Mom And Son Giraffe
  • On Jan 5, 2010
    Sacheen from MN Asked

    Hi Anna! Thank you for your answer! I would like to know about the required gratuity for parties of 6 at restaurants. We have myself, DM, DH, DSS 11, DS 2, and DS 11mo. Would that apply to my family if two of the members are under the age of 3? Thanks!

    Hi, Sacheen!  When you book an advanced dining reservation, they have to know exactly how many people will be dining with you just so they can keep track of the number of people in the restaurant at any given time, so the little children must be included in the total count.  For you, that bumps your party up to a party of six, subject to an automatic gratuity of 18% on your dining experiences. 

    However, because two of the members of your dining party are very young children, I contacted a couple of the restaurants at Walt Disney World on your behalf to see if the automatic gratuity applies.  Basically, the answer I got from each of the locations I contacted was that it is up to the discretion of the restaurant when you dine to add - or not add - the gratuity.  If the children are eating from an adult plate and not ordering an individual meal, they are less likely to be counted in your party size, and therefore, you would probably not be charged the automatic gratuity.  If they are ordering their own meals - even if they are ordering from the children's menu - they will be counted in the party size, and the gratuity will probably be added.

    Again, they all stressed it is up to the discretion of the restaurant given the circumstances at the time of your dining reservation.  Your experience may vary from restaurant to restaurant.

    I hope I haven't added to your confusion!  If it was up to me, I would plan on paying the 18% gratuity on all of my meals, and that way, you are prepared in any case.
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Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a wife, mother to three daughters and a son-in-law, and earning my Grandmom ears. I'm a law student and former teacher. I have planned vacations for all sorts celebrations, but really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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