Tip at the buffet!

There has been lots of discussion lately on tipping. I’ll get my feelings out right here at the start:

1. If you can’t afford to leave a decent tip, you can’t afford to go out.
2. The tip line is not the place for you to make a political or nasty personal statement. Your server has nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act. Also, do not tell your server to go get a real job. If you get up and go to work and get paid for it, it is a real job. (This is not saying that unpaid jobs are not real jobs, just that being a server IS a real job.)
3. The tip is an exchange of compensation for services rendered. You don’t expect other services to be free, do you?

My hotel has a terrific breakfast buffet, and it is the highlight of my morning. (I am not a morning person. That this makes me happy in the morning says a lot.) I know that there are people who tip less in a buffet situation because “the server doesn’t do anything.” I tip like it was a regular meal, because the servers ARE doing things. As I ate my breakfast this morning, my mind wandered to the many tipping conversations I’ve read recently. This is why I tip normally at the buffet:

1. My servers get me my water, juice and coffee, and make sure I don’t run out of any of it while eating.
2. They clear my plate when I go for more pineapple.
3. They clear my second plate when I go for just a little more pineapple.
4. They alert the kitchen that the buffet has run out of pineapple. (Wasn’t me, I swear.)
5. They clear the tables when I leave, reset the tables, roll the silverware, refill the sugar boxes, keep the water and tea pitchers filled, and keep an eye on their tables to make sure everyone is enjoying their breakfast.
6. During all this, I still have their time.

The fact that they aren’t dropping off my order at the kitchen and picking it up certainly doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing anything. So, tip at the buffet. The server is giving you their time, and that is worth something.

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