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Topic: Tips or gifts to the concierge staff. Should we?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Tikiman Offline
Steve Seifert




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Posted: Aug. 31, 2004, 10:03 am Quote

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.”


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Tikiman
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Polynesian Resort web pages http://www.tikiman2001.homestead.com/
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polyfan4ever Offline
Charline




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Posted: Aug. 31, 2004, 11:33 am Quote

Steve....WOW!!

We stayed at the Polynesian in July (just missed you and Tara).  We tipped Mousekeeping everyday and also the mousekeeper who turned the beds down in the evening.  We enjoyed the concierge staff downstairs so much we bought tons of Ghiardelli's chocolates to be shared with the staff.

No it was not our intent to get anyone in trouble, they were just wonderful with us.  They were definitely a part of our WDW MAGIC!!  And, yep, we would probably do it again. What about the mousekeeper who turns the beds down, a yes or no on tipping.  I am curious, do the mousekeepers get to keep what we give them individually or do they to lump it all together and split it up.  We got the impression with a mousekeeper who turned our beds down (evening), that they are normally forgotten when it comes to tipping.  When we found that out, we started leaving another tip just for her.  

We don't want to mess with protocol.....so just let us know.  By the way, thanks for the info.

Also, how's Tara doing?


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Charline / polyfan4ever

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Tikiman Offline
Steve Seifert




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Posted: Aug. 31, 2004, 11:51 am Quote

Yes housekeepers can keep their tips and you are correct that the person who cleans is not the same one who truns down the room.

Like I said I feel the concierge staff deserve every gift they get but I would never want to cause them problems either. That is why I looked into this more.

So far Tara is doing fine except not finding anything to wear.

Aloha

Steve


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Tikiman
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Polynesian Resort web pages http://www.tikiman2001.homestead.com/
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minnimama Offline





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Posted: Sep. 07, 2004, 5:20 pm Quote

Tikiman tell Tara to try e-bay for materity or larger clothes I did well doing that and it saved money if you're into ebay it works well.  We were at the concierge for Hurricane Charley so we did get gift certificates for several staff members the service was amazing during the turmoil and some staff worked 48 hours straight. Next time I plan to bring maple syrup from home for everyone. I couldn't help myself hopefully they appreicate the thought.

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buzzlovers Offline
Melissa




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Posted: Sep. 07, 2004, 6:26 pm Quote

I am not quite sure where to post this question.  Hopefully I have found the right location.  If not, my apologies Rich!  How much should we be tipping the housekeeping staff?  (ie turn down service and housekeeping itself)

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polyfan4ever Offline
Charline




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Posted: Sep. 08, 2004, 6:58 am Quote

Hi Melissa,

We were at Polynesian Concierge in July, 2 adults and 2 17 year old boys.  We put $5.00 in envelopes for each day for Mousekeepers in the morning.  In the afternoon we left $2.00 for our turndown services.  Remember that was just us, but there were four of us.  We kept the room straight of all personal items and the only things they had to do was "their thing".

Hope this helps.  Enjoy your MAGICAL stay at the Polynesian.  Say hello to Jeffrey, Tara, Ivette, Chef Dick, Sarah, and the all the staff at concierge for us.

The staff is awesome!!......

PS Tell Jeffrey that the Cameron Family from WV sends hugs!!

Thanks!!

:minnie:


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Charline / polyfan4ever

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Janet




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Posted: Nov. 02, 2004, 11:07 am Quote

I have read all the information about tips or gifts for the concierge staff and I understand that it is technically against policy.  I definitely do not want to get anyone into any trouble, however the staff in the planning office has been so gracious and helpful (most of my communication with them was in the middle of all the weather problems) I just wanted to do something to say “Thanks”.  I thought we good bring a gift with a New Orleans theme for the whole staff to enjoy.  This is our first stay at the Polynesian and the first time staying concierge, also.  I just want to make sure to include everyone.  How many people are in the planning office?  Where is the planning office staff located?  Also is the front desk staff separate from the lounge staff or do they cover both places?   I have envelopes ready for the housekeepers, turn down staff, bellmen & valet, but the rest of the staff is the question.  Thanks in advance for any help and/or advice.

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polyfan4ever Offline
Charline




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Posted: Nov. 02, 2004, 11:45 am Quote

Hi Janet,

Looks like you are getting your "bases" covered.  We stayed concierge for the first time in July of this year and it was wonderful.  We had our son and his best friend with us, both age 17.  The lounge was a definite blessing for them.

I think the gift from your area would be wonderful.  But I will tell you what we did.  We became quick friends with a couple of the hosts in concierge and met many others as well.  They were all very efficient and helpful to us before and during our vacation.  We wanted to spread a little sunshine as well.  We went to Ghiradelli's Chocolate Shop at Downtown Disney and went shopping for our concierge staff.  I do know the staff share their "goodies" with other staff members (some I'm sure we never met).  We bought lots of large bags of assorted chocolates (I think there were 50 pieces per bag) and then we also bought boxed chocolates for our favorite staff members.  They were thrilled and very appreciative for the gifts.  And yes, they did tell us it was not necessary to do this.  But we felt they had gone well beyond the call of duty.

By the end of our vacation (didn't want to go home) we had made new friends in which we now keep in contact with.  They are awesome.  Had we known we would have received such great service, we probably would have stayed concierge a long time ago.  From now on, always concierge.  The extra little perks and the friendly staff are well worth the extra in our opinion, especially travelling with 2 teenagers.

Happy planning.

:minnie:


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Charline / polyfan4ever

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goofyandme Offline
Janet




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Posted: Nov. 04, 2004, 9:27 am Quote

Hey Charline,

Thanks for the quick reply.  We were planning on bringing a big bag of goodies-hot sauce, seasoning mixes, beignet mix, coffee & chicory, pralines & anything else we can think of.  That way they could throw a "New Orleans" party if the want to.  I am an obsessive planner.  Jon says he never has to worry because I always have a plan, but to me the planning is half the fun.


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Charline




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Posted: Nov. 04, 2004, 9:56 am Quote

Janet,

I'm an obsessive planner as well.  I try to have everything so we don't have to buy the "things that may come up" while on vacation.  I take too much and bring it back it back home usually but I'm glad I took it with me.

I love the idea with the "New Orleans" party, they'll love it.  Too bad Rich and Carol won't be there to add the extra spice to it as well....lol.

When is your vacation scheduled so Rich can put a countdown clock on your posts?  It's fun to watch the clock go down.

Have fun with all the planning and doing your good deeds for the staff and yes, we did "tipping" envelopes before we left for our trip as well and marked them for each day and for our nighttime staff too.

:minnie:


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Charline / polyfan4ever

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19 replies since Aug. 31, 2004, 10:03 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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