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Old 06-28-2013, 10:18 AM   #1
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Tipping at a buffet

im a chinese buffet aficionado and was at one yesterday, we had a party of 6 and were just finishing up, the waitress brings the check by and i throw my credit card on the tray. she takes the bill and comes back with my receipt, i sign it without leaving the tip. a bit later she takes the tray back with the signed receipt, were just sitting talking for a while and she comes back and says "you know, we didn't add the tip to your bill" at that point everyone in the party starts grabbing for their wallet.

what's your guys view on tipping at a buffet? im not totally against it but they didn't do much except take some plates away, i know they don't make much but that ain't my problem.

i've actually had a chinese lady tell me "leave tip, leave tip" while poking at the table as if she was jamming her finger into my chest.

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Old 06-28-2013, 10:58 AM   #2
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Customary for a buffet is 10%. After all, there is no waitress. There's just a bus person who picks up the dirty dishes.

Because she had the nerve to come and ask for a tip, it's not a tip and I would have given her absolutely nothing.

BTW, I never put any money in a tip jar on the counter, either. Wait people make below minimum wage and a big part of their income is from tips. Counter people and buffet employees are paid at least minimum wage, therefore tipping is not necessary.

Yes, I am a cheap old bastard, why do you ask?



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Old 06-28-2013, 11:04 AM   #3
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Did you see her at all? Was she refilling drinks or anything?
Those types of places I always tip depending on how often the "waitress" comes around or asks me if everything is OK. If anyone went back for seconds I'm assuming she at least came by for the empty plate, but if she didn't that would affect her tip (in my book). BTW, have you read my book?
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:12 AM   #4
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We tip at a lower % for buffets. The waiter is involved, albeit to a lesser extent.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97guns View Post
im a chinese buffet aficionado and was at one yesterday, we had a party of 6 and were just finishing up, the waitress brings the check by and i throw my credit card on the tray. she takes the bill and comes back with my receipt, i sign it without leaving the tip. a bit later she takes the tray back with the signed receipt, were just sitting talking for a while and she comes back and says "you know, we didn't add the tip to your bill" at that point everyone in the party starts grabbing for their wallet.

what's your guys view on tipping at a buffet? im not totally against it but they didn't do much except take some plates away, i know they don't make much but that ain't my problem.

i've actually had a chinese lady tell me "leave tip, leave tip" while poking at the table as if she was jamming her finger into my chest.
My view is that tipping is a reward for good service (above and beyond the call of duty) and if the staff are rude then they certainly don't deserve a tip. Often, in the UK service (ie the tip) is included on the bill but if the food and service is not up to scratch you are allowed to refuse to pay it but few people do. I have only once crossed out the "service included" and deducted it from the bill in an expensive restaurant because the service and the food was so awful that we didn't eat it (they were lucky we paid at all!) and complaints were left with the management. I am not in the habit of making a fuss but this was an exception.

If service is not included the general practice here is to leave 10% of the bill.

What I do find rather insidious is the practice of management collecting the gratuities and using them to make up the staff's wages to the basic legal minimum. To be honest, I think that employment legislation should be altered to make this illegal. I usually give tips in cash separately from the bill, direct to the waiter or waitress who has given me good service and on occasions have asked if the staff keep their own tips.

I have heard that the situation is different in the US and a couple of friends regaled a dinner party with their story of a waiter blocking the exit from a restaurant in the mid-west and very aggressively refusing to let them leave until they left a bigger tip. He only backed down when one of then threatened to start screaming and not stop until someone called the police!
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:36 PM   #6
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We almost never go to Chinese buffet anywhere other than our local, Jade Palace. We tip really well there because they treat us really well.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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If you are being serviced while you are there then yes, by all means tip. If it is the type where you get your own everything, no tip.

Tips are a reward for good service, not a required fee .. that is what the price of your meal is.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:38 PM   #8
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There is a small Chinese buffet just across the river from me. Lunch or dinner buffet, the price hardly goes up a notch between the two but the dinner selection increases a lot. I usually tip a couple bucks/ person when we go there. Just for drinks service. Shhhh, this is also about 20% of the total bill too. Family run, college students as waitstaff. They are right there to clear plates and replenish drinks. 'Course, because the place is small, their faster service encourages table turnover. It works to everyone's advantage.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:50 PM   #9
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I over tip and I always will. They are doing me a favor by allowing me not to cook so I don't mind.

I get a chocolate milkshake made with chocolate ice cream, Hershey syrup & peanut butter syrup at a local ice cream shop. It costs 3.75 and I always give the kids a dollar tip. If my husband would see that he would be shocked but I worked in the food industry and having to deal with the pubic is horrid. They deserve to be tipped extra for doing it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:43 AM   #10
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I don't drink alcohol, so unless someone has to bring me a cup of coffee, I don't tip at a buffet. I used to love to go to the HOJO breakfast buffet. You could go up as many times as you wished and fill your plate. For coffee, there were always a few waitresses walking around with a fresh pot and would fill you cup without asking. If we had kids, they would require milk or chocolate milk. Waitress needed. For that I always left a tip. Otherwise it was completely self service. Bus boys cleaned the tables.
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