Tipping Under Self Serve Situations
This past evening a group of us dined at a Chinese Buffet. There really was nothing the waitstaff did after we were seated by the host. Just wrote us up for a buffet and drink each. The plates and cups were at the steam tables and drink dispensers. There was no busing of our table of for that matter any interaction with the waitress until we signaled we were finished. All she did was bring us the check on a tray with some fortune cookies. While there were quite a few waitresses standing around, some actually did serve tables that chose an entree from the regular menu, otherwise they had a few busboys cleaning off the tables after guests left. For the majority of the diners, they come for the buffet and truthfully, the waitress do nothing more then write up your check. I'm sure the composite tip we left was better then 20% and it's one of those things you don't question amongst company. Personally, I don't feel that it's fair to expect patrons to tip a full gratuity when there was absolutely nothing done on their behalf. Had we been waited on,served, drinks brought and refilled, that would be a fair tip.
Let me pose another. We've covered tipping pizza delivery before. We order on the web and pick up our own. There's obvious tip jars by the register for the pick ups and gratuity fill-ins on the receipts should you put it on a card. There's no customer service involved beyond paying for your order unless cutting the pizza, boxing, and holding counts as a service. I don't tip the kitchen staff in a regular restaurant or the register operator. So considering the same at a Pizza chain pick up desk, should there be a tip?
Just wondering what you all think is proper under such circumstances.