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How much to tip

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Today for lunch, a co-worker and I went to an Indian buffet. The waiter showed us to a table, brought water, and removed dishes as we went back to the buffet. Otherwise, we served ourselves, loaded up our plates and carried them back to the table.

How much % - wise should one tip in a situation like this. In a normal restaurant, assuming service is acceptable to good, I leave 15%, sometimes a bit more if it seems deserving.

But in a buffet situation, our discussion centered around how much is appropriate when you're not really being brought your food, or available to ask questions about the different ethnic dishes, etc.

Whatcha all think out there?

Thanks,
doc
post #2 of 11
I would still leave 15% unless he didnt pick up or what ever.

Im also a big tipper.

I know what a little extra in a tip can do for a persons day or week or longer.
post #3 of 11
I'd do the same. It's hard to decide what to do so, being a former server myself, I tend to lean toward the higher amount. Usually buffets aren't that expensive, so it won't make that much of a dent in my wallet.
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post #4 of 11
As a rule of thumb, I leave a rounded-up 10% in a buffet situation, precisely because the "server" really isn't. He/she is just a glorified busboy.

However, if he/she goes above and beyond, I naturally leave a larger tip, just as I would in a regular restaurant for better than usual service.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 11
I'm figuring the bargan I'm getting.The amount I'm saving vs what I would be paying if I was having a plated meal.The efecciency of the plates being cleared from the table and the table cleanliness when I return.Is my drink being re-filled in a timely manner? I leave around a 20% tip for value and service and something that people that have been in the business feel for each other.
post #6 of 11
I always tip at least 15% - usually more - whether buffet or not, unless the service was quite bad AND it was clearly the server's fault (as opposed to the kitchen or the management).

As a restaurant owner, I just believe it's good karma.
Peace,
kmf



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Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
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post #7 of 11
I struggle with that same issue.

I find myself looking for any sign of extra service out of the waiter then just bussing at the table. It is a case by case scenario for me.

I am surprise to read of a range of 10 to 20% in tipping in the US. Being Canadian and often traveling on business to head offices in the US, I was strongly urged to tip high (20% to 30%) because waiter wages in the US are miserable.

In Canada, minimum wages are much higher compared to US so 10 to 15% tipping is close to the norm. By the way, 15% is easy to calculate because it is the amount of taxes added to the bill (In Québec) so you just take that number for tipping (no math involved).

Luc
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post #8 of 11
Luc,

Yes, on the face of it, salaries for wait staff are miserable. But the fact is, in anything above a casual dining chain (and, for all I know, even there), wait staff actually earns more than boh staff.

Just one example: A friend of mine's son typically takes home $200+ serving on a Friday or Saturday night. Do you reckon anyone on the line---including the head chef---is making that much?

Frankly, I get a little tired hearing the "poor wait staff" myth. If things are so rough, they can always go work at McDonalds, where the average salary is seven bucks an hour.

If the servers have it so tough, how come they aren't lined up at Mickey D's hiring window? The reason is that a server who does his/her job right usually makes more money than anyone else in the joint.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 11
We go to a place for breakfast that also has a buffet. We figure that we're still taking up the table so we should tip the usual 15%-20%.
post #10 of 11
ballpark 20%....just feels right most of the time.....sometimes if I've had a really good weekend I'll drop a $5 on about the same size tab. It brings joy to at least 2 people.

However you justify tips or restaurant job equality, it all comes down to what feels right (good if you will).
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 11
Its not the waiter/waitresses fault that we would select a buffet instead of ordering direct so we leave a gratuity of 15-20% if service is as expected; if they do not remove used dishes from the table (which has happened but too infrequent probably to mention), the amount is decreased. If a server is particularly interested in ensuring we have a pleasant meal, the percent is higher than the range shown. Where feasible we leave gratuity on the table but are aware that some restaurants pool all tips, and dole out according to the managements' wishes. This is irksome, but we don't take it out on the server and have passed paper directly to the waiter/waitress.
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