How to deal with poor service

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by DisneyWannabee, Jul 27, 2013.

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  1. Lolsmum

    Lolsmum DIS Veteran

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    As an American living in the UK over the last 19 years but who still has a fair few friends and family members working in the serving industry in the US, here is my take.

    American servers get an absurdly low basic wage, well below minimum wage, and it is expected the remainder will be made up with tips. When I moved from the US, the standard tip was 15% but it has slowly drifted up to 20%. A tip below 15% is seen as low, and would indicate either that you were unhappy with the service or, well, are a stingy person. Anything below 15% is effectively taking money from a server as they will still be taxed on a 15% tip. That's part of why the standard has moved up, so they get something additional.

    Disney suggests an 18% tip, which is well within the normal range. They state this will be charged for parties of 6 or more, so not paying that without good reason is actually like not paying for your dessert without good reason. I wouldn't expect to be able to adjust the cost of the food to the value I thought it represented unless it was truly awful and neither would I expect to be able to adjust the cost of the service when it is stated clearly before I ordered anything.

    Florida recently raised the minimum wage for tipped employees to $4.77 an hour. You can see that tips are necessary for any of those employees to make ends meet.
     
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  3. Paula Sedley-Burke

    Paula Sedley-Burke Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...

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    Me and DW have been going to Florida for 15 years now. We never had an issue tipping 20% if happy. It's just what you do. When in Rome... I have a good friend in Florida and this is what she suggests so we never question it. So 18% is good. I just don't even see it anymore we just pay it. It's automatic like if you shopped in Tesco and the person on the cash desk was rude you would not demand a refund on your goods. It's just the way they pay their staff. Plus it's very rare we get bad service!
     
  4. disney_princess_85

    disney_princess_85 DIS Veteran

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    That seems a bit low to me. I usually leave 10-15% at buffets.
     
  5. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    It depends what kind of buffet - Golden Corral or Ponderosa, it probably IS 10-15% of the check.

    But I agree, 10-15% is the norm for buffets. If the plates are cleared and drinks are refilled promptly, we will tip 15%. If the plates pile up and we don't see the server, apart from when they drop off the check, we will leave 10%.
     
  6. disney_princess_85

    disney_princess_85 DIS Veteran

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    That's true, good point! We've never eaten offsite.
     
  7. mcraige

    mcraige DIS Veteran

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    We've only had bad service 1 time in WDW. I still tipped 18% (we were a party of 7), but had a nice chat with the manager and gave specific examples of where the server fell short of expectations. The manager assured me they would send the server back thru training.
     
  8. joolz1910

    joolz1910 <font color=green>I would have gone down to recept

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    This seems to me the most sensible response. I think some people expect the servers to kiss their behinds lol. If the server is pleasant and polite, that is enough. It's more than we usually get in the uk lol.
     
  9. Elise79

    Elise79 Moderator Moderator

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    We have its come back from 16 nights on the DDP and not once did we have a bad server. They were all ok and deserved at least 18%.

    Some where excellent and got considerably more. :goodvibes
     
  10. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    I think that if you have a mental laundry list that needs to be checked off in order to leave an appropriate tip you are setting the server up for failure. That being said, if you are unhappy with the service you just need to ask for the manager and explain yourself. He or she will be happy to adjust the tip to whatever you wish. If someone had a fit like the server at Applebee's they would not last long as a server at WDW.
     
  11. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Thanks for the feedback. We will pay a higher tip than 15% if the server deserves it- if they are just normal then I think 15% is fine.

    Not really. The Brit Guide said 15% was the going tip rate in 2011, yet in the same year, 2011, Disney still suggested an 18% tip. If the tip in Disney is still suggested at 18%, surely the average going tip in the US has not risen much from 15%, if at all.

    If servers are taxed based on receiving 15% tips, leaving a 15% tip is fine IMO unless the server was very good.

    Just because we only tip when a server really deserves it in the UK, so it is a little harder having to tip all the time in the US.

    A mediocre server is a server that is average, and should be tipped according to that. They are polite and bring out your food, but not much more. A good or outstanding server is attentive and does more than just deliver your food.

    So I think 15% is fine for an average server. We aren't expecting too much- if a server is good, we will tip higher, and have done many times. :)

    Meg~ Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  12. scoobydooby

    scoobydooby Dreaming of next Disney trip

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    [QUOTE="meggiebeth;49101317"

    A mediocre server is a server that is average, and should be tipped according to that. They are polite and bring out your food, but not much more. A good or outstanding server is attentive and does more than just deliver your food.


    Meg~ Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards[/QUOTE]

    I've got to ask. As their job is to bring you food and clearly to be polite whilst doing so, what else is it you are expecting?
     
  13. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    Exactly, that's their job, and for doing that I tip 15%. If they are more than polite- they go above and beyond and are attentive (which is different to being polite) then they get a higher tip. That's not expecting too much. :)

    Meg~ Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  14. scoobydooby

    scoobydooby Dreaming of next Disney trip

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    Well I think that's a lot to ask of people working all day every day in what is just, at the end of the day, their job. Most of us don't manage that every day at work in our none Disney jobs ;)

    That said. Disney servers usually exceed my expectations and I hope that's your experience too. Have a nice holiday :)
     
  15. meggiebeth

    meggiebeth Have faith in your dreams and someday your rainbow

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    I suppose it might be. I do find the service in the US generally fantastic and tip accordingly. The one thing I love is that they refill your drinks automatically, for free!!! We don't get that here. The service just doesn't compare. :(

    Have a great holiday too! What nice weather, then rain had to come and ruin it, lol. :)

    Meg~ Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  16. Paula Sedley-Burke

    Paula Sedley-Burke Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...

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    I think the 15% is incorrect. It should be 18% if the service was just ok. 15% is considered you are not happy by today's standards. I have friends that are from Florida and checked. So if you choose to leave 15% you are saying you weren't happy. I just wanted you to be aware.
     
  17. Lolsmum

    Lolsmum DIS Veteran

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    I agree. 15% is on the lower end now.
     
  18. robinb

    robinb DIS Veteran

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    You're right. I'm from the US and we occasionally tip 15% when there was something slightly wrong with the service. It's a signal that we were somewhat unhappy. The standard tip now in the US is 18-20%. I think a 15% tip from an international visitor simply means that they are using an out-of-date guidebook :rotfl:. One may tip 15% and no one will run after you and ask you to tip more but by tipping less than the standard amount you are perpetuating the stereotype believed by that Applebee's waitress.
     
  19. Paula Sedley-Burke

    Paula Sedley-Burke Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...

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    We have been coming to the States from the UK for 15 years and honestly I don't recall a time when 15% was ok. It's always been 18-20 in my mind more if they do more than the minimum. Food in the US is cheap, portions generous and serving staff very accommodating. Leaving less than 18% if service is average is just rude imao.
     
  20. bobbins

    bobbins Earning My Ears

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    Hmmm...it always used to be said that as a rough guide you should leave double the tax - that would make it 13%.

    I've asked American collegues and they think it's hilarious that we talk about 20%. They tend to leave a round amount in the 10-15% range depending on the type of restaurant (higher percentage in more upscale restaurant, less in a Dennys etc).

    That said, I've been going to the US for holidays and work for 25 years and, while I've sent a few meals back, I can't recall a bad server experience. I've had bills zero'd out due to food issues, but still left a full tip.
     
  21. Lolsmum

    Lolsmum DIS Veteran

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    But tax varies from state to state, making it a poor method to use.

    Speaking of tax though, one of the reasons for a slight difference may be that some people figure the tip on the bill before tax and others afterwards. Personally, I tend to go with after unless I have worked it out in advance of getting the bill for some reason. Living here in the UK where vat is added into the price you see while shopping has spoiled me.


    If we're talking about a single person someplace like Denny's, the difference between 15 and 18% is next to nothing. If we're talking about a party of 6 at a nice restaurant, the difference is a lot more.

    Back in jr high, so about 25 years ago (wow I suddenly feel old) we were taught in math class to figure out the tip by figuring out 10% then adding half of that to get to 15%. It was an easy enough method.
     
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