tables without doing any more work, and should thus expect a smaller tip from each table.

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    I start at 25% and slide up or down depending on service. If they are really good, I go higher, if I have to request refills, or the same conidment more then twice I drop it a bit. BUT, even at a buffett I never leave less then $15.00 because those people are paid less per hour and rely on tips to make their paycheck. Since I have seen plenty of folks leave NO tip, I try to help offset that some.

    I think 15-20% of the tab is standard if you want a formula. That is what the girls at Ryans request.
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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    WDW Today had a very good show about this recently.

    For buffetts I always remember that the server gets the same below minimum wage pay as regular waiters, and buffets tend to have slower turnover. If they do a good job, I give about 18%

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    We've had both good and bad service at CM's. We had their dinner once and had 6 people in our party so we were charged 18%. It was difficult to pay since that particular time the service wasn't so great, we had to track her down for drink refills and waited forever for our check.

    Other times the wait staff has was excellent and I willingly paid 18% which I think is more than generous for drinks and plates. While guest linger longer, they also have more tables so it equals out pretty much.

    Have a great vacation.

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    The recommended amount for buffets in general is 10%, but we generally leave 20% at WDW if the server remembers to re-fill drinks and clear plates. This has not always been the case at H&V. Two years in a row we had the same server and both times we only saw her when we were seated and when she prught the check. The plates were left for the busboy after we were done and we had to re-fill our own drinks. That was not thte norm at other buffets.

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    General guidelines...
    Buffet: 10-15%
    Regular Sit Down: 15-20%

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    OK now my question is do you tip on the tax? Do you tip on the total bill or do you tip before the tax is added. I just tip the whole bill but I've had many people tell me otherwise.
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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    Quote Originally Posted by GIOny View Post
    OK now my question is do you tip on the tax? Do you tip on the total bill or do you tip before the tax is added. I just tip the whole bill but I've had many people tell me otherwise.
    Tip pre-tax.

    I usually tip on the post-tax just because it's the number that jumps out at me. But when I pay, it's usually just for myself or myself +1, so that tax amount usually isn't huge. But technically speaking, if you want the guideline, it's pre-tax.

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    Quote Originally Posted by GIOny View Post
    OK now my question is do you tip on the tax? Do you tip on the total bill or do you tip before the tax is added. I just tip the whole bill but I've had many people tell me otherwise.
    Something else to remember is that in all cases, tips are supposed to be computed based on the original bill before any discounts. I don't know how much of an issue it is at WDW, since most of the few discount programs I'm aware of include the tip automatically. But I've seen people get $30 of food for $10 after coupons or other discounts and only tip two bucks.

    I'm a bit of a bargain hunter, so there have been times when my tip was more than the cost of my meal (but again, not at WDW).

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    Re: Tipping for Buffets

    That's an excellent point tizzo!

    How you could translate that to WDW (albeit far fetched!) is that if you're on the DDP and order apps, you don't just tip on the apps you order, you tip on the entire cost of your meal. Or if you use the $15 cpn at Planet Hollywood, you tip the amount of the meal pre-coupon.

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