Another dining question - and not just at Disney


It’s about tipping. Do you automatically tip a certain percentage? Do you tip more or less according to service? Have you ever been angry enough to not tip at all? Do you let the server know if you’re pleased or not? The manager?

I really get mad at poor service at restaurants. I get frustrated because I’m not going to say anything during the meal to a person that has access to my food when it’s out of sight. So, I steam throughout the meal, but I usually let them know at the end with my tip. We’ve been known to leave well over 20% for great service and a penny for terrible service. I have also told servers why they weren’t getting a tip. Do other people do this or are tips just automatic nowadays? If you’re not pleased, do you tell the server outright or just leave a smaller tip?

I will also complain to a manager if service is bad enough. But - I won’t hesitate to call a manager over to tell them about a server I feel did a really good job.

And I do this at Disney, too. Do you expect Disney servers to do their job well, or just let things slide because you’re on vacation?


The whole tipping thing seems out of control. The donut shops, the bakery and anywhere you go seems to have a tip jar with a message on it. I know you are not forced to tip but it does make you feel obligated to tip for a basic service that a business should supply.My basic feeling is why do they allow restaurant owners to pay their help such low wages and expect the customer to pay on top of the set price? I do not in any way feel that servers should not be getting tips as they work very hard. My point is that the owners get to pay less on the customers dime.I know people say that the costs will go up but that is still a cop out. A $32 steak is a huge profit margin with enough to pay a server a better wage and still make a profit.Drinks are even more profitable! I always tip a minimum of 20% but if the service is bad I will let someone know( I agree with you that it is best to complain AFTER you have your food!):laugh:


I think it depends on the reason for the bad service…if they are short staffed and my server is running between 15 tables, then I am more apt to be forgiving and still tip good. I have a second job where I waitress at, and I know that when we are swamped and short staffed at the same time, I feel I can’t give my best to my tables, but I do make it a point to explain AND apologize and then my tables understand. I usually NEVER stiff anyone. Even bad service, I still tip atleast 10-15%, great service I tip very well.
I don’t expect any different service no matter where I go…even WDW, all I expect is friendly service…


Jamie is right- many times poor service is simply because of understaffing. I hate to leave less of a tip when the waiter/waitress is overwhelmed because they are being overworked… However, obnoxious or rude attitudes will be met with a small tip. A smile and a friendly attitude can make up for slow service (within reason!)


I usually tip somewhere between 15 and 20%, depending on service. I have never had a bad experience at Disney. Sometimes they are good, but not really bad. Every once and a while I have great service there. I rarely talk to the manager one way or another.

I rarely have a bad enough experience to not tip someone. It only happened once, we went out to breakfast on vacation (not Disney), and we placed out order, and didn’t see the waitress for nearly 2 hours. We had 2 little kids at the time (under 3). She finally arrived with our food, didn’t say sorry or anything. We ate, paid and left without even leaving anything.

My wife was a waitress for about 10 years before we met and when we first got married. She always tips 20% or more.


I also try to take notice of how busy the server is and what they’re doing. I wouldn’t punish anyone for being understaffed and overworked. I’m talking about the server who knows people at the next table and stands there talking to them for 10 minutes after you’ve been waiting half an hour since you had your appetizer for your meal to come out.

I had one server at WDW, at one of the upscale restaurants who treated us so poorly that I actually put her picture on my web site for a while (until I cooled down) and told people to ask for a different server if they got her. But she went way beyond poor service, she went as far as to argue with us when we complained to the manager. He had to tell her to go away so he could talk to us.


I look at that differently, if I can see a server is busting his/her tail working tables then we tip well. If he/she is just a poor server then the tip goes down, however, my DH is a softy and rarely tips less than 15% (even if I think he should). We’ve really only had really poor service a couple of times and I do remember once leaving a quarter on the table.


I whole heartedly agree with everything you say. I will unhesitatingly leave nothing if the service was bad and there seemed no reason for it. I’d like to be acknowledged and told that the server will be with me shortly, etc.

I had an experience at a very swanky little Inn in the Napa WineCountry about 15 years ago which still leaves me speechless.
We invited another couple along. Impressive menu, beautiful surroundings. Waiters and their assistants everywhere. I believe each table had their own wait staff. We ordered our food, including a bottle of their house wine. Apparently that was a big no-no and we were immediately classified as “not important”.
The waiter left our bottle of wine on top of the fireplace mantel and was only to be seen when we called him.
Our bill for the dinner came to $ 490.00. Needless to say, we left a very small tip. We left an insult. The next day I wrote a letter to the manager of the Inn. We got a response, not from the manager but from our waiter saying that he saw the small tip and wanted to run out after us to discuss the tip :ohmy: , but he was otherwise retained and missed us. He apologized for the less than good service but they were training his personal staff at our table that night. :ohmy:
to make up for the unfortunate dinner, he sent along a coupon for a glass of wine with a value of $ 6.50 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Needless to say, we gave that Inn nothing but bad press. You don’t train people at a table if you charge prices like that. It was unbelievable. And on top of that, the food was no better than what we get in a restaurant here, except here it’s less expensive.

So, long story short, you bet I will voice my displeasure about things like that. I don’t care how much or little their base-pay is, this is what they signed up for, if you’re not up to dealing with the public, maybe you should not be in this business.


Hey, I have a really cool waiter story too:

Many, many years ago when I still lived in Germany, there was an American with his family that always vacationed on our island. He went into a restaurant and had dinner, tipped a penny. the waiter saw that, never blinked an eye, kept up his smiles and helped the American into his coat, opened the door, etc.

The American came back the next day, asked for the waiter and the manager and handed the waiter a gold dollar, which was worth quite a bit more than 20% tip, with the explanation that he wanted to see if people if the waiter’s attitude toward the guest would change after seeing a penny tip. It hadn’t and therefore he paid up.


Great story!

All my posting this morning inspired me. We just went to Joe’s Crab Shack and our waitress was the best we’ve ever had there. We just had to let the manager know and he asked if I’d go to their website and say something, so I’ll be heading there next.


When I tip, I usually tip 20% on the total after tax. I’m lazy and also, it’s possible that your waiter has to share with bus boys and food bringers.
If however service suffered, so does the tip. The worse the service, the worse the tip. I have walked away from restaurants and left no tip because service WAS that bad.
We had a problem with a waiter in California Grill on our anniversary, and I howled for the manager, that’s how bad this was. If it’s bad, regardless of where you are, complain. It’s your money and you didn’t have to spend it there.


I will tip between 15 and 20% if the service was great. If it was just your basic service I will tip between 10 - 15%. I can’t recall off the top of my head not tipping. Although I have had my experiences where I’ve had to talk to the manager and either our meal or dessert was free I still left something on the table. I will, however, be quick to let management know when the service has been exceptional. I’ve done this a few times at Disney. I did have one bad experience at Disney (The Plaza Restaurant). The hostess REFUSED to sell me a cup of chicken noodle soup to go for my daughter who had come down with a stomach bug and had been sick for a couple of days and was finally hungry. Even though I explained my situation to her she was extremely unhelpful. One word to a passing manager and I had my soup and crackers in hand, free of charge, within minutes.


Side issue: tipping at buffets

10% unless they didn’t bring you your drinks in a timely manner.
If however it’s a breakfast buffet, like Donald’s or Goofy’s where they will make you eggs to order in the kitchen, all bets are off, and you’re on your own there buddy. Maybe 14%.


this thread reminds me of a “skit” i saw yeaers ago on SNL or some show like that…the customer is seated at a table and then puts down a stack of bills on the table top. he then informs the waiter that this is his “potential tip”. if the service is consistently good, the bills remain in the stack, but everytime the waiter neglects the customer, he will remove a bill from the stack. whatever is left after the meal is what the waiter will get for his tip.

sounds terribly tacky…

but sometimes i wish i could get the nerve to come right out and say to a waiter, (i’ve been one myself years ago) “you do realize you are working on losing your tip here, don’t ya??” ~ i don’t want a chatty waiter, just one that is capable, knowledgable about the menu and pleasant. and yes on 2 occassions i have stiffed servers. having waited tables myself, i guess i have an even lower tollerance for bad service.

as someone else said…a waiter knows tips are what makes a good night$$$$.


I tip below average for poor service…Like insulting tips, but never not tip. I am a big tipper having worked off tips more than once in my life and think that excellent service should be rewarded…I also have high standards for the same reasons. I expect a lot from a server, but never complain about service until the meal is over…no one touching my food hears one word of anything from me until I am done eating.:laugh:


For that kind of money, I wouldn’t have left there, let alone paid the bill, before having a long talk with the manager with the waiter present.


I tip according to service…but rarely under 10%


I was so mad, I was afraid my knees would buckle. I had to get out of there and catch my breath.


We tip according to service. Only once did we not tip at all, and we made sure we talked to the manager after our meal.


I still seem to tip the same just because they are still only making $2 or $3 an hour. The buffet places around here make the waitresses buss their own tables too so I think that is why I still tip good.