Tipping!!!

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Morticia's picture
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Wow, and I thought WE had opinions...what innkeepers said about tipping on bandb.com

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 I never expect tips from people but quite a few people leave them in the room upon check-out.  It is always a nice surprise to see them because I never expect them.  They are paying a lot for the room as it is.

seashanty's picture
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tipping tipping tipping ...

half the time, i'm the one fluffing the room during a guest's stay. then chambermaid comes in and flips the room and is grumped there is no tip. or for a one night's stay.  why expect a tip? then i hear over and over about how tips are better at this place or that place.

i say the same thing over and over again back to them. "you can't count on tips. guests don't have to leave them.  plus, if i know about tips, i think i'm supposed to report them. "

stunned silence .... 

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Morticia's picture
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seashanty wrote:

i say the same thing over and over again back to them. "you can't count on tips. guests don't have to leave them.  plus, if i know about tips, i think i'm supposed to report them. "

stunned silence .... 

Well, you've effectively put a stop to that particular conversation! What I noticed last year was that the tips were better if the guests SAW the housekeeper. If she arrived after they had already gone (which happened more than I care to discuss) there were no tips. If the tip note was missing there were no tips. We have one couple who leave a tip every time. Even tho we have progressed to the stage where we go out for dinner with them. They still tip. (And they know it is just us cleaning.)

seashanty's picture
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i have noticed that as well.

i know the girls all work other jobs and fill in here.  and i have told them i think they receive tips when guests actually see them around.  but if guests think it is just me (and a lot of the time it is)  then, why tip the innkeeper?  some even consider that to be in bad taste.  also, those envelopes i wrote the note on?  half the time i am sure they are not read.

 

 

Morticia's picture
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Do you write on the envelopes? I don't read those, either because I know what they're going to say. That's why I put the note inside the envelope with a 'To Our Guests' on the envelope.

muirford's picture
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I don't write anything on our envelopes and I don't leave them on the pillows or anywhere that would be considered 'in your face'.  They are with our comment cards and complimentary postcards on the trays behind the water glasses and carafes.  I have a little note in our guest information book with our housekeepers' names and say if you want to leave a tip that's great but don't feel obligated.  I never know if they see them or not - I probably haven't had ten people ask me about them since we've been here.

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JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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muirford wrote:

I don't write anything on our envelopes and I don't leave them on the pillows or anywhere that would be considered 'in your face'.  They are with our comment cards and complimentary postcards on the trays behind the water glasses and carafes.  I have a little note in our guest information book with our housekeepers' names and say if you want to leave a tip that's great but don't feel obligated.  I never know if they see them or not - I probably haven't had ten people ask me about them since we've been here.

I can attest to your method being quite tasteful.  The names make a difference, it is not in your but there is you feel the need to do a little extra for the housekeeping staff.  The wording is also nice.

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Morticia's picture
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I have a line in the guest book as well. So few read that book at all that I'm surprised when someone asks us for a discount coupon for a restaurant.

I know guests see the note cards because they go missing regularly. I print them up every couple of weeks. They take them for the picture of the inn. Cheap advertising. I just added a line that says we only clean between 9 AM & 1 PM so those lazy bones don't think we'll be cleaning up at 3, when they finally decide to go out for the day.

There is no way I am hauling out all the supplies while I'm trying to do check-ins.

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Bree wrote:

I have a line in the guest book as well. So few read that book at all that I'm surprised when someone asks us for a discount coupon for a restaurant.

I know guests see the note cards because they go missing regularly. I print them up every couple of weeks. They take them for the picture of the inn. Cheap advertising. I just added a line that says we only clean between 9 AM & 1 PM so those lazy bones don't think we'll be cleaning up at 3, when they finally decide to go out for the day.

There is no way I am hauling out all the supplies while I'm trying to do check-ins.

Question: Do you have note pads or paper guests can use instead of grabbing the envelopes?  I put pads on our foyer desk as people would grab out business cards to use, so I put them in a visible place.

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JunieBJones (JBJ) wrote:

Bree wrote:

I have a line in the guest book as well. So few read that book at all that I'm surprised when someone asks us for a discount coupon for a restaurant.

I know guests see the note cards because they go missing regularly. I print them up every couple of weeks. They take them for the picture of the inn. Cheap advertising. I just added a line that says we only clean between 9 AM & 1 PM so those lazy bones don't think we'll be cleaning up at 3, when they finally decide to go out for the day.

There is no way I am hauling out all the supplies while I'm trying to do check-ins.

Question: Do you have note pads or paper guests can use instead of grabbing the envelopes?  I put pads on our foyer desk as people would grab out business cards to use, so I put them in a visible place.

Yes, I added notepads last year. I don't use the envelopes anymore because there's no help. The notecard is just on the dresser by itself.

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That's a good idea....I think I'll add the time range that we freshen rooms to our quick info sheet that's in our room books.  Great idea!!

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Sanctuary's picture
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Do you think that your location influences one's opinions on tipping, as well as whether guest do tip?  It's not unusual here in Miami to receive a $100 tip from B&B folks who stayed 4-7 nights.  And on a full blown charter which goes way beyond B&B, it's not unusal to receive a tip over $1,000.  I'm in a city that makes its living on tourism, and perhaps the tourists in areas like this do things differently.  I don't really know if that's accurate.

That said, we in no way SOLICIT tips.  In fact, I don't even expect it, so it's always a pleasant surprise.  In the beginning when I was writing my Welcome Aboard booklet, I had a tendancy to follow the basic points that my colleagues made, and they were all the same when it came to the topic of tipping.  They made it clear that tipping is customary and expected and that a 15% gratuity was standard.  Do the math on a $16,000/week charter!  I didn't like that tone and I omitted the subject of tipping entirely from my Welcome Aboard book.  I felt it was pushy to put in writing that we expected a large tip.  Instead, I prefer to just let people draw their own conclusions and do what they wish. 

We do provide a very personalized service by always having fresh flowers in the stateroom, usually long stem roses, and provisioning the food and beverage based upon the things they tell us they want, right down to the brand of coffee creamer, soda, orange juice, etc.  We tote luggage from the parking lot, and heck, we've even been known to do some complimentary airport pick up/returns when we have the time to do it.  Still, that's just something I like to do for folks because I want their stay with us to exceed all expectations.  Still, we don't solicit tips for all that extra and we're not disappointed if there are none. 

I think some of the other charteryachts (most don't do B&B) push the tip issue because that's all their staff earns - just tips - many outside the US.  And yes, some make a handsome living on just tips.

I don't mention tipping; I don't leave envelopes; and I don't put it in our Welcome Aboard booklet or in the What to Bring/What to Expect pamphlet.  Most people do.  I didn't like the tone of it.  Still, we see very generous tips.

What really gets my goat...when a tip is automatically added to my bill.  I say I should be in charge of making the decision as to whether the service was worthy of tipping and at what rate.  Even worse...those that add an automatic tip for carry out service where there is not wait staff involved.  Many establishments here add the tip automatically because Europeans aren't used to tipping and don't.  

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Tipping for putting your food in a container to take out.....That gets me, too.  Don't get me going about tip jars for counter service!  They are even cropping up at take out windows! 

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Interesting responses.  Each to their own, I think, about soliciting tips.  I am not offended to see a tip envelope or tip line.  I have a choice to ignore it.  If a gratuity were automatically added to my stay, that would be a different story.  A tip is about exemplary service...I don't want to be forced to pay it. 

greyswan's picture
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I saw the title and all I could think of was cow tipping... I need my nap!

muirford's picture
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There's a real country girl - I still remember having to explain to my DH what cow tipping was, back when we were dating and making a trip to my hometown.

trishany's picture
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Out of over 200 couples,  3 left a tip.

GeorgiaGirl's picture
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06/09/2008

Nice article....  I didn't like the one Inn who said "We have recently added a tip line to our checkout receipt".  THAT really puts me out when I go somewhere (other than a restaurant) and there's a tip line......maybe I don't want to give a tip but when it's put in your face it makes you look like you HAVE to!

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Wait, the question is not about tips themselves but about SOLICITING TIPS.  Totally diff animal.

But gee thanks for bringing this dead horse up to slap around and get our blood pressure going again.  YOU, my friend are an instigator.

I was actually going to mention that the Inn from Maine on that subject made the most sense.  Others would probably agree.

After reading those replies - esp the first half of them once again, I will go on my rampage about arrogant innkeepers.  There is nothing worse than haughtiness and pride.  It if so off-putting. 

Morticia's picture
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I thought it was good to see what other innkeepers who are not on here had to say about tipping. Yes, the question was about soliciting tips, but there was a lot of vehemence in the replies to that innocuous question. As you noticed. I was also off-put by the tone quite a few innkeepers took.

I don't think the original question mentioned WHO the tips were for, did it? And, yes, it would be nice if we could all pay our staff a living wage of $20/hour but we can't. So, tipping is NOT to underwrite my cheapness, but to thank the housekeeper for a job well done. And, yes, people in corporate DO get rewarded and they get rewarded even if they sink the ship they're working on. But that's a whole other rant for a whole other forum.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Bree wrote:

I thought it was good to see what other innkeepers who are not on here had to say about tipping. Yes, the question was about soliciting tips, but there was a lot of vehemence in the replies to that innocuous question. As you noticed. I was also off-put by the tone quite a few innkeepers took.

I don't think the original question mentioned WHO the tips were for, did it? And, yes, it would be nice if we could all pay our staff a living wage of $20/hour but we can't. So, tipping is NOT to underwrite my cheapness, but to thank the housekeeper for a job well done. And, yes, people in corporate DO get rewarded and they get rewarded even if they sink the ship they're working on. But that's a whole other rant for a whole other forum.

As we eat mac n cheese and hotdogs tonight I will replay those comments in my mind. LOL!

Sorry to burst their bubble, this is America, this is what people do here.  If an innkeeper (that I do not know) went out of her way to make something extra special for my stay, DANG STRAIGHT I WOULD TIP!!!!  If our kids had smiley face pancakes and there were fresh flowers and a discount to a restaurant, and a card or something thoughtful in my room. I WOULD TIP!  I would faint first, of course, but I would tip.

I wouldn't tip, for just the room.  As per the original idea of gratuities - it is for the extras, the attention to detail, the Extra service you receive.  And I stand by my "i would not tip just because the bed was made and I had towels."   It is not welfare, I do not need to meet the needs of staff at a B&B.  I tip for the extra specialness.

Can it and sell it if you can. 

 

Morticia's picture
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OK, I gave a small gift to an anniversary couple last night. Ditto tonight. I refunded the remainder on their GC even. Was there a tip? Nope. Will there be a tip tomorrow? Nope.

muirford's picture
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As Bree said, I don't think the original question specified who the tip was for.  It seems to me that a dividing point on this question is whether you have housekeeping staff (as I always have) or do the majority or all of the cleaning yourself (like you do).  The things you mention tipping for - fresh flowers, a card, smiley face pancakes (had I only known!) - those are generally done by the innkeepers, and I wouldn't generally tip the innkeepers.  If the housekeeper left me an extra towel for my hair, or took care of a special request - I would tip him/her.

If it's an innkeeper I know, or kindof know - it might be a different story, but I wouldn't hand you cash if I came to stay with you (as you well know).  I would bring something - wine, chocolates, coffee - but I wouldn't leave behind a $20.  I was practically interrogated by a southern gentleman innkeeper friend on my way out the door to make sure that I had left no cash in the room. 

That's all just me, though.  My real point is why are all these people getting hot and bothered about what other people do for tips (either getting them or giving them)?

Morticia's picture
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muirford wrote:

That's all just me, though.  My real point is why are all these people getting hot and bothered about what other people do for tips (either getting them or giving them)?

Good point. Why DID they take it as an attack on their scruples to just answer the question? My guess is that each one of them knows an innkeeper who solicits tips and they are angry with that person (or jealous of the tips)!

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Bree wrote:

muirford wrote:

That's all just me, though.  My real point is why are all these people getting hot and bothered about what other people do for tips (either getting them or giving them)?

Good point. Why DID they take it as an attack on their scruples to just answer the question? My guess is that each one of them knows an innkeeper who solicits tips and they are angry with that person (or jealous of the tips)!

BRING IT ON!

I ain't doin this for the smiles it brings me.  LOL!

Well...you know what I mean.  Satisfaction is super, but better one in the hand than two in the bush.  Wait, that doesn't even make sense. 

I had a very nice tip a few minutes ago - he said at check in "She always knows how to pick the best B&B's!" as he looked around pleased.  That was worth a million bucks!  PLUS they are now officially the favorite guests for this weekend.

Innkeepers DO play favorites.  Those who appreciate our efforts will get smiley pancakes.  (Just kidding)

muirford's picture
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I personally can't understand why someone would find a tip envelope offensive - just like I can't understand why someone would find a makeup removal washcloth offensive.  If you don't like it, just ignore it - no one's holding a gun to your head to use it.  I don't have any problem ignoring a tip line on a receipt that's put in front of me, either.  It's a printed line on a piece of paper, not someone standing there with his/her hand out asking for a tip.  Ignore it if you don't want to use it.  If I'm giving a tip for service, I try to leave it in cash, anyway - no sense making a poor server or restaurant owner pay the credit card fees on that, too.

I have the tip envelopes in the room mostly because my housekeepers like that - they used to work without them and didn't think they got tipped as often.   I don't know how often they are used or how much is left - the housekeeper of the day gets them and I never see the money.  Our housekeepers are better paid than waiters, but tips are nice IF they've done a good job with the rooms.

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