Get in, sit down, shut up, now get out! A Mama Melrose Review...

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
I'm sorry the OP had a bad experience.

As a US tourist overseas, I am sometimes irritated that when a meal is included as part of a tour, it takes so long that I miss out on seeing all I wish to see. But I can understand being annoyed when the opposite happens, if you're used to more leisurely dining.

The world is a big place, and our experiences can vary.
True, I guess the disconnects come from op not simply addressing very very easy issues while dining. I find most servers if they have been doing it for a while pick up a lot of cues from the guest. now some times you get an inexperienced server and you have to be a little more forceful but I'm willing to bet good money that a simple "I'm not done with my plate" or "give us a minute please" would have resulted in a totally different experience. this is not an disney exclusive problem.
 

The Mom

Moderator
Premium Member
True, I guess the disconnects come from op not simply addressing very very easy issues while dining. I find most servers if they have been doing it for a while pick up a lot of cues from the guest. now some times you get an inexperienced server and you have to be a little more forceful but I'm willing to bet good money that a simple "I'm not done with my plate" or "give us a minute please" would have resulted in a totally different experience. this is not an disney exclusive problem.
I agree. He could have easily slowed the service.
 

bigrigross

Well-Known Member
Anytime I eat within a Disney Park, I always tell the waiter that we are or are not in a rush and about 95% of the time they follow through. I am betting in the waiters experience at Disney is that people who eat in the park generally want to get in and out. True, turning tables is the name of the game, but both times I went to Mama Melrose for lunch, I was never rushed. I just went in May. Its funny you brought up Brown Derby. Thats the only restaurant on property that I have had the worst customer service period. Twice. I will never go back to that place.

Where my issues lie is the restaurants outside of the parks. They have no excuse for rushing. Im looking at you Ohana.
 

Hockey89

Well-Known Member
Its funny you brought up Brown Derby. Thats the only restaurant on property that I have had the worst customer service period. Twice. I will never go back to that place.
Funny. I've had terrible customer service there a few times and wont go back...
 

sgtmgd

Well-Known Member
I've made Mama Melrose a staple of our visits. The original poster mentioned the overall ambiance of the place and agree that its very well done. On a hot day its even better to cool off and relax for a bit. Service has typically been good for us, we're generally seated within a few minutes of our reservation time and our waiter/waitress has been prompt in getting our drink. appetizer, entree orders. While not all the wait staff have the same personality the service has been solid for our visits. I can say I never felt "rushed". I typically get a Caesar salad which has always been good. The bread is also good and we've asked to have a second helping on occasion. I always get the Balsamic Steak over Mac n Cheese my wife gets the Seafood dish that comes in a bowl with some type of broth. These 2 dishes alone have brought us back over and over. I've never had a bad meal there but will say Im not a fan of the desert menu, its not that they are bad...I just would like a "simple" piece of chocolate cake. We've paid out of pocket and been on the standard and deluxe dinning plan while eating here. I never feel "cheated" by wait I pay whether out of pocket or if its the gratuity if Im on a DDP. I will say I tip the waiter/waitress based on their performance and personality I dont ever have a set figure although I always budget for 20 percent. I would like to believe the original poster just caught that waiter/waitress on a bad day. I was there about a month ago and My wife and I were happy with our meal/experience.
 

sgtmgd

Well-Known Member
$500 a day, $2500 a week. If you work 50 weeks a year, that's $125,000 annual! Very doubtful this is correct.
Interesting point this, if a typical family of 4 ate at a dinner buffet @59.99 per person on the DDP so standard drinks etc included and ordered no extras the bill would come out to $239.96

Gratuity at 15% would be $35.99
Gratuity at 20% would be $47.99

If a waiter/waitress worked 10 tables a shift and kept all the gratuity they would indeed make good money.

There would be alot of variables to look at but it would seem someone at 1900 Park Fare would generally have an easier time of it vs someone at Mama Melrose, Tony's or any other sit down place.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
Interesting point this, if a typical family of 4 ate at a dinner buffet @59.99 per person on the DDP so standard drinks etc included and ordered no extras the bill would come out to $239.96

Gratuity at 15% would be $35.99
Gratuity at 20% would be $47.99

If a waiter/waitress worked 10 tables a shift and kept all the gratuity they would indeed make good money.

There would be alot of variables to look at but it would seem someone at 1900 Park Fare would generally have an easier time of it vs someone at Mama Melrose, Tony's or any other sit down place.
I don't think that many people tip buffet servers much at all. Just reading these and other forums, you can see how many think that the servers "hardly do anything" and barely deserve any tip at all. I can't imagine that many tip the 15%, let alone 20%. I can see them throwing down maybe $5-$10. I would love to hear from an actual server at one of these restaurants.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Anytime I eat within a Disney Park, I always tell the waiter that we are or are not in a rush and about 95% of the time they follow through. I am betting in the waiters experience at Disney is that people who eat in the park generally want to get in and out. True, turning tables is the name of the game, but both times I went to Mama Melrose for lunch, I was never rushed. I just went in May. Its funny you brought up Brown Derby. Thats the only restaurant on property that I have had the worst customer service period. Twice. I will never go back to that place.

Where my issues lie is the restaurants outside of the parks. They have no excuse for rushing. Im looking at you Ohana.
Well, I mean they have the same excuse the restaurants in the park have, unless you are there the last hour it's open, every restaurants goal is to turn the table over as soon as possible, it's the nature of the business, doing it in a way that is not rushing is particularly how it's done. You mention Ohana , which is extremely popular thus they have many people to please and also a buffet, so how long should one be eating at a buffet with no characters anyway. But weather in the park or out of they are making you feel rushed they failed their job.
 

bigrigross

Well-Known Member
Well, I mean they have the same excuse the restaurants in the park have, unless you are there the last hour it's open, every restaurants goal is to turn the table over as soon as possible, it's the nature of the business, doing it in a way that is not rushing is particularly how it's done. You mention Ohana , which is extremely popular thus they have many people to please and also a buffet, so how long should one be eating at a buffet with no characters anyway. But weather in the park or out of they are making you feel rushed they failed their job.
I have heard it and many others have as well. People dining in the parks tend to want a quicker meal than outside the parks. I have heard people complain that their dinner took too long and they missed a fastpass or show. People who eat somewhere outside the parks tend to want a slower dining experience. So yes, it does matter where its happening. Remember, we are talking the average park guest, not anyone on this forum. They go to disney either once or once every 10 years or so. They want to experience everything they can in one go.

Also no, not all restaurants want to turn over tables as fast as possible. I have been to many restaurants that tell you to expect 2 to 4 hours for a meal.
 

NCO91590

Active Member
I don't think that many people tip buffet servers much at all. Just reading these and other forums, you can see how many think that the servers "hardly do anything" and barely deserve any tip at all. I can't imagine that many tip the 15%, let alone 20%. I can see them throwing down maybe $5-$10. I would love to hear from an actual server at one of these restaurants.
I was a server at a buffet restaurant in college and it was one of the hardest waitressing jobs I ever had. I remember that the customers were absolute ANIMALS when it comes to buffets. Plates stacked up, sucking down soda after soda, needing new silverware. Plus my section was HUGE. like, 10 tables all sitting around the same time, generating stacks of plates, sucking down soda after soda, needing new silverware, etc. People as a rule tended to tip a very low amount or would stiff altogether (this was in US). They think because you're not bringing their food, that they aren't being waited on. It's weird.

When you're at a regular restaurant, the pace is slower, you would only have 3-4 tables at a time, each taking about 1.5hrs so you might get a total of 8 tables per night. And servers typically do have to tip out food runners and the bartender but that would be 15-20% max of your tips.

I haven't worked in WDW, but I did wait tables for like, 10 years in corporate and privately owned restaurants so I know a little bit ;)
 

Hockey89

Well-Known Member
I was a server at a buffet restaurant in college and it was one of the hardest waitressing jobs I ever had. I remember that the customers were absolute ANIMALS when it comes to buffets. Plates stacked up, sucking down soda after soda, needing new silverware. Plus my section was HUGE. like, 10 tables all sitting around the same time, generating stacks of plates, sucking down soda after soda, needing new silverware, etc. People as a rule tended to tip a very low amount or would stiff altogether (this was in US). They think because you're not bringing their food, that they aren't being waited on. It's weird.

When you're at a regular restaurant, the pace is slower, you would only have 3-4 tables at a time, each taking about 1.5hrs so you might get a total of 8 tables per night. And servers typically do have to tip out food runners and the bartender but that would be 15-20% max of your tips.

I haven't worked in WDW, but I did wait tables for like, 10 years in corporate and privately owned restaurants so I know a little bit ;)
I'm not talking about Disney, but your average customer going to a Buffet in Berlin, NH may not be the best clientele. I have no doubt it was your hardest job….
 

NCO91590

Active Member
I'm not talking about Disney, but your average customer going to a Buffet in Berlin, NH may not be the best clientele. I have no doubt it was your hardest job….
Lol, true. But honestly, people might be just a touch more entitled in WDW. Expecting pixie dust with ever schlepping, exhausted server they have.

I don't excuse bad service, but I've learned to be overly communicative in relaying the type of experience I want. I say little things like "we're in no rush!", "It's date night, so please take your time", "I'll just order drinks and our apps and then come back for our dinner order". If i'm ina rush, I'll apologetically explain that we're looking for a quick turnaround right off the bat. They aren't mind readers, so better to be super clear.
 

Disneyfreak Jen

Well-Known Member
So having been here during preview vacations I thought we would give it a whirl again tonight. What a mistake!

We come to WDW every summer for a few weeks and stay on property so have eaten at most restaurants over the years and are now quite selective.

After checking in at the overcrowded desk, we were told they were running behind (this seems to happen at every single WDW restaurant, I believe the name for it is ‘greed’ on Disney's part for over booking).

We were eventually seated to our table after a 25 minute wait, I love the theming of this restaurant, I like the props, photos and overall feel of the place. I think it fits well into the studios area and is somewhere to take your time and savour the atmosphere.

After being sat for around 3 minutes the waitress came over and took our entree order and drinks. Now this is no exaggeration but within 5 minutes the food was on our table, clearly this is just pumped out continuously in the hope someone orders it. We asked for bread as this wasn’t given to us or offered and it came half way through the meal.

As my wife was still eating her entree we were asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu, as my plate was whipped from under my nose as I was still eating.

We did order dessert which was again brought to us within two minutes at the same time as the check (this bugs me! So we dont want any additional drinks, coffees etc, or we don’t have annual pass tables in wonderland - both of which we do), it’s a case of eat up, quickly, don’t enjoy the theme, don’t sit and relax after a long day in the park, don’t dare ask about the theme, just eat your food (expensive food - which I totally accept as its Disney but don’t rush me) leave me a tip and get out, and the sooner I can get you out then sooner I can sit someone in that table you are in and get another tip. We were in and out in 40 minutes and my wallet a lot lighter.

I can’t help but feel that there is no regard for actual service, and let’s not forget no meal at Disney is cheap but for me good service should come with that (we ate at Brown Derby a couple of nights ago and the service was in impeccable, as was the Grand Floridian Cafe). There is nothing but rush in and out at Disney restaurants and I think servers greed for tips is driving it, it’s expected. I even now feel that even with tables in wonderland servers are wanting an additional gratuity. I’m asked if I want change even after I present the tables card! Damn right I want change, how much exactly do you want??

Now having heard that servers in buffet restaurants at Disney can make upwards of $500 a night in tips don’t expect me to feel sorry any time soon for wanting to enjoy my meal with my family, this isn't Denny’s!
You can’t blame the server, but you can blame the management. The server doesn’t control the kitchen, and if management sees that they are not “rushing” people, the server gets in trouble.
 

SSH

Well-Known Member
Lol, true. But honestly, people might be just a touch more entitled in WDW. Expecting pixie dust with ever schlepping, exhausted server they have. I don't excuse bad service, but I've learned to be overly communicative in relaying the type of experience I want. I say little things like "we're in no rush!", "It's date night, so please take your time", "I'll just order drinks and our apps and then come back for our dinner order". If i'm ina rush, I'll apologetically explain that we're looking for a quick turnaround right off the bat. They aren't mind readers, so better to be super clear.
ding. ding. ding. My vote for thread winner. I confess I overtip - because I saw what my DH went through busting his rear for nasty or rude guests for years. A server really has to be bad for me to tip under 20%. I give the unhappy ones the benefit of the doubt - they probably had the party from you-know-where right before us.

BUT I've also learned that 9 out of 10 times, if I want a nice paced meal, it's up to me. Very few servers understand how to do this outside of fine dining places - most rush to enter everything at once and let the kitchen control the pace. So I take 100% of the initiative:

Server: "I'll be right with you"
Me: "Take your time...we're in no rush at all".

Server: "What'll you have?"
Me "I'd like to start with just a drink and relax a bit before ordering if that's ok?"

Server taking apps and entree order together:
Me: "Can you please put the apps order in first and hold back on the entrees, so everything doesn't come out of the kitchen at once?"

Easy peasy - never failed yet. Bonus: happy server - as they know exactly what I want - and correctly guess that because I say it all nicely with a big smile, I'm probably a decent tipper as well.
 
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