The Friday night seafood buffet at the Aqua Caliente Casino in Palm Springs is often a dinner stop for Mme Zoe and me. Lots of seafood choices and the crab legs are outstanding (besides the usual buffet items of pizza, sushi, Asian and Italian and a good slice of filet of beef if thats what you fancy). Soft drinks, coffee, tea are included and up to now there was waitperson service. Paying for the buffet up front leaves a spot for a tip which on a $50+ meal for two would be substantial (the buffet is $23.95 pp). The check is marked with a X if the tip has not been left and it has been our experience that service was more attentive if the tip had not been included. On Friday night we were told that only the tables would be cleared and that if we wanted coffee or water then we had to walk across the restaurant and dispense it ourselves. The only thing "served" were two wipees and two napkins + cutlery. Sort of became a true cafeteria rather than a restaurant buffet serving really good food for the most part.
So if you tipped 15 or 20% up front when you paid - you paid for the privilege of having NO service (and no warning until seated). Usually a bustling place with waitpersons very happy with smiles - now a grim spot. Too bad it spoils a nice experience.