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18% Mandatory Gratuity starting January 1st?

Discussion in 'WDW Restaurants and Dining' started by DougK, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. DougK

    DougK Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2007
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    I just received an email from Disney Dining Experience. Please note the last paragrpah:

    Dear Doug,
    Greetings from the Disney Dining Experience Team!
    As 2008 quickly approaches, you will begin to see some exciting new developments for the Disney Dining Experience Membership Program. You asked and we listened! Effective November 11, 2007, you will no longer have to wait 3 – 6 weeks to receive your permanent membership card(s).
    Guest Relations locations at Epcot®, MAGIC KINGDOM® Park, DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM® Theme Park, Disney-MGM Studios, DOWNTOWN DISNEY® West Side, and DOWNTOWN DISNEY® Marketplace will now be able to print permanent Disney Dining Experience membership cards for immediate use. This service is designed for existing and new members. Cards produced at the Guest Relations locations will be printed on paper stock similar to the annual pass tickets.
    The Disney Dining Experience office will still be available to take applications for current and new members, via the phone, fax or mail for those who do not want to take advantage of the in-park service. Membership cards ordered through the Disney Dining Experience office will be received within 2 - 3 weeks of purchase.
    All Guests who have ordered their Disney Dining Experience membership cards prior to November 11, 2007 date will have to pickup their temporary cards at the main entrance Epcot® Guest Relations. Your permanent card will be sent through the mail and arrive in 3-4 weeks from the date of purchase.

    We would also like to inform you that the Walt Disney World® Resort will be implementing an across property policy change regarding gratuity at all food and beverage locations. Effective January 1, 2008, 18% gratuity will be added to all transactions, regardless of party size. Thank you for your continued support.


    The Disney Dining Experience Team

    Keep in mind this was from DDE but as I read it this would seem to apply to ALL restaurants in WDW whether you use DDE or not.

    I think a mandatory 18% gratuity is a terrible idea. Or am I reading it wrong? What do you think?
  2. ultramm

    ultramm New Member

    Sep 22, 2006
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    I was about to post this as well since I just received it.

    That's exactly what I figure. They won't care as they get their 18% no matter what. I always beleived tipping was tipping and not a service charge or VAT(Vatue added tax)!
  3. DVC Mike

    DVC Mike Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2007
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    Since I always tip 20%, and tip higher than that for exceptional service, the poor servers are only going to get 18% and I get to pocket the 2%.
  4. TedW

    TedW New Member

    Aug 21, 2007
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    ALL food and beverage locations? Really? So we'll be tipping 18% at the popcorn carts and/or the counter service locations too?
    And I agree with the poster above; I tend to tip at 20% or more...this isn't a great idea, if it is true as it reads...
  5. PigletIsMyCat

    PigletIsMyCat Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2005
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    I think it's a terrible idea for two reasons. One, I am a very picky tipper. I start with 15%. If I'm pleased with the service, I leave between 18-20%. If I have an astronomical waitperson, I will go up to 25%. But, if I am displeased with the tip, I will leave less. I have been known, in extreme cases, to leave as little as a 5% tip and complain to the manager. I pay good money for my food, and I pay according to service. If a waitperson gets a 5 or 10% tip from me, I'd like to think they know I was not happy with their service.

    This will also work in the other way: people who consistently tip a minimum of 20% will now choose not to tip over the 18% that is added in.

    This means I can't let my tip do the talking, and I'm sure you will all see me speaking to managers at practically every location pointing out anything that waitstaff does that would not normally assure them an 18% tip. As Ultramm said, this is a tip, not a service charge. I understand that the majority of a server's income is garnered through tipping. Where I used to wait tables, it was expected that you would make 15% of your income through tips, so when I was waiting tables (when the minimum wage was $5.15), my hourly pay was $4.38. If they're going to add a charge for waitstaff, why don't they just raise the price of every item by 15 or 18%, raise the waitstaff's income by 15-18%, and do away with tipping?
  6. shari71

    shari71 New Member

    Jul 11, 2003
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    I am not a DDE person, but on the trip we just got back from, if I ordered something not included with the DP then they automatically tacked on an 18% tip. I ordered a drink one night and the tip was there...but I didn't notice it until later so I tipped again...she received a good amount. I was watching it the next time when my kids got speciality drinks and again the tip was automatically included. It kind ticked me off since I should be the one deciding on the tip amount. Not Disney.
  7. brkgnews

    brkgnews Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2004
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    Fut the whuck? That is insane.

    I've gotta admit that I'm kind of torn on this one. I tend to tip VERY well... 25% or so at a table service place because I know CMs are already living on store-brand ramen noodles because they can't afford the name brand noodles. I also know that they have already had to deal with fifty jerks throughout the day that are hot and tired, and are taking it out on the CM. This will eliminate that, but I still like having the OPTION on how much to tip, based on service. I'll never stiff anyone with anything under 15%, even when I had that God-awful rude waiter at Biergarten. But I think I should be allowed to scale my tip accordingly. I guess I can just tip on top of the tip if I think they're worth it.

    Maybe this explains why the tip is supposedly "going away" in DDP.
  8. kstella

    kstella Member

    Jan 21, 2006
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    I don't like the idea of the gratuity being automatically added to your bill. A gratuity is a reward for excellence in service, not part of the bill. I tend to tip well because I used to be a waitress and I know it's not an easy job, but I understood that in order to earn my tips I had to do a good job. I also tip bad if I don't feel the server has earned it. If it's already added to the bill, that takes away our voice in whether or not the service was good.
  9. LuLaSue

    LuLaSue Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2006
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    I guess it doesn't bother me either way. If they add 18%...that's all they get. We tend to be 20% tippers but, if they want 18%, they get 18%. If the service is bad it stinks to be me. With that said, I rarely encounter bad service in Disney.
  10. KingStefan

    KingStefan Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2005
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  11. Grumpy-Fan

    Grumpy-Fan Active Member

    Sep 3, 2007
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    I always tip according to the service provided. If the service is just ok, I tip 15 percent, If it`s great I tip anywhere from 20-25. If it is bad I tip less. If I get bad service at Disney I will talk to management before I tip that well.
  12. sbkline

    sbkline Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2006
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    I think it sucks adding the gratuity in as part of the bill. In my ideal world, employees would get paid a regular wage and then gratuities would be extra above and beyond that. Because a tip should be just that: a BONUS for good service. Not something that's taken into account when deciding how much of a wage to pay someone in that job.

    I don't believe in automatic gratuities for a couple reasons. One, as I said, it should be a bonus for the waitress for good service...not a service tax added on by the establishment. Two, because the size of a person's tip (or even if he/she gets a tip) should be based on the quality of their service, and not a set amount for everyone regardless of service.

    And I don't understand why some of you say that you always leave a tip, no matter what, even if service sucks. I haven't had the best of tipping etiquette over the years, and in the past couple years, I have been making an effort to be a better tipper. But I still don't get the idea of leaving a tip, albeit a smaller tip, for crappy service. If the service is that crappy, then don't leave anything. Simple as that.

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