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crazysheli
07-09-2009, 01:22 PM
We have the Deluxe Dining Plan and while we are bummed that gratuity is no longer included like it was 7 years ago when we went and had the DDP we realize they have to do what they have to do. So while trying to make sure we bring enough cash we wonder if we need to tip at buffet meals since we really have no idea because last time it was all included. TIA!

danyoung
07-09-2009, 01:42 PM
I think the standard at buffets is 10%. They'll bring you drinks, but of course you have to get your own food. If they're keeping your glasses full, then I think 10% is fine.

bennette
07-09-2009, 01:48 PM
Yes, tipping at buffets is standard here. If you watch your server, you will notice that while she or he may not spend as much time with you, they are still working their little tushes off and they rely on their tips for income like any other wait person.

We do tip less than we do for full table service, depending on the level of service we get. Ten percent is would be the low mark for us but we tend to ask for special accommodations due to special food needs.

Enjoy your trip. :)

DVCmom
07-09-2009, 01:55 PM
We always have left 18% like on the bill at a buffet. We leave 20% at TS. Are we the only ones?

dahunter1129
07-09-2009, 03:20 PM
We would really need to be floored by awesome service to leave 18% at a buffet. We leave 10% for adequate, and 15% for good. We left 20% once,at CP, because our CM went way over the top for DS's birthday.

jsilkey
07-09-2009, 03:46 PM
Do you get to choose the amount you will pay with the dining plan (standard and deluxe?) for tips?

Is it a blank line on the bill like at a standard (non-Disney) restaurant? Are buffets different than TS in how you tip?

mom22gls
07-09-2009, 05:32 PM
At buffets, the server will, probably visit your table just as often as they would for a table service meal. Not only do they bring you drinks, and refill them as needed, but they also clear off the dirty dishes periodically. I can't think of any time I went to a buffet meal where the server did not stop at our table at least 3-4 times. They may also be busy with related duties, like replenishing clean dishes, possibly even helping replenishing food at the buffet. I tip the same as I do for any other TS meal.

TinaMouse
07-09-2009, 07:18 PM
We always have left 18% like on the bill at a buffet. We leave 20% at TS. Are we the only ones?

Nope--that's my standard too.

mom22gls
07-10-2009, 06:36 AM
Out of curiousity, I googled the issue. The consensus from several sources, including Emily Post, is about 10% for a buffet.

danyoung
07-10-2009, 06:42 AM
Whatdya know - I was right!

Seriously, I consider myself a great tipper, but I don't like to tip too much for any given situation. Buffet servers only serve drinks, and have many more tables to serve than a traditional waitperson. So even with only a 10% tip from each table, their tips still come out on the same level as a waitperson.

And I have to say that my experience is totally counter to mom's above. At most buffets the waiter will bring me my drinks and then that's the last I'll see of him, unless I flag him down. I don't really mind that, as it's the nature of buffets.

DVCmom
07-10-2009, 07:07 AM
WOW!!! So our servers REALLY like us huh? On a different note...what do you consider "family style" meals then? Again, we have left the 20% always.

GusMan
07-10-2009, 07:21 AM
Do you get to choose the amount you will pay with the dining plan (standard and deluxe?) for tips?
Is it a blank line on the bill like at a standard (non-Disney) restaurant? Are buffets different than TS in how you tip?
Yes, you get to choose what to leave as a tip, and they do have suggested amounts printed on the check. I think that if you have a party of 6 or more, they still auto-add an 18% tip for you.

Personally, I think 18% is a good tipping gesture if the CM is on their toes and really treats you right. 15% for average, and 20+% for above and beyond are also pretty typical. Personally, I think 10% is saved for those times and places where you pretty much never see anyone during your meal, which I think is pretty rare at Disney.

Just remember that these are suggestions. There have been many discussions about what is a proper tip for the service you get and to be honest, I dont think there is any right answer - just individual opinions.

danyoung
07-10-2009, 07:29 AM
On a different note...what do you consider "family style" meals then? Again, we have left the 20% always.

Well, I'm far from the authority on this. But I look at family style, where they serve your meals in central containers like a skillet of meat and a pan of potatoes, as a full service restaurant. The waitperson is bringing your food to you, even though it's to the whole table at once. As such, they'd be due the larger, 18% & up tip.

And I agree with GusMan's assessment of tipping levels, except for buffet service, where they're only bringing drinks and not handling any food, or even doing any billing. In that case, 10% is fine, IMO.

mom22gls
07-10-2009, 07:31 AM
WOW!!! So our servers REALLY like us huh? On a different note...what do you consider "family style" meals then? Again, we have left the 20% always.

Everyone is on the same menu, and the server will replenish the food, as needed. I'm thinking of 'Ohana, where the servers bring the appetizers to the table as the first course, then come around with the main course on skewers, but may bring the same item more than once, or will bring more on request. An all-you-can eat type meal is basically the same situation, even if people order different things. The servers are bringing food to the table, and will stop by to ask if you want more of anything. That is certainly more work for the server than a buffet.

scoobydooby
07-10-2009, 08:08 AM
Nope--that's my standard too.

Mine too. Unless we get bad service I tip 20% everywhere, but then I am too lazy to work out 18% :fez:

momof three
07-10-2009, 08:11 AM
I waited tables all through college at a major hotel across the street from Disneyland. On Sunday mornings we had a buffet brunch. I would rather work a sit down dinner any day of the week. Working Sunday brunch was the most difficult shift of the week. You have to stay on top of the tables constantly. When you are serving a meal as a server you have control. You know what plates hit the table and have a pretty good judge of when that plate should be removed. You can judge a tables pace and work with the kitchens timing. If youíre a good server working a buffet you must be on the floor constantly and attentive to your tables at all times. Youíre constantly running. I didnít have to take an order but I still had to greet that table, get drinks, refill them, answer questions, know all the items and ingredients in these items, bring anything else that table required and prepare the check. Then I had to clear a ton more plates then I would have had the table been eating a sit down meal.

I always hated this shift because you work your tail off and people think itís acceptable to tip poorly. From the prospective of a server I was working just as hard if not harder at our Sunday Brunch which was comparable to the cost of an average dinner. I was also taxed on the total of all my checks just like I would be at a table service dinning experience. The government doesnít take into account that itís a buffet and your tips vrs sales are less. When I dine regardless if itís buffet or table service the server always gets a tip based on the quality of their service. It is my opinion that the tip should be at least 18% of the total check if the service is good.

Mily

danyoung
07-10-2009, 08:15 AM
Very interesting perspective, mom. Perhaps I need to adjust my level of tipping. I guess it depends on the restaurant, the crowd, and as always the level of service from my waitperson.

momof three
07-10-2009, 08:34 AM
I guess it depends on the restaurant, the crowd, and as always the level of service from my waitperson.

Dan,
I think you have a good point. The type of restaurant should be considered. If it's a buffet at a nice place (like the Disney hotels/parks) where the server is being taxed on their sales then I tip like I would for a table service meal. You will know this because the server will give you your check and they will have their name or some kind of id on the check.

However, if it's a buffet place where you pay up front the sales are then placed on the restaurant and not the server. To be honest I'm not sure how a server would be charged for taxes then. I would guess that the server is not taxed on the sales in their station. Again, this is just a guess.

Mily

DVCmom
07-10-2009, 08:46 AM
I think "mom" has a GREAT point. I have always had good service at all of Disney's various types of meals. That is a great challenge as they are always busy (and we are always thirsty from long days). The only not so great time we had was a language issue at Norway's breakfast. It was not the fault of anyone. Our server simply couldn't understand what we were asking. Other than that, we have felt they were on top of their game.

crazysheli
07-10-2009, 09:46 AM
Thank you for all your input! We can now plan to have enough cash on hand.

danyoung
07-10-2009, 09:52 AM
The only not so great time we had was a language issue at Norway's breakfast. It was not the fault of anyone. Our server simply couldn't understand what we were asking.

Well, I'd say that was Disney's fault for putting a server out there who wasn't yet proficient in the language. I had the same problem at Tutto Italia a couple months ago. I needed to deal with a serving issue, but I knew my waitress just wouldn't understand enough English to be able to help me. Not a good situation!

MsMickey
07-12-2009, 07:09 AM
Out of curiousity, I googled the issue. The consensus from several sources, including Emily Post, is about 10% for a buffet.

I think you must take into consideration what Year was this written? What did a meal cost and the income at the time?:rolleyes:

For me this is pretty LOW considering the amount of work these servers do. People often think about the fact they are serving themselves...try eating without anyone removing those used plates, refilling drinks, bring out steak sauce, ketchup, or when you return for seconds if no one refilled your favorite dish on the buffet.
We give 18% usually and 20%-up for that Extra touch of service/kindness/bright smile. They are not making a real salary & depend on these tips.

mom22gls
07-12-2009, 07:46 AM
I think you must take into consideration what Year was this written? What did a meal cost and the income at the time?:rolleyes:

For me this is pretty LOW considering the amount of work these servers do. People often think about the fact they are serving themselves...try eating without anyone removing those used plates, refilling drinks, bring out steak sauce, ketchup, or when you return for seconds if no one refilled your favorite dish on the buffet.
We give 18% usually and 20%-up for that Extra touch of service/kindness/bright smile. They are not making a real salary & depend on these tips.

The references were all recent, but I agree with you. I have never assumed that the wait staff was not working as hard, because we got up to get our food. It is obvious that there are a lot more plates involved, and they have to clear a lot more dirty plates and silverware, and make sure there are enough clean dishes at the buffet. Because people (including young kids) are transporting plates from the buffet, I often see spilled food and dropped plates, which have to be cleaned up right away. I have no doubt it is easier to serve the food, then to keep a buffet clean and replenished, and enough plates, glasses, and silverware in rotation. I have always erred on the side of tipping a little more, for wait staff who are doing a good job. I particularly tip well at breakfast; just as much work as another meal, but the tab is lower.

iHEARTtheMOUSE
07-12-2009, 09:32 AM
I think you must take into consideration what Year was this written? What did a meal cost and the income at the time?:rolleyes:



The tip % guidelines wouldn't increase with the time, the cost of the meal does.


I've researched and found the same answer from various reliable sources--10% is the standard for buffets.

Also, usually the waitresses don't refill the food on the buffet, the kitchen staff does. Besides, I wouldn't tip the waitress for maintaining the buffet anymore than we tip dept. store associates for maintaining the shelves and clothes racks. We tip the wait staff based on their service to us personally.

We tip 15-20% for TS. 15 for average service and 20 for great service. We follow the same guidelines for some buffets, like the ones at Disney, but at a golden corral or your typical chinese buffet, for example, where we serve ourselves and grab our own plates and bread, we do not tip near as much--usually a dollar or two (which is about 10% or slightly more.) I'd hardly call a person who hardly says one word to us and who may (may be attentive) clear our plates and refill our drinks for us a waitress. After all, a true waitress does those things and much more. The people at GC I'm sure make at least the federal min wage and not the waitress min wage--because they are working for GC, not me.

wishiwasthere
07-12-2009, 02:34 PM
Remember some of the dining choices do include tip like the Poly Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show.

Also, if you have the Disney Dining Experience/Tables in Wonderland Card they automatically add 18% gratuity regardless of the party size.