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I Work For Tips

I understand the importance of tipping. I use to be a server and would do it again because when I was a server I made great tips because I gave great service. The problem I have with going out these days is servers feel that they deserve a tip regardless of the service they give and to me that is just wrong.

Last night Melinda, the kids and I went to a Chinese buffet down the street from my in-laws. Now as most of you know you serve yourself at buffets and they have servers to clear your dishes and to get your drinks. This is a very important job and needs to be done and I am all for tipping as long as the dirty dishes are cleared and drinks are filled. In my opinion not a lot to ask. I typically would tip 20% on a full service restaurant where my meal is brought to me like a Red Robin sort of place but usually for a buffet I tip between 10% and 15%. Tonight our bill was $35.96 and I left $4.04 for the tip. I am not great at math but that is about 11% which I thought was decent for a buffet but not our server. When she came back for the check while we were still sitting (which I think is rude) she walked over to another server and showed her the check. My first thought was I was being extremely cheap but the more I thought about it I felt it was fine so I am not sure what the problem was. Maybe I am way off base here but 11% tip for a buffet seems fine to me. I was really taken back by our server’s reaction and if I had some cash on me I probably would have tipped her more. I thought about what happened at dinner for a good hour afterwards and even asked my father in-law what he tips at buffets and he said 10-15%.

What do you tip at a buffet? Was I being cheap?