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Tuesday, September 16. 2014
Some people seem stingy to the point of sadism, cruelty. Envelopes in Marriott hotels invite tips for maids
Marriott is right to do that. Like restaurant servers, these people live on their tips. Leave the $ on the table each morning and, if you stay a few days in a place, you will get better attention and a grateful attitude.
Always tip generously. It's an easy way to make the world a more pleasant and cheerful place for all. In the US, roughly 20% in restaurants. In European restaurants, they usually include the gratuity in the bill but I always add a bit to it especially if the service is attentive. They do know that I am American, after all.
Addendum: Man, did that get some debate. Really, except at Dunkin Donuts, better not to tip at all rather than to leave a one dollar tip. It's insulting. A good rule of thumb: Always tip helpers to show gratitude. Including barbers.
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So the hotel maids took the job not knowing the wage or took it at a wage that is so low they need tips too? Should I have tipped the maid $5.00 in the filthy motel we stayed in last year next to the Philly airport? If so what should I have tipped the maid in the $800.00 a night luxury room at the London Hilton?
If the Marriott is so concerned about their maids income they should pay them more, they certainly charge enough for their rooms. Depending on the charity of strangers is a very poor income plan.
Soooo, do you tip waitstaff in restaurants? It is not charity if it is in return for a service.
You tip the wait staff because you are interacting with these people directly. Your tipping may alter the level of their service. You don't tip the cook who made your meal because you aren't interacting with him directly. And unless you make special requests you are not interacting with the maid. You are getting nothing for your tip. What is the point?
I've been tipping $5 per night for years. For once I am ahead of a trend. I travel a good bit for business and see the women that clean the rooms come and go. A few dollars per day per room can meaningfully improve their lives so I'm happy to do it. However, I don't pay more at a Ritz versus a Hampton Inn as their labors are the same at either hotel.
Don't tip in Europe...it is confusing things as people are now not sure if tipping is the done thing and how much? things are fine as they are.
Apparently, I am the kind of low-life you're referring to, as I do not recall ever leaving a tip for housekeeping at a hotel or motel. Somehow I've made it through nearly 50 years, including a good deal of business travel, without knowing I was "supposed to" tip the housekeeping staff.
Some questions: if tipping in hotels is "customary" why do only 1 in 15 or 20 guests do so, as the maid states in the article? I would say something with such a low adoption rate is not customary.
In reading about tipping after seeing this article, I can see that my ignorance of what's "customary" in the world of hotel tipping runs deep. I will need to get the online deep, deep discount hotel rates to be able to save the extra cash to tip the doorman, desk clerk, concierge, bellhop, room service and housekeeping staff.
I also noted the history of tipping in the US and it used to be frowned upon, with six states even having anti-tipping laws. Anyone remember the Bette Davis/Humphry Bogart film, The Petrified Forest? Ol' Pops had the sign up: "Tipping is Un-American. Keep your change."
My wife was a waitress when we were married and tips were a big chunk of our income. We've remembered that and try to be aware of that when we are being served at a restaurant. Particularly when the expletive-deleted government decrees that wait staff don't need to be paid minimum wage because they get tips. And the IRS taxes them for tips whether they get them or not.
Still, I struggle with what's "fair" in a tip. I know 15% is "customary" but why? Why not per-head? Why not based on the amount of time the table is used? If I take up a booth for a half-hour drinking a $2 soda, should my tip be 30 cents? Is 15% a minimum REQUIREMENT for basic service or a minimum for good service? Is Brittany's service at Chez Pierre really worth 20% on a $250 bill while Millie's service at Denny's Cafe is only worth 20% on a $35 bill? Especially when Millie has to deal with screaming kids, lewd truck drivers and the, ah, underclass clientele that Denny's attracts (I eat at Denny's, so I may be underclass, myself).
Now it seems every coffee shop and many fast food joints have a tip jar on the counter. Two of my kids worked at Starbucks and tips in the jar were divided evenly - the worst slacker got the same as the most customer-focused barista. Starbucks has now implemented a way for customers paying with credit card to tip as well. My rule is that if I have to walk up to the counter and order myself as well as pick up my order from the counter myself and bus my own table - I earned the tip, not them.
My son is in the wedding industry and recently contracted to videotape weddings for an outfit back east for clients in our neck of the woods (we're on the west coast). Though he's been doing wedding work for some time, on this gig he got his first tip: $160. And he learned that tips are expected by photographers and videographers back east, yet rarely seen in the west in his experience. So perhaps there are regional variations in this tipping business as well?
In reading up on tipping, it appears in some cultures a tip is considered an insult. Why don't we adopt that as our culture? Let's make leaving a tip an insult instead of not leaving one. Perhaps the low wages of low-skilled jobs will inspire some to better themselves.
well said. I will tip if and only if the service I received was above and beyond what can reasonably be expected from the person providing that service.
So I won't ever tip a maid in a hotel for just doing her job, which is making beds, cleaning rooms, and replacing towels.
A waiter in a restaurant ditto. For just throwing food on the table they won't get a tip. At most I'll round up the bill to a nice round number.
It's an insult to customers to demand they tip you, especially if you did a below par job (which sadly is frequently the case).
It's even more insulting if you include an expected tip in the bill presented to the customer.
If you do that to me, that tip is summarily deducted from the bill and whatever quality service you provided you don't get a penny.
Wow- low life, huh? I've never left a tip in a hotel, ever. Our company actively discourages the idea too. We routinely tip in restaurants (20%) but no where else that I can think of.
I find the expectation/requirement of a tip to be offensive. I honestly do not care in the slightest what a waiter makes. If they don't like their job then they should find one that pleases them. My work in my lifetime was always harder then a waiter's work is and I didn't even qualify for overtime when I worked 24 hours straight. It is the responsibility of the employer to compensate his employees not mine. That being said I do tip 10% more or less for acceptable service and I tip zero if I am not pleased. But I do it because it is so forced on us that some would call me a low-life if I didn't tip. (Besides my wife makes me.)
I have never tipped hotel staff. I tip waiters and waitresses at 15%, unless there is bad service. As a former dishwasher, I hope that some of the tips get to the dishwashers.
When I was working in Argentina, the company arranged for us to eat meals at a local restaurant. As waiters in Argentina are paid living wages, tipping is not expected. However, when I left the town for another country, I tipped the waiter $50 in local currency -now about 3x that amount- "for a year of good service." "Muy bien."
If you want to see appreciation, tip the person at a fast food drive through. I've been doing that for the last few years.
Sorry, I have been a heavy business traveler for 25 years, and tipping the hotel staff is not "customary", it is when something special has happened or a staff member went out of their way. For 1000s of hotels nights I can count on two hands the number of times I have left tips, and this is true of the large number of fellow business travelers I know.
My reluctance to tip is also in response to the gouging at hotels which include:
- Outrageous parking fees. In one place I was charged $20 a night for an out of the way place in the middle of nowhere that was never full. The parking fee in San Francisco starts at $50 a night.
- WIFI fees. In the old days it was outrageous long-distance fees.
- "Resort fees". Usually $20 or more a night, when I am basically just sleeping there for 7-8 hours before leaving.
- 10%-15% occupancy tax in most locations. This is a government issue, but if the voters are going to screw me for my hotel room cost I am not going to leave extra money for the people who voted in these politicians. In addition rental cars have similar taxes and in many cases taxes and fees are more than the rental car company themselves get, making the tax rate on rental cars over 50%.
- The request by hotels to reuse towels and the like to "be green". This is not about being green but on saving costs and helping the hotel's bottom line. So I make it my mission to use as many towels as I can, and make sure they are on the floor to get replaced.
And with all these fees the hotel can't pay a little extra to their maid staff, and it's my responsibility to pay the difference? Don't think so. The hotel can use some of these fees and pay them more - that is their responsibility. Marriott, who started this, makes profits hand over fist.
The bottom line is that cleaning the room is not a personal service require tipping, and everyone from the airline to the rental car company to the airport also has cleaning people and I don't tip them either.
Now if you want to tip that is your business, but to attempt to shame others who don't share your view ("sadism" and so on) is rather pathetic. Maybe you should work for big government so you can force everyone to tip like you do?
In the US, roughly 20% in restaurants.
15% for reasonable service. That was the rule forever, until people got bad at math.
And no, not "inflation". Inflation raised the cost of the meal, which raises the tip.
Hmm, I always thought tipping housekeeping was for service out of the ordinary - such as if I asked for extra towels or ask that my room be made ready sooner than usual.
But, the "norm" to tip the housekeeping staff?
Never heard of it. So, I guess I'm one of the "lowlifes" who "stiff" the maid.
I guess, like BD, I'm apparently a fool for tipping in hotels. The help doesn't set the rates, decide on tax rates, offer to save the planet, decide to charge for wireless, or decide a free breakfast consists of well-aged fruit and stale doughnuts. Management does that. I don't mind sharing some of my money on behalf of someone for good service, and I will stiff a waitstaff for poor service. I'd rather die knowing I might have made someone's day and helped them financially, than with a few extra bucks my kids don't need, in their inheritance. I guess it's that silly thing my mother taught me...to treat others as you'd like to be treated.
Just charge what you want and I'll decide if I want to buy at that price.
I've never tipped hotel staff.
I never knew you were supposed to tip the maids until I started traveling with Mrs. Feeblemind. I believe she tips $10/night and it is always 20% to the waiters and cabbies as well. Previously I had been shamed into increasing my tipping from 10 to 15%.
I guess I have always been a tightwad, and by extension, a lowlife.
Commenter JR makes some very valid points about tipping.
If you tip to help out the staff, you gentrify the job. A higher skilled worker takes his place.
The economics are nicely explained by Mike Munger
I tip for table service, 20% if good service, less if the waitperson isn't paying attention.
I rarely tip for counter service if I have to stand around for my food, carry it to the table, and then bus my own dishes. Screw that!
I'll leave a $5/night tip for my very infrequent hotel stays, but only if I have them clean the room, make the bed, bring fresh towels, etc. Generally, I don't like anyone in my room and tidy the bed myself every morning, so it's generally just a $5/tip at the end.
So, am I Lady Bountiful or Scrooge McDuck?
Sometimes I think people tip because they feel embarrassed to be taken care of. I know a lot of people who are at pains to chat and over-tip "the help" because they basically feel guilty that they aren't doing their own yard work (when they are perfectly able bodied, not injured) or child care or cooking or cleaning. As someone who had to scrimp and save to be an at home mom, and who worked at many jobs far more menial than waiting tables to get thru school, for which I received minimum wage and no tips, I don't feel obliged to tip anybody except the obligatory 15% for wait people if they gave good service. People who insist that I HAVE to give more get blank stares. I don't tip at Starbucks either. They get health benefits, which is more than most waitstaff do. I'm polite and friendly, without wasting their time with chit chat that they have to pretend to be interested in.
The one exception is when I automatically fall into Spanish or Portuguese with some Latin American workers (force of habit from growing up in Argentina and Brazil--Gringo and I probably have some of the same old stomping grounds, albeit at different times). The person sometimes guesses where I lived by my accent, tells me where they are from, and we exchange pleasantries. In my town, a lot of rich jerks exploit immigrants and treat them like dirt, then tip them hoping to get great work anyway. But, in my opinion, it's treating someone with respect and courtesy, and their wage that you owe someone Tips are something an aristo tosses a peasant.
Incidentally, one reason I can't afford to eat out is the increasing media and peer pressure to tip more lavishly. So I just don't go, and how does that help the waitperson?
I've sometimes thought that people who tip lavishly are just trying to buy retainers who will doff their cap and show deference, or are people who want to be thought a big shot. I don't cheat people, but I'd rather someone I'll never see again thinks me a skinflint than spend more than I can afford.
I'm generous with people I know rather than with strangers. I'd rather be stingy with tips and give $500 to a cash-strapped newlywed couple from church to help outfit their kitchen. They'll be thrilled and it's part of supporting the marriage which every church member commits to implicitly...
Then again, maybe I'm just feeling poor today ....We Monty Python peasants grubbing in the dirt in our anarcho-syndicalist commune don't go out to eat often, have no household help, and use virtually no services, so tipping is an occasional burden when we have saved up for a rare trip....
Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed!
As an ex maid I can assure you that tipping maids is not customary, however it IS appreciated!
LOL at all you folks saying "you always tip 10%".
You are among life's losers and you don't even know it. Treating people like garbage every step along the way - honestly, it would be best if you just stayed home.
Dag. I thought $2/night was the standard. I'll have to up my game.
Do hotel maids receive minimum wage? Because I know restaurant waitstaff do NOT and this is enshrined in law "because everyone knows" ... blah blah blah. So I tip waitstaff around 20% for good service.
I don't remember ever tipping in a hotel. And like the commenter above, I strive to use as many towels as possible ... I hate the lie that's it's about "being green." Well, maybe green in the sense of greedy, yes.
And another commenter mentioned folk feeling uncomfortable about being waited upon ... I've worked several customer service type jobs in my life and I'm not at all uncomfortable with being waited upon ... it's part of the job the person takes. To me it's just a transactional situation. Affluent people should have to work waiting tables or whatnot in their youth ... indeed, this might cure a number of cultural maladies we see today ...
But basically, based on the posts I see here, including the photos of houses and vacations and whatnot, I think BirdDog is just rich and doesn't grasp the reality of the lives of us'n little people who pay the taxes and work the customer service jobs of the world. BD, stop telling us what to do, thanks.
I do not tip hotel staff for room service because I use the "Do Not Disturb" doorknob hanger-thingy so they can leave me alone.
However I do tip them when I interact personally with them for towels, toilet paper etc.
I worked as a maid one summer and very much appreciate the few and far between tips I would receive. Most of the time it was in food - people would leave extra sodas, unopened food packages, on the bureau. I appreciated that, too!
90% of the time I leave a tip. For me, the average is probably $3 a night, but I don't stay in expensive hotels. Usually this is a motel-style place in a small town. If I only stay one night, I will leave $5.
I think you leave the tip you can afford. Anything is better than nothing. I would have happily put $1 in my pocket.
I'm also dead set against tipping hotel maids unless one makes a royal mess of the room.
I met a new friend one night while staying at a hotel and she and I left the room a bloody mess. I left $20.
Doubling down huh?
But #23, MissT who actually was a hotel maid says she'd be happy to take that $1.00 tip.
Thank you! Any tip is better than no tip. As a maid I did not expect a tip, but was pleasantly surprised when someone left me a tip. Unlike a waitress, who is paid because it is expected that 99% of the people who eat at her tables will tip her.
I was a 19-year-old college kid at the time, so the money was not a life necessity. I know now as an adult, most of the maids who clean my room ARE working out of necessity. It is a hard and thankless job...mostly done when no one is around to see you. You have to work quickly because you have to complete all of your rooms before check-in time.
The worst was having a list of ALL one-night stays you had to turnover by the end of the day.
Leave a tip! Even if it's minimal. It will be most appreciated!
I tip 15% for lunch and 20% for dinner IF the service is satisfactory. But I have a high standard on satisfactory. On Christmas Eve when my family and I eat out after Mass (at one of the few restaurants open then), we always leave a $50 tip for the lucky server.
I loath tipping baggage people or hotel "grab your bag and throw it in the back of the cab" people because I can carry my own bag and I hate it when they grab it without asking. So at most they get a buck and not that if I am not feeling generous.
I don't tip maids. Sorry, they get minimum wage and I can't count the number of times I am sure they did not change the sheets and barely get them on correctly. But I do keep my room clean and pile my towels in a neat pile for them (give me a break on the whole green thing) so they don't have any additional work.
Tipping has turned into a shaming thing now and it only makes generous people less generous.
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