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Old 09-12-2012, 11:17 AM   #1
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Babies counted as a "person" for your ADR/gratuity?

My cousin just went to WDW and ate at Tony's (against my advice!). They had a baby with them who was not old enough to eat any food and they counted him as the last "person" to make it a large enough group to add the mandatory gratuity. I get that he took up a spot at the table, but that seemed a little silly to me since they didn't have to serve him anything. Is this how it works at the sit down restaurants?

Side note, they said the service was terrible and the food was unbearable
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSNY4ever View Post
My cousin just went to WDW and ate at Tony's (against my advice!). They had a baby with them who was not old enough to eat any food and they counted him as the last "person" to make it a large enough group to add the mandatory gratuity. I get that he took up a spot at the table, but that seemed a little silly to me since they didn't have to serve him anything. Is this how it works at the sit down restaurants?

Side note, they said the service was terrible and the food was unbearable
Typically (and I don't mean at Disney, I mean in general) it's "guests on the check" when judging party size. At the very least, it's "guests consuming something we sold them".

If the baby wasn't eating OR drinking ANYTHING (off adult plates or whatever), and the server wasn't serving the child and didn't have to clean up after the child..they shouldn't have been a guest on the check. I get there is some discretion involved if guests are "plate sharing", but...c'mon.

IF they made a ressie for 5, and the server insisted on adding the baby to the check in order to get 6 AND to get the 18% auto-tip, I would have asked to speak to a supervisor BEFORE I paid the bill.

If the supervisor insisted, I would pay the bill...and I would contact Guest Services (probably would have done so right then, in MK).

It's not even the tip money I'd have a problem with...the auto-tip actually saves us $$ (we'd tip closer to 20%, usually), anyway...it's the situation/policy. Especially in a family friendly place like WDW. Taking up space or not...the auto tip is there to cover the additional work of taking care of a larger party (because, in theory, you're spending additional time taking care of that parties needs). If you're not doing any additional work..simply occupying a chair/highchair should not qualify the person as part of "the party".
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:03 PM   #3
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That's what I thought. They only did a few sit down meals and they only noticed it at this one. They are high tippers anyway, but looking back they thought the service was maybe bad because he felt like he was going to get the 20% anyway. They didn't say anything, but probably should have.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSNY4ever View Post
That's what I thought. They only did a few sit down meals and they only noticed it at this one. They are high tippers anyway, but looking back they thought the service was maybe bad because he felt like he was going to get the 20% anyway. They didn't say anything, but probably should have.
I definitely think they should have said something.

"Taking up a spot" at the table in a restaurant doesn't make sense to me. Were they really going to sit a single stranger in that seat at the table with your friends' party? That seat was going to be empty whether the baby sat there or not. This was a blatant maneuver to get the extra tip, and definitely should have been reported!

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Old 09-12-2012, 02:25 PM   #5
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Iffy. I only say that because they do require you count infants as members of the party when making ADRs, so I can kind of see that a table of 6 ADR would mean auto gratuity because they wouldn't know initially that one wasn't eating. Does that make sense? Common sense should have prevailed, of course, but I can follow the logic.

To muddy the waters, what would you think if an adult was there and didn't eat or drink, requiring nothing from the server? Should that trigger the auto gratuity? I'm not sure on that situation, either.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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1) Infants should be counted on the ADR one way or another because the restaurant needs an accurate count.

2) The restaurant most likely bases the auto gratuity based off of the number of people occupying space.

3) A % tip of $0 is $0... so not like it makes a huge difference.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWAurora View Post
Iffy. I only say that because they do require you count infants as members of the party when making ADRs, so I can kind of see that a table of 6 ADR would mean auto gratuity because they wouldn't know initially that one wasn't eating. Does that make sense? Common sense should have prevailed, of course, but I can follow the logic.

To muddy the waters, what would you think if an adult was there and didn't eat or drink, requiring nothing from the server? Should that trigger the auto gratuity? I'm not sure on that situation, either.
If they were eating and drinking NOTHING (not food they brought in, not water from a glass that was brought to them, not food off the plate brought to someone else): No.

Because the server wasn't providing them with anything. Remember, the gratuity goes to the server...not the restaurant. It's not about compensating the restaurant for a filled seat (that's a separate discussion). It's about compensating the server for "extra work".
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyWDW View Post
1) Infants should be counted on the ADR one way or another because the restaurant needs an accurate count.

2) The restaurant most likely bases the auto gratuity based off of the number of people occupying space.

3) A % tip of $0 is $0... so not like it makes a huge difference.
The restaurants not getting the tip, though. The server is.

ADR's are meant to account for the number of seats needed and table composition. They're like reservations in other restaurants. Most restaurants which I've been to, that take reservations, do NOT base their auto-gratuity on number of people on the ADR, usually...but on # of guests eating/drinking/consuming something they provided (really, guests on the check..with some common sense judgment when there is plate sharing). If you make a ressie for 6...and only 5 people show up...would you expect the auto tip to be added?

The auto tip is meant to compensate the server for "extra work". If there's no "extra work"....why should they get an auto tip?

While 3 is functionally true...it's the point of the matter. And if, as happened to the OP's cousin..what if the service was poor? 18% of the bill is, likely, more than they would have left...regardless.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:51 AM   #9
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While 3 is functionally true...it's the point of the matter. And if, as happened to the OP's cousin..what if the service was poor? 18% of the bill is, likely, more than they would have left...regardless.
Then you talk to the manager and ask for it to be taken off or reduced. Which you can do even if the 6th person was eating.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:54 AM   #10
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Then you talk to the manager and ask for it to be taken off or reduced. Which you can do even if the 6th person was eating.
Which basically gets us right to what I said...just from slightly different directions.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Yes I think it irked her mostly because the service was so poor. If he had been fabulous (or even just good) they probably wouldn't have cared or even told me the story. I could definitely see if they had brought in their own food and the baby sat there eating it and made a mess that the server would have to clean up, but at the time he was a breastmilk only baby.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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It may be the way it works, but it certainly could have been questioned. No one should ever leave a restaurant without feeling comfortable with their bill. It likely would have been changed had your cousin spoken with the server/manager.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #13
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Automatic Gratuities on 6 or more at Disney Restaurants

There is much history behind adding the gratuity to parties of six or more 'breathing people.' (Too much to post here.)

Many stations across Disney property only give servers the minimum number of seats agreed to within their union contract ~ fourteen seats. A party of six or more will often stay longer and require extra services tying up half or more of the servers' available seats that they have to make money from.

Professional servers, and Disney has many of them, try even harder to please these large parties because they love what they do and would be mortified if any of them left thinking their service was underpar due to a guaranteed tip.

Also, the general public may not be aware that the automatic gratuity is deemed a 'service charge' and as such is taxed in compliance with Florida law.

Additionally those gratuities are withheld by Disney even if paid with cash and run through payroll and paid to the server after taxes on their next paycheck. Disney makes interest on thousands of dollars of gratuities each week with this method. AND if a server is caught NOT adding the auto gratuity on these large parties they receive written discipline within a point system leading to termination.

I would suggest to anyone who is offended by an automatic gratuity at Disney to please consider it is not the servers' decision and they have no choice without risking their jobs.

If you feel the service was not adequate simply ask a manager to leave the amount of the tip up to you. Just be fair about it and hope your kids never have to wait tables.
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