Tipping workers in the service industry has become a lost art these days in some areas of the country. People usually think about tipping in restaurants and larger hotels, but more generally they forget the normal everyday hotel employee who works just as hard and usually for a lot less pay.
In most cases we just don’t think about tipping or we want to tip but don’t know what to tip. So, we don’t even bother tipping. Then again there are those times where some people just don’t tip.
Here’s a general guide to help determine what to tip.
Housekeeping: $2 – $5 per night (the messier you are, the higher the tip). Housekeepers at several hotels get paid by the room these days, not by the hour.
Delivery of Special Items:For a special request (like an extra blanket), $2 for one item, or $1 each for more than one item.
Coat Check: $1 – $2
Concierge: $2 – $20 (depending on the level of attention; for simple questions like directions, no tip is necessary)
Room Service: 15 percent of the bill or at least $2 (not required if gratuity is included)
Doorman: $1 – $2 (for hailing a cab and/or helping with luggage)
Bellman: $1 – $2 per bag (when bags are brought up and down from your room)
Shuttle Driver : $2
Valet: $1 – $2 (more in bad weather)
Bartenders:$1 – $2 per drink, or 15-20% of the total bill.
Counter service/fast foodrestaurants: Often have tip jars out, but you are not required to tip. If the service is exemplary or unusual requests are made, then tips are appropriate.
In-suite dining waiter: Always read the bill; if there is a tip included, it will be on the bill breakdown. Ask the server. The policy of having the gratuity included in the bill is not the norm anymore. A service charge or convenience fee goes to the hotel, not the server. If there is no gratuity added, tip the server 15% – 20%.
Spa:For a massage or other treatment, 10% – 20%. Ask if the tip has been included. Some spas will include a gratuity on your final bill. Most spas will provide you with an envelope to leave at the reception desk for the person who gave you your treatment. Also, if you wish to leave a small gratuity for the spa attendant who showed you around the Spa and got you situated, it is well appreciated, $2 to $5.
Tour Guides:15% – 20% + depending on quality (knowledge, friendliness, etc)
Maintenance/Service People: For fixing something that was broken, or bringing something that was missing, tipping is not required.
Always remember, not every hotel you stay in will have a bellman and concierge, sometimes just your average Joe, who makes $7.25/hour. But even if you’re staying at a budget property without plush bathrobes and a pillow menu, there are still staff members who deserve a tip — particularly the housekeeper who makes your bed and changes your towels. And at more upscale properties, the tipping of other service people such as valets and room service waiters is both customary and appreciated.
Because tipping is a way of rewarding good service, there is no way to say what is appropriate across the board. Tip at your own discretion, but keep in mind the above guidelines.
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