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tipping buffet question

Discussion in 'Restaurants & Buffets' started by paperposter, Jan 24, 2017.

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  1. paperposter

    paperposter MIA

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    i know how too tip in the lower end buffets the 10-20$ .im not really a buffet person but they keep giving me free ones

    what do u guys due at say wicked spoon for dinner or ceasars bacchanel when its 40- 50$ as tipping at a buffet i was always under the impression u tipped less
    thanks looking opinion

    pss i always tip at a resturant 20% plus for a fine meal or any waitress service real resturant non buffet
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  2. cjcjcj

    cjcjcj VIP Whale

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    From my casual glances while walking through buffet seating areas I am in the general opinion that buffet servers and waitstaff do not get tipped very well. The occasional one or two dollars a person, a fiver is rarely seen at least to me.

    We usually leave $5/person if they are getting drinks for us.

    At a buffet like Cravings at Mirage where you get your own drinks, I usually just sit at the bar and tip the bartender.

    I'm sure people are all over the map on this one, like most tipping questions.
     
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  3. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    $20 tip at a lower tier buffet? You are very generous.....hubby & I require very little....maybe 1 drink refill & 2 plates each....we usually do about $6-8.00. Now if hubby eats lots of crab legs....will do $10 - 12.00...
     
  4. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    Generally, we drop $5 / person. More than once, the tip has been sympathy for what they have to clean up at other tables rather than a thank you for topping off our drinks.
     
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  5. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer VIP Whale

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    I do at least $2 per person at places like Mirage or where the service was bad. Up $5 per person if it was a mess and/or the service was great.

    Usually it's $3 regardless of which buffet it is.

    I always give a $1 to people working any ready to order stations like at Rio, Cosmo or Mirage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  6. TableToddyy

    TableToddyy High-Roller

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    Are they offering a service? I start with a five on the table right away. Make sure it can be seen. If your getting a comp or a bogo. Then add or subtract depending on service. beers coffee ketchup etc.
    Then there's the -
    omelet guy
    bartender guy Mirage
    burger guy Santa Fe
    Craving guy if generous
    etc etc.. all get a buck or two
     
  7. KevinF2020

    KevinF2020 Low-Roller

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    We go to a lot of buffets in Vegas and generally tip between $2 and $10 per person. $2/pp if you only see your server maybe once (and they're surly) when they take your initial drink order and then disappear. $10/pp for excellent service - if they're a constant presence and bring you refills even before your glass is empty (and without asking) and/or if they're super friendly. Average is probably $5/pp for standard, decent/good service.

    Generally at restaurants we tip 20-25% standard, but at buffets we base our tips on the service/server not on the level/price of the buffet. We've given $2/pp at Bellagio or Bacchanal when the service was poor and we barely saw the server. But we've also dropped $25 (for 2 of us) at Rio or Palace Station for lunch before. We figure most restaurant servers get a decent 15-25% tip on average, but buffet servers - especially those at lower end places - are likely to end up with only a couple bucks per person, so we're more conscious of particularly good service and friendly attitude and are happy to give a little extra (even if it's more than the cost of the buffet itself sometimes).

    That's just our take on it though and $5/pp is usually pretty standard for us.
     
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  8. meyers67

    meyers67 VIP Whale

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    I've been to buffets (not necessarily Vegas) where the receipt will show the calculation of 15%, 18% and 20% tips. So tipping $2-5 seems low on a pricy buffet.
     
  9. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I don't percentage tip at buffets because its generally not the same service level of restaurants. I start at $2 a person, more if they keep the drinks refilled and the table clear or do tasks that are over and above the norm. It's amazing how much that little bit doesn't happen. I've paid a lot for buffets and gotten virtually no service so I don't feel like that server deserved more because the food was more expensive.

    The exception is Sterling Brunch. That is an amazing experience that is enhanced by the high level of service. Those folks deserve big tips and probably don't get them often enough.
     
  10. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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    I'll tip a baseline amount (say $5 per person) then add x (say a dollar) for each task performed, including refills of drink, each plate cleared, etc. By the end of it all, I usually end up forgetting and then going with a guess lol. I feel like servers at buffets work just as hard if not harder than at a regular restaurant due to having to constantly patrol and clear tables. But if I go back to the buffet line and I still have a dirty plate on my table, I leave less than I would for successful service
     
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  11. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    I usually leave $5.00. But there were times when the server really does a wonderful job and is friendly, courteous, and always keeps your table clean and your drinks full.

    On those times I seek the server out when leaving and personally give him/her a generous tip. I'm not sure if they pool their tips but I hope they choose to keep the whole thing.
     
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  12. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    I am told by a buffet floor server (waitress if you please), that they "share" with the bus staff.

    I tip $5-10 at the lower end buffets, and $10-15 or more at the higher end ones, because I don't pay for the meal.
     
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  13. jon_vegas

    jon_vegas High-Roller

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    Here's the problem though - generally, buffet waiters/waitresses get tipped considerably less than a normal restaurant waiter/waitress, and in my own experience, it tends to show in their service. Like some have already posted above, the amount I tip depends on the service I get. I just recently started a new way to tip just as an experiment - I immediately hand them a fairly good tip the first time they come with the drinks. So far, it pretty much has worked as I get good service afterwards. try it and let me know how it works for you!
     
  14. Multifarious5

    Multifarious5 VIP Whale

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    This is always a tough question, especially if they bring drinks. I've read 10% minimum of total bill cost/value (before comps), and I think that's a good starting point.

    So, if you have a comp credit on a meal that would cost $32 pp plus tax (about $80 total comp worth ), you'd be looking at a minimum tip of $8 for two. If you're doing breakfast for $20 pp plus tax, minimum of $5 total. (Pretty close to the "couple bucks a person" people have mentioned for lower end buffets.)

    Again though, these are minimums for average service. Standard, non-buffet meals are around 20%, and the only differece is they bring a few plates of food, but traditional restaurant waitstaff actually have LESS clean up than what buffet staff deal with due to more plates at a buffet (i.e. similar amount of work), so anything over 10% of total bill value is absolutely not wasted in my book.

    Now...tipping Starbucks a few bucks for a $5 coffee, whole different ball of wax. But then I avoid the Starbuck's tipping conundrum by avoiding Starbucks in general. :)

    PS if your waitstaff, or any other hotel staff, is wonderful....make a list of their names in your phone, and mention their great service if you complete a survey the hotel sends you. They often reward staff who are called out by name. This shold NOT be in lieu of a tip, but in addition to of course, but staff has repeatedly told me it's a huge plus....and makes such a positive impact!
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  15. NJS24

    NJS24 Voice of Reason

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    I give them just the tip... just to see how it feels.
     
  16. eaglejohn

    eaglejohn VIP Whale

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    average about 10%. Yes the servers make less per table in tips versus a full service restaurant. But the turnover rate of tables at their station is much faster.
     
  17. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    When we do our "breakfast club" at one of the local casino buffets on Sunday, we'll start by each throwing in a couple of bucks in the center of the table. Then (and we have a couple of the servers well trained on this) we'll each throw in another $ somewhat conspicuously when he/she comes around to refill the champagne. We always have frequent refills. :)
     
  18. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    So you use the Theodis Ealey approach to gratuities?
     
  19. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    re: Receipt that shows 15-18-20%. Damn company trying to force high tips.

    re: Pay a percentage. The "service" provided is what counts, not what the meal costs.

    We usually leave a $1-2 each - sometimes a $5 for the two of us. And, we are rather easy. We stack the plates for them and do not leave a mess.
     
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  20. shokhead

    shokhead No big spender unless eating drinking having fun!

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    5 bucks.
     
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