Fun question about tipping 🍿

The nice people at Disney Food Blog have advanced the following argument.

If you go to, say, HBD just to have dessert (the grapefruit cake, obviously) you should leave an enormous tip to compensate the server for loss of earnings. They say you should leave a ten dollar tip on a ten dollar slice of cake.

I take a, er, different view.


That’s insane! You might tip a little extra, but mostly don’t “camp out” at a table for an extended period. Have your cake, but don’t linger so they can “flip” the table.


If you took an hour and a half to eat your cake, maybe.


Furthermore… if I’m “solo” and dining anywhere I’ll request to sit at the bar. The bartender can typically provide the full menu and the gratuity will be about the same as someone only ordering a drink. Plus, it doesn’t take up a table that could hold 4+


It all works itself out in my opinion. You have folks who order and eat quickly while ordering alcohol and desserts where the tab is much larger as is the tip. And then you have the dessert client. I would tip normally. Now, I often (locally) tip much more for lunch as the menu prices are sometimes much less. Not so at Disney. But to tip as much as the dessert? Not normal to me. Tipping more than 20%, maybe.


I’m on your side. I’ve never got the ‘compensate them for not ordering more’ argument. I’ll eat that cake in 5 minutes and they can sit a family at the table straight after and get a tip from them as well.


I kinda see both sides as a former restaurant worker. It does seem outrageous on the surface, but I look at it this way:
Servers in the US generally only make $2-3 an hour bc of their tipped positions not requiring legal monument wage. In this time of social distancing and limited capacity, me going in and ordering a $10 piece of cake takes a table that could have produced a $50 bill and a $10 tip for the server. Since they can’t have as many tables bc of covid, this hits their bottom line way harder than during a normal day.
I would agree with the idea to sit at the bar if possible. But I probably would give a big tip to a server if I took up a table but didn’t have a normal size bill.

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But that $50 bill will be from a table that takes an hour or more of your time.

As @missoverexcited says, I’ll be done with that cake in ten minutes. And then another group will take over my table.

Tough argument here where no one is going to be a winner. But in any business, there are going to be clients/customers that are relatively insignificant from a revenue perspective, yet take up valuable time. You have to think holistically across the entire work day, in my opinion. The Wal-Mart greeter has to greet regardless whether you buy a pack of gum or 10 TVs. It’s just a cost of business and hopefully the revenue averages to help everyone win.


The answer is easy:

The entire argument is stupid and servers should make a living wage without having to rely on tips to provide it.

Someone who spent 12 years waiting tables


Excellent point. This might happen. Certainly a topic of interest for sure Nationally.

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I’m just going to remind everyone that these threads have a history of turning out nasty. I hope we can keep this one friendly.


True but the 10 minutes you’re eating, plus the time it takes to get your order bring it to you, plus turn time, especially with the enhanced cleaning makes it more like 30+ minutes.

Agree 100%

I don’t think it should be something that everyone does, but it’s something I would personally do.


When I did my solo trip I only booked one TS restaurant - Tokyo Dining. I was seated at a 4-top and I did feel bad for taking up the table by myself, because the waitress could have had a much bigger ticket if there were 3 or 4 people there. So I did leave her a really generous tip. I think my meal was about $40 total and I gave her $20.


Thing is those saying the next group can be seated quicker seem to be missing the fact that the restaurant can only take a fixed number of bookings per hour. So that next group won’t necessarily be there waiting.
I would certainly leave a bigger tip if I was just having desert.


It should happen, but won’t. Business owners have no incentive to pay a higher wage when as a society, in the U.S., we are so programmed that this is the “best way to get good service”.

I’ve waited tables & will NEVER do it again. (or any tip based work) You can bust your tail off & give amazing service just get $1 on a $50 check and other times “go through the motions” and get $10 on a $35 check.

No other job depends on the whims of the customer to decide if the workers get paid. At the grocery it isn’t like, “Your total is $100. Would you like to tip $20 so the stock clerk gets paid today??!!??”


We’re from a restaurant family in a tourist town. Our solution is to order apps and dessert and drinks. Thus making the bill larger.

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They’ll only have a certain number of reservations allowed per hour. But there isn’t anything keeping another party from being seated when the cake eaters leave. The certain number of reservations are based on average. They know some people will take a long time and some will leave quickly. It evens out. Then you throw in that they allow walk-ups.

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I mean, having been a server myself I tend to tip generously anyway, but I definitely do tip a little more if my total is far lower than a normal table’s total. Like, if I’m taking up a whole table by myself, even if it’s just for dessert, then I’m tipping as though there were 2 of us dining. If I’m only ordering one item at a table service place that’s normally a 3-4 course meal then I’ll definitely pad the tip, because even though my total dining time is reduced, the time and effort on either side of the actual eating (time to seat me, take my order, get my drink before, and then get my bill, pay my bill, and clear my table for the next party after) is really not any less than if I were eating a full meal.

I absolutely agree that servers shouldn’t have to rely on tips to pay their bills, but for now they do and standing on principles when it’s time to add the tip is only going to hurt the person (or people, if they share out the tips) who has zero control over that policy.


I tip based on quality of service and a percentage of the check, whether it’s $9 or $900, generally rounding up to make it even. I’m not going into what %; we’ve had more than enough of those discussions and they never turn out well. I think the OP was made specifically to rile things up; the popcorn bucket emoji kind of reinforces idea.