PDA

View Full Version : I refuse to pay 18-20% gratuity for a buffet


PezDSpencer
05-18-2008, 10:51 PM
It's bad enough the dining plan excludes gratuity now, but to suggest I'm forking over that much of a tip for someone who does nothing but refill a glass is a bit much, IMO.

Why even have servers for this? I'm mainly speaking of character meals. Put the drinks out on the island and forget the drink refillers.

I do not think we'll be paying for DDP again. One of the best things about this plan was paying everything in advance and not having to fool with money at meal time. Bad move by Disney, IMO.

jezebella
05-18-2008, 11:14 PM
Then I would suggest not going to a buffet or, at least if you do, not having enough diners so they automatically add it.

chloelovesdisney
05-18-2008, 11:34 PM
Do they automatically add in the gratuity for a large party?

My family goes through many drink refills and plates so I always tip that much anyway, but I don't think you should be forced to do so if you don't want to.

septbaby
05-18-2008, 11:38 PM
Do they automatically add in the gratuity for a large party?

My family goes through many drink refills and plates so I always tip that much anyway, but I don't think you should be forced to do so if you don't want to.

Most restaurants add an 18% gratuity for parties of either 6 or 8 or more. Disney has now implemented this std restaurant policy. Check menus at your local restuarants, you'll see a notation.

Sammie
05-18-2008, 11:43 PM
The only difference in a server at a buffer and nonbuffet, is that one brings your food to the table, and the other cleans your table of used dishes.

I really see no difference, in fact the server at the buffet can end up doing much more than someone that takes an order, brings out your food and then possibly gets you a refill.

kaytieeldr
05-18-2008, 11:54 PM
Then I would suggest not going to a buffet or, at least if you do, not having enough diners so they automatically add it.
:thumbsup2

Silly Little Pixie
05-19-2008, 12:18 AM
The only difference in a server at a buffer and nonbuffet, is that one brings your food to the table, and the other cleans your table of used dishes.

I really see no difference, in fact the server at the buffet can end up doing much more than someone that takes an order, brings out your food and then possibly gets you a refill.

As a one-time server back in the day, I disagree with this rationale. As a server, not only did I get drinks and take orders (noting how the customer wished things prepared/items added or removed, etc), I returned them to the customer recalling the order and placing the food with the proper person. I talked to the cook about their order. I came back around at least once during the meal, and then again for dessert at the end. I am a smaller person, and carrying the trays full of dinner orders, especially for larger parties, were tough. It was hard work. The busboy cleared plates and *sometimes* refilled glasses. I tipped him out of my tips at the end of each night. I also would tip the kitchen staff, although a smaller amount. Those came out of my tips as well. It was my job to provide quick and accurate service so the restaurant could turn over those tables faster. I only worked in one restaurant, so I can only speak for that location's policies.

So to say that a server at a table service location deserves the same amount of tip as at a buffet (where they basically do the same job my busboy did) is not accurate. Certainly I think they should be tipped, but not the same percentage you would tip table service waitstaff.

smidgy
05-19-2008, 12:25 AM
there is a thread entitled "tipping at buffets" . check that out for various opinions. It seems like this will become a duplicate thread.
the BEST buffet is BOMAs!! at AKL!

Illuminations_Rocks
05-19-2008, 11:08 AM
As a one-time server back in the day, I disagree with this rationale. As a server, not only did I get drinks and take orders (noting how the customer wished things prepared/items added or removed, etc), I returned them to the customer recalling the order and placing the food with the proper person. I talked to the cook about their order. I came back around at least once during the meal, and then again for dessert at the end. I am a smaller person, and carrying the trays full of dinner orders, especially for larger parties, were tough. It was hard work. The busboy cleared plates and *sometimes* refilled glasses. I tipped him out of my tips at the end of each night. I also would tip the kitchen staff, although a smaller amount. Those came out of my tips as well. It was my job to provide quick and accurate service so the restaurant could turn over those tables faster. I only worked in one restaurant, so I can only speak for that location's policies.

So to say that a server at a table service location deserves the same amount of tip as at a buffet (where they basically do the same job my busboy did) is not accurate. Certainly I think they should be tipped, but not the same percentage you would tip table service waitstaff.


The problem with your rationale is that, at Disney, the servers and waiters aren't usually the same people. At a Disney buffet, the person who brings your juice is usually the person who removes your plates. At a Disney non-buffet TS, the waiter takes your order, brings your drinks, and brings the check. Someone else brings you your food, and always seems to ask who got what, and someone else cleans off the table. Sometimes the waiter will grab the dinner plates, but rarely do they do more (with the exception of sometimes removing an appy plate, but that's usually done by the server if done at all, in my experiences).

To the OP: If you don't want to tip that at a buffet, then don't. You are the one who chooses how much you are tipping. You don't need to justify it to anyone else. If you've the DDE or 6+ people, you know the policy in advance and can choose not to eat there.

tyniknate
05-19-2008, 11:15 AM
The service at restaurants at Disney has gone downhill ever since they implemented the mandatory 18% gratuity. What's the incentive to provide "disney's magic" when they are getting the gratuity regardless. I will always tip a great server the 18-20% or more for the magic. I resent having to pay it for so-so or worse service. :mad:

TDC Nala
05-19-2008, 11:23 AM
Disney adds an automatic gratuity of 18% for parties of six or more at all Disney table service restaurants, including buffets. There is no mandatory 18% gratuity unless your party numbers six or more or you are using a Disney Dining Experience membership. (This is not the same program as the Disney Dining Plan.)

A manager can remove or reduce this amount given an acceptable reason. Subpar service may be an acceptable reason. "I don't think buffet service is worth 18%" is most likely not going to be considered an acceptable reason.

If you do not wish to pay this gratuity amount for a buffet, your options are to either avoid buffets if your party numbers six or more, or split into two or more parties on separate reservations, in which case you may not be seated anywhere near one another. This is true whether or not you are using the dining plan.

Stinky_Pete
05-19-2008, 03:13 PM
The problem with your rationale is that, at Disney, the servers and waiters aren't usually the same people. At a Disney buffet, the person who brings your juice is usually the person who removes your plates. At a Disney non-buffet TS, the waiter takes your order, brings your drinks, and brings the check. Someone else brings you your food, and always seems to ask who got what, and someone else cleans off the table. Sometimes the waiter will grab the dinner plates, but rarely do they do more (with the exception of sometimes removing an appy plate, but that's usually done by the server if done at all, in my experiences).

But the waiter who takes your order also has to split the tips with the runner and bus person.

I haven't been to a WDW buffet in years. I find the food only "acceptable" and the price is too high for the food quality. Now, with the expected 18% tip added, it is not, in my opinion, anywhere near being worth the cost.

schoen
05-19-2008, 03:17 PM
If you do not want to leave an appropriate tip than you should choose to dine elsewhere. There are several places that don't have tipped employees that have great food. IE Flame Tree BBQ.

Donna
05-19-2008, 03:20 PM
There are alot more trips to your table for the wait staff than a regular meal. First the drinks, then they clear salad plates, entree, dessert. sometimes multiple entrees since none of these can be reused. it IS optional if you're less than 6 people at the table and i believe it's a personal decision, whether it's right or wrong is up to YOU. I am just saying if you're judging on the amount of work the wait staff does for you at a TS buffet vs. regular TS, i think there are alot more trips to your table for a buffet which means more work for that particular wait person. You will notice they are not assigned as many tables for that very reason.

dvczerfs
05-19-2008, 03:27 PM
we genraly leave 15-20percent. we very rarely had ever run into wait staff that was rude or not doing a good job at disney. if i did, the tip would reflect that. there isnt enough money in the world to make me do that job, and if the person is nice and tried, i leave them a nice tip. i envy most of them, they do put up with some intresting people from time to time and if anyone is a wait staff is on this thread, thank you!:thumbsup2

bopper
05-19-2008, 03:31 PM
If you do not want to leave an appropriate tip than you should choose to dine elsewhere. There are several places that don't have tipped employees that have great food. IE Flame Tree BBQ.


I agree with this, but don't agree on what an appropriate tip is.
I think 15% is the norm for table service, and 10-15% for buffet.
I do not worry about who is splitting the tip with whom...how many people they have working is managements concern.

Stinky_Pete
05-19-2008, 04:08 PM
There are alot more trips to your table for the wait staff than a regular meal. First the drinks, then they clear salad plates, entree, dessert. sometimes multiple entrees since none of these can be reused.

This is the same as a TS server. But the TS server also has to take my order, remember any special requests (dressing or sauce on the side, etc.), make sure it comes out of the kitchen correctly, take dessert order, bring dessert out, etc. I always chuckle when I see someone trying to pretend that a server at a buffet does as much for my table as a server at a TS.

I agree with this, but don't agree on what an appropriate tip is.
I think 15% is the norm for table service, and 10-15% for buffet.
I do not worry about who is splitting the tip with whom...how many people they have working is managements concern.

:thumbsup2

PrincessTrisha
05-19-2008, 04:52 PM
I kind of agree with the OP.

We had breakfast last October at the Crystal Palace (paying oop) and I left a 15% tip (exactly). Service was fine but not 18-20% fine.

On the other hand, I gave our server at the Coral Reef an extra $10 (over and above the 18% that was then included on the DDP because he was that exceptional.

IMHO, there was no comparison on the level of service received between the buffet and the menu restuarant.

If I was going to WDW with a party of 6 or more, I would either:
a) avoid buffets
b) suck it up and pay the 18% because I know going in I have to.

with our party of 3, I think a buffet server would have to be very good to earn an 18% tip - which means a more than refilling drinks when empty and clearing plates.

eliza61
05-19-2008, 05:04 PM
If I was going to WDW with a party of 6 or more, I would either:
a) avoid buffets
b) suck it up and pay the 18% because I know going in I have to.

with our party of 3, I think a buffet server would have to be very good to earn an 18% tip - which means a more than refilling drinks when empty and clearing plates.

I also agree with the Op
but for me the solution is exactly what you said. There are more than enough dining options that I will not go to the buffets. Simple for me.

Donna
05-19-2008, 05:56 PM
This is the same as a TS server. But the TS server also has to take my order, remember any special requests (dressing or sauce on the side, etc.), make sure it comes out of the kitchen correctly, take dessert order, bring dessert out, etc. I always chuckle when I see someone trying to pretend that a server at a buffet does as much for my table as a server at a TS.



:thumbsup2

um...not trying to pretend anything. the only real difference is taking the order IMO. at buffets, people go up multiple times for each course. sure the server doesn't bring your dessert, but he/she clears all your plates from you trying different items, or seconds of some things. we never have special requests, so i guess that COULD be a difference for some people. alot of the buffets have characters and your server will make sure they get to your table as mickey takes a break and comes back out and skips you, oh..and to take that picture of you and your family with mickey. also, most of the buffets don't have people that bus, so the server will be doing the clearing of those multiple dishes that buffets force you to use. so you can chuckle all you want, but in my opinion, there is more WORK involved on the servers part. maybe not as much to remember, but more work. i appreciate my table being kept clear for me to eat all that good food! :rolleyes: To me, all of this is tip-worthy!

srdipert
05-19-2008, 07:16 PM
It really doesn't have anything to do with the DDP as you should tip even if you pay OOP. What you tip is your business if you don't have more 6 in your family and if you do than you will be charged the same amount DDP or OOP.

kaytieeldr
05-19-2008, 07:24 PM
The service at restaurants at Disney has gone downhill ever since they implemented the mandatory 18% gratuity. What's the incentive to provide "disney's magic" when they are getting the gratuity regardless. I will always tip a great server the 18-20% or more for the magic. I resent having to pay it for so-so or worse service. The 18% service charge is applicable ONLY under certain conditions: Guests using the Disney Dining Experience discount, or Guests whose parties consist of six or more diners.

The MAJORITY of Guests do not fall into either category; thererfore, the 18% is most often NOT mandatory; therefore its implementation cannot be blamed for a perceived downturn in service.

And Guests with legitimate service problems can talk to a manager - ideally WHILE the problem is occuring, not after the check is presented - to resolve the issue.

Tiger926
05-20-2008, 01:04 PM
Just returned, and for the most part, we noticed a bit of a decline in service this trip at familiar restaurants that we've eaten at a million times before. By far, the worst buffet service we received was at Boma, but that restaurant is always unorganized anyway.

We base our tip on level of service, so several buffet servers got 15%, but some of them like at Boma and O'Hana, 1900 Park Fare (breakfast only) got only 10% as we experienced server issues, no refills, etc.

Happy eating, Tiger

lorismull
05-20-2008, 01:19 PM
agree

n2mm
05-20-2008, 01:20 PM
We also just returned and agree that the service does seem to be lacking from our many past visits. We found only twice did we leave extra. Since we are DDE holders, we don't have much control over the tip and accept that. Our best service was to be found at Concourse SH, Olivias and LeCellier. Our service that was not very good was at Spoodles. As for Cape May, San Angel and 50sPT, both were just so so as the servers just did the bare minmum and often would just disappear for a long time. So with a 12 day trip I think we only tipped extra from the 18% included 3 times.

Tiger926
05-20-2008, 01:26 PM
We also just returned and agree that the service does seem to be lacking from our many past visits. We found only twice did we leave extra. Since we are DDE holders, we don't have much control over the tip and accept that. Our best service was to be found at Concourse SH, Olivias and LeCellier. Our service that was not very good was at Spoodles. As for Cape May, San Angel and 50sPT, both were just so so as the servers just did the bare minmum and often would just disappear for a long time. So with a 12 day trip I think we only tipped extra from the 18% included 3 times.


We received terrible service at Spoodles too! The restaurant was empty and we were seated near kitchen right near manager as well. We were very underwhelmed with the food (it was actually not good at all) and the service - won't be going back again.

Best service was at: Cali Grill, Citricos, Yachtsmen, Coral Reef and one other place that escapes me at the moment. They all received from 20-25% in tips.

Service definitely has declined, and we feel it's because we saw most people just filling out the 18% or 20% lines on their bill, or, if it's DDE, the servers get an auto tip. We have eaten at practically every WDW restaurant multiple times, and we never experienced such server disappearance as this trip! We also had to bus our own tables at practically every buffet, and we don't even eat a lot - just a few plates.

Tiger

dvczerfs
05-20-2008, 01:29 PM
does there seam to be enough wait staff working? or is it the wait staff they have working? (if that makes sence)

TiggerDad3
05-20-2008, 01:56 PM
It's bad enough the dining plan excludes gratuity now, but to suggest I'm forking over that much of a tip for someone who does nothing but refill a glass is a bit much, IMO.

Why even have servers for this? I'm mainly speaking of character meals. Put the drinks out on the island and forget the drink refillers.

I do not think we'll be paying for DDP again. One of the best things about this plan was paying everything in advance and not having to fool with money at meal time. Bad move by Disney, IMO.

Good for the OP for openly expressing thier oppinion!!!

I agree that in most cases this percentage is too much for buffet service.
There are exceptions to that when buffet servers at Disney have just been the best, and went way beyond what would normally be expected at a buffet and made our experience great!!!

I also agree.. bad move by Disney...

1. for removing the gratuity from the dining plans
2. for adding a manditory gratuity to parties of 6 or more of 18%, especially at buffets.
3. allowing so many CM's to openly discuss gratuity with the customer

Just my oppinion

Gr8dan2
05-20-2008, 03:34 PM
We just got back. Went to Ohana on Saturday and while the food was really good as usual, the service was HORRIBLE. I don't know what was up with our waiter, but it was honestly the worst service I think i've ever encountered anywhere. Three tables around us were seated after us and were being served their main course (steak, pork, turkey etc) before we even got our salad/first course. We had 9 people so automatically had the 18% added on there. The guy definitely didnt deserve it but by that time we were already late for meeting the other part of our party back at MK. Obviously not everyone got the same stinky service that night (the three tables i mentioned left Ohana about 45 minutes before we did, thats how much slower!), but apparently everyone got the same 18% tip. NOt really how it should work imho.

Tiger926
05-20-2008, 04:26 PM
We just got back. Went to Ohana on Saturday and while the food was really good as usual, the service was HORRIBLE. I don't know what was up with our waiter, but it was honestly the worst service I think i've ever encountered anywhere. Three tables around us were seated after us and were being served their main course (steak, pork, turkey etc) before we even got our salad/first course. We had 9 people so automatically had the 18% added on there. The guy definitely didnt deserve it but by that time we were already late for meeting the other part of our party back at MK. Obviously not everyone got the same stinky service that night (the three tables i mentioned left Ohana about 45 minutes before we did, thats how much slower!), but apparently everyone got the same 18% tip. NOt really how it should work imho.

We ate at O'Hana 2 weeks ago, and we experienced horrible service too! That restaurant is in dire need of a new manager as they are very unorganized, forgetful, people seated after us got served before us, butter came out after bread was well eaten, etc.

We won't be dining there ever again as it's 2 strikes for them, Tiger