Tipping and Gratuity

Is it too little to leave 15% per table meal? It has to be 18% ? Of course we want to be generous and encourage staff, just adds up when trying to convert to US dollars.

Yes, 18-20% is considered customary now. I leave 15 % only for bad service. Servers get paid less than minimum wage - I think as low as $2.85 per hour so they definitely rely on tips.


Poor servers, their wage is too little. Thank you

So even when a regular buffet, you leave 18% + ?

I like this blog post from Touring Plans. I think it is very helpful:

I think the guidelines are still good.

Also, yes I am posting to watch this tipping thread. Be kind!


Everyone - cool it! Mom’s in the room…




Yes. They don’t take your order but stay busy clearing plates.


I recently learned about the Resort Airline checkin thing. I was under the impression that they work for the airline and cannot accept tips. But you are supposed to tip them? Are you also supposed to tip the airline employees at the airport checkin counter? I have never seen anyone do this.

Check out https://thepointsguy.com/guide/jetiquette-tipping-at-the-airport-on-airplanes/ for info on airport tipping. In general, airline employees cannot accept tips, but airport employees can. However, I do not know if the RA check-in people are airline or airport employees.

That’s an excellent explanation. Since those checking in at the resorts are servicing multiple airlines, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be airline employees. I’m pretty sure we tipped them (husband handled it but he took tip money from me so I assume it happened).

On thing for those not used to tipping to keep in mind in that your tip should be based on the subtotal prior to tax. You are not expected to tip on the tax added. Yet I know a lot of people that just look at the bottom line and base their tip on that. nothing wrong with it if it is intentional on your part, but if going on the sub total, 18-20% is great rule of thumb.


That is indeed good to know!


I’m always a little confused by this. You top by how much your bill is, so if I go to a little breakfast place and get a $10 breakfast a 20% tip would be $2 which seems super cheap to leave. Then our family of five goes to a buffet character meal and we’re done in about 45 minutes… because the meal costs so much, leaving 18% is leaving the waiter $35 for 45 minutes of light work (he’s also serving other table and therefore getting additional tips). Regardless what his base wage is, $35 in less than an hour is more than a lot of professionals are making.

I don’t really get the whole idea of percentage based tipping. Don’t get me wrong, I like to tip, and usually tip well… but a standard expectation of 18-20% just doesn’t really make sense to me.


I agree that the price of your food is a terrible way to estimate how much work the person actually had. I understand it correlates a little bit (usually more food, more work, more money), but it is far from perfect (is the $50 steak more work for the waiting staff than the $15 burguer with add-ons and removals)?

In the US I try to vote with my wallet and eat at places that are anti-tiping (they usually say “no tipping allowed here, we pay our workers enough, price of service is included in the food”), but I don’t think that is an option in WDW if you want table service. Since any individual worker is not to blame about the system, I always try to tip generously, even if I think the system is broken and fundamentally unfair.


Agreed it doesn’t make sense but that’s the way it works. Your diner breakfast server works way harder than a waiter at a fancy restaurant often.


Here’s the thing about tipping and food service. In the US some ridiculous amount of restaurants fail. The margins are really small. Add to that, it’s not a predictable industry. By that I mean that unlike, say, the phone company, one day doesn’t look like the rest.

Were it regulated there would ultimately be fewer restaurants, fewer choices for the consumers and fewer jobs in the industry.

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It is worth noting that if your party size is 6 or more, many places will automatically add an 18% gratuity. Don’t make the same mistake I did and leave a tip on a bill that already had the tip included. (I’m sure that server was mighty happy that evening!) To be fair, I knew this automatic 18% was the case…but my brain wasn’t thinking about my own kids as a “party of six” for some reason, so I added another 20% on top of it.

I definitely don’t always follow this rule just because somewhere along the line someone made it the gold standard :slight_smile:

Often my diner waiter gets a 50% tip (because they deserve at least a $5 tip), and even with excellent service I’m probably not going to tip 20% if that works out to be $50 (unless we spent an extended amount if time getting different courses and taking up table space). It just seems absurd to leave $50 at a buffet when the person greets us, brings us drinks and clears the dishes when we left. I completely appreciate it - just not $50 appreciate it :slight_smile:

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This is WDW. It’s not like the restaurants or servers are in desperate need of your help. Some waiters in Disney Springs need to be escorted to their cars just because of how much money they make in a single night.

No one should be guilt-tripped into paying more than what they feel comfortable.

If someone wants to pay 15% that is ok in my book regardless if the service was good or bad.

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