modEARator emEARitus: Polynesian Resort/Yacht & Beach forums
Group: modEARator emEARitus
Joined: Mar. 2003
||Posted: Aug. 31, 2004, 10:03 am
There has been much discussion on other boards about tipping concierge or giving them gifts. For those of you who think leaving a tip for concierge is a good idea you might want to read what the concierge policy is. I don’t want to sound like they don’t deserve a tip, gift, etc because they have made my vacations some of the best vacations I have ever had but the last thing I ever want to do is cause problems for them which you may be doing if you are giving them things. I would give them everything I could if I did not think it may be a problem. They have been so good to Tara and I even before they ever knew our names and way before I ever had a web page. The problem is they are always going to be gracious and polite when receiving gifts and are not going to tell you that you may be causing them to get in trouble in some cases. Here is the response from the concierge staff on how tips are handled.
“Officially we are not on a tip status and should not be receiving tips of any kind, especially cash and we should try to decline it. We are told if a guest is insistent on tipping and giving cash and it seems we will offend them if we don't take it, we can accept it but we are to turn it in to our manager. It then goes into a 'tip fund' that in the past, we used for parties or dinners for our entire staff to be able to attend and enjoy. Unfortunately, company policy states we are not to have this 'tip fund' and therefore it is very difficult for us to use any money that is turned in to the fund these days. Sometimes, cast members keep the cash that is given them thus subjecting themselves to possible termination if they are caught. (This has happened recently at another resort.) Also, sometimes a guest may leave something for another cast member in good faith that it will be given to the cast member but the intended cast member does not receive it.
As far as gifts go, some guests will give gifts for the entire staff to enjoy, (usually food of some kind). While we are technically not supposed to accept these either, management usually looks the other way as they feel if a guest went through the trouble of shopping and bringing or shipping a gift, and it is for all to enjoy, that we can accept it with gratitude for their thoughtfulness and appreciation. If a guest leaves a specific gift for a cast member and it is of value, we have to advise our managers of the gift and value and then it is up to the manager to decide if we are able to keep it or not. According to our company policy, we are only able to accept 1 gift of value a year and it cannot be over a particular amount. (If they say we can't keep it, I don't know where it would go or what would happen to it.) In the past when I received a gift of value, it was approved for me to have it and I had to receive a release paper from my manager to take it home.
We work as a team and while it may seem to someone that one concierge person is doing all the work, it is usually more than one person. It's just the one concierge person ends up being the one that coordinates all the requests and bookings, makes sure it is completed and replies back to the guest. It's great when we are recognized as individuals as sometimes the one concierge person may be the only one working on a particular guest and no one else needed to assist. It can also be disappointing when another cast member is recognized for all the hard work one cast member or the team did together, but we also understand that maybe the guest did not see or understand that there is a team working together, not usually just one individual. I can tell you, a concierge that works at night is not the one in the computer at 7am in the morning making all the special priority seating bookings like Cinderella's Breakfast etc. They may place the request on the list for the am crew but unless they normally work in the IPO or are doing a turnaround shift, they will not be the one booking the request. This is where the teamwork comes in play.
When guests state in their emails or conversations they wish to bring us something to thank us for our service and assistance, We always state that gifts are not necessary as our assistance is part of their reservation booking. We also let them know how much we appreciate their thoughtfulness. We have to be careful in receiving gifts as management has brought it up in the past that we are not here to do things for guests in expectation of a gift or tip and we should make sure that we do not convey to guests that tips and gifts will give them better service. We are subject to discipline, not excluding termination, if management believes that we are giving guests extra gifts and room deliveries etc just because they gave us a tip or gift. Room deliveries for welcome, birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions are now monitored more closely as well as more standardized to make sure all guests are getting the same type of amenity and that the amenity is appropriate to their occasion.
Things like towel animals etc in the room are done by housekeeping and it depends on the housekeeper as to whether or not they do these things for their guests. Not all the housekeepers have the time or skill to do the towel animals. The housekeepers work very hard and when guests leave them a tip with their name on it, their management looks the other way as they feel if a guest appreciated the housekeeper so much as to leave them something, the housekeeper must deserve it and it also promotes moral and the housekeepers take more pride in their job. A win, win situation as some say. As you stated, it is not done because they gave gifts, it is done out of the kindness of our hearts and our wish to make their stay Magical.
We don't do things for guests and expect a tip or gift. Knowing we made a guest's vacation special makes us feel good and that is why we are here. There are times when we wish could do more for our guests because we know how special their occasion is or they are repeat guests.
Guests who stay on a Concierge level outside of WDW know that if they are big tippers, they are going to get whatever they want, especially if the tip is big enough. This is not the case at WDW. Concierge is a level of service they are already paying for by the higher price of our rooms and having a private building. The food in our amenity lounge is not what they are paying for either, it is an amenity that is offered since they are staying in the building.
The Concierge staff, are paid an hourly rate to do our job, we are not on a tip status. When we go out of our way, it is because we want to, not because we are paid more or expect or know we are going to get a big tip or gift. The cast members that are on a tip status are the bellmen, the valet, the bartenders and the restaurant servers. They are paid on a tip wage which is low and they work for their tips with the service they provide. This is industry standard.”
modEARator emEARitus of the Disney Echo's Polynesian Resort forum and Yacht & Beach Club Resort forum
Polynesian Resort web pages http://www.tikiman2001.homestead.com/