Tipping again

40 replies [Last post]
Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Reading about Sunshine's great experience with tipping since the dining room redo, it's time to bring up tipping again.

Do you:

  • Have tip envelopes in the rooms?
  • Do you do the cleaning yourself?
  • Do you have a housekeeper who gets the tips?
  • If it's you doing the cleaning how do you address the tip envelope? ie- do you state you are the housekeeper or have a fake housekeeper's name on the envelope or just say something generic about housekeeping staff?
  • Overall, do you think the owners should put out tip envelopes when they do all the work?

A couple of side notes: I've not been an advocate for the owners getting tips. I think it's nice when someone leaves a tip but we never had tip notes out when it was just us. As you know, all our housekeepers bailed on us this summer. I left the tip notes out. We got tips. It was nice. I felt guilty.

Also, friends do put out tip cards and don't feel the least guilty! Other friends got dinged on a review because of the tip cards when the guest realized it was the innkeeper who was doing the cleaning and getting the tip.

What does everyone think about tipping the owners?

__________________

Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

Offline
Joined:
02/17/2011

I leave tip envelopes in the rooms which say something like:

"Our staff works hard to make your stay an excellent one.  Your gratuity is appreciated"

I get HUGE tips sometimes (over $100) and I put them ALL in an envelope and divvy them up between staff the 1st week of December.  They get an amazing amount of money that way and just when they need it for the holidays.  I let them know that is how I handle tips and they are VERY appreciative.  I am so amazed at how much people will tip...but of course we have an excellent venue here.

Conversely...my poor daughter who works for minimum wage at a B & B in a big city says the staff never sees the tips...the owner pockets them all. 

Personally I pay my staff $20 per hour and give them ALL the tips at Christmas and they go way above & beyond for me when I need it. 

My mottos:  "If you don't ask ... you don't get"  and "Treat your staff the way you want to be treated".

__________________

elkems

 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Not everyone has housekeepers. I think that is what some are saying, some are saying the horrible hard job that the housekeeper has is also their job. They get to clean up the crap. As well. But generally speaking you wouldn't tip the owner of a business, only the staff. I agree.

I don't think that was the intent of the post, originally, it just grew to that. I am of a mindset to tip where I see tipping is standard and others here have never agreed. Example: Card dealers live off tips. Hairdressers live off tips. Bartenders live off tips. And then there are those occupations where a gratuity is pretty well known - tip the taxi driver, tip the deck hand on the fishing boat, tip other deliveries such as the furniture or appliances. Esp if it involves stairs or difficult maneuvering.

__________________

Gluten free is never free. - Joey Bloggs

 

Offline
Joined:
02/18/2012

I  don't think it's an appropriate expectation for guests to tip the owner.  It's your business - if you want more money raise the rates-no matter what in the business you do.  However, housekeepers have one of the hardest jobs, and if anyone deserves tips for cleaning up your crap- it's them.  

We have a housekeeper and during high season more than one housekeeper.  In our information book in the room, we have a section about tipping -to tell guests that tipping is neither expected nor required here, and tips are considered thanks for service beyond the expected (it is).  That for those that wish to leave tips, I provide some guidelines for how much per day ($1-$3 for housekeeping/day) and where to leave it - by the TV, we provide no envelope. And tips are divided among those employees that served them during the stay. 

I also provide a little bio on us and on our housekeeper(s), so she's made more human.

If I happen to clean the rooms, on our housekeeper's day off, I leave the tip for her, unless I was the only one servicing the room.

About 30-40% of guests leave tips - most are $5 or so. More people now leave tips with the section in the book on tipping - I think some people are afraid of insulting you by leaving less than a $20, so didn't leave a tip while others didn't even know it was some place where you might tip.  Our nightly rate is between $65-$80, so we're cheap.  Our housekeeper is happy.

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

That is an amazing tipping rate!

We had one guest who tipped $10/day for a week and the following week had guests in the same room who stayed almost 2 weeks who left $20 total.

We clean rooms 3 days/week and I bet that other than that $10/guest, the tips amounted to $100 for the whole summer.

Tom
Tom's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/11/2009

Small inn here, we do most of the work, no formal housekeeper.

In US Pacific Northwest, B&B tipping is not the norm, nor is it expected.  We would not put out envelopes - embarrassing.

A B&B tip is not just for a clean room, as in a tip left in a hotel room, rather it is for a suite of services, many of which would be separate tips in a hotel: travel planner, bell hop, concierge, sommelier, chef, etc.  We rarely get tips, though occasionally some are very significant.  

Since I started this inn, I personally leave a small tip in any motel when I travel on business - I never thought to do that before.

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Tom wrote:

Since I started this inn, I personally leave a small tip in any motel when I travel on business - I never thought to do that before.

Ditto!

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
Offline
Joined:
01/16/2010

leftovers in the guestroom fridge = 'Guest-overs'. Most of the wine that is left behind is from PA and honestly, Kool-aid has more structure. 

Yes, we have tip envelopes. I agree with Jon that if people want to leave tips, they will do so regardless of the envelope. You're just providing them with a convenient and safe place to put it. I got idea and the wording off of a SR property that we stayed at a couple of years ago. I do most of the cleaning, but when I can get DD to help, the extra $$ sure helps. I work hard, I do everything - cook, clean, reservations, marketing, concierge, laundry, gardens. 

One Innmate who will remain nameless left me a very nice tip once and it made me feel like the most important person in the world (if only for an afternoon Smiling)

 

__________________

Lynne
Queen of Everything!

 

Offline
Joined:
04/02/2014

No tip envelopes. However, a nice framed sign in the room that our housekeepers work really hard to ensure that their room is ready and has everything they need for an enjoyable stay.  If they do find that they are in need of anything else, please let us know. -- The housekeeper started getting many more tips once this note was put in each room because guests realized that we had housekeepers doing the work and that it wasn't just us.

If a tip comes in on one of her two days off, I leave it on the table with a note which room it came from.  Now the week she wanted off to work for her friend at their store and we had to do everything for 7 days, those tips were ours and we treated ourself to lunch a couple days when we got a break.

But if you're not comfortable with the tip envelope like I'm not, then a pretty little sign lets them know the tips are for the housekeeper.  But we never had anything out there when we did the entire place ourselves and occasionally got a tip - but I wasn't in any way asking for one because we're the owners.

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

We do all the work ourselves and do not feel it is right to have envelopes in the rooms due to that.

It is NICE to get a tip - left in the room or handed directly. 

When asked, just say EVERYONE loves a tip for a job well done. 

TheBeachHouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/24/2013

We have a part timer.   Before we put out envelopes, we rarely saw tips.   When we put out envelopes, there are more tips.  We don't take them.  

I don't think owners should accept tips, but love it when people leave them.

And you don't need a written thank you for a tip.  Again, it's for the help, not the owner. 

__________________

TBH

 

Offline
Joined:
08/13/2014

We do all the cleaning ourselves (4 guest rooms). We do not put out tip envelopes, do not have the "tip function" activated on our Square Register, and when asked by foreigners "Is tipping B&Bs customary in North America?" we answer "No". 

However, we do get tips fairly often. Usually the way it works is after the guest has checked out and we go to strip their room, there is a $10 or $20 bill sitting on the dresser. We are still unsure if it is polite to email these guests and give our thanks, or to just accept and move on. Occasionally after paying, the guest will hand us a bill and say "this is for you", to which we give our profuse thanks. I always say to these people "oh wow, that's very generous of you. We really appreciate it, thank you very much."

The funny thing is the people you would most expect to tip (ie. the people who we drove to the store because they didn't feel like walking, or the people who asked "do you have a cold beer we could have?" and we GIVE THEM ONE OF OUR BEERS, or the people who we generally go above and beyond for) always only pay the owed amount and give you nothing extra, which is rather odd.

Offline
Joined:
01/12/2013

scribbles wrote:

We do all the cleaning ourselves (4 guest rooms). We do not put out tip envelopes, do not have the "tip function" activated on our Square Register, and when asked by foreigners "Is tipping B&Bs customary in North America?" we answer "No". 

However, we do get tips fairly often. Usually the way it works is after the guest has checked out and we go to strip their room, there is a $10 or $20 bill sitting on the dresser. We are still unsure if it is polite to email these guests and give our thanks, or to just accept and move on. Occasionally after paying, the guest will hand us a bill and say "this is for you", to which we give our profuse thanks. I always say to these people "oh wow, that's very generous of you. We really appreciate it, thank you very much."

The funny thing is the people you would most expect to tip (ie. the people who we drove to the store because they didn't feel like walking, or the people who asked "do you have a cold beer we could have?" and we GIVE THEM ONE OF OUR BEERS, or the people who we generally go above and beyond for) always only pay the owed amount and give you nothing extra, which is rather odd.

 

I've been waiting for someone to have my same situation so I wouldn't have to ask how to handle tipping.  I do my own cleaning 90% of the time - four rooms, like you.  Sometimes I have help, but it's not consistent.  So when I discover someone has left a tip in the room (like you, usually $10-$20 for a couple day stay), it goes to me I cleaned that room, I helped them with their plans, I made their breakfast.  That doesn't mean I don't treat my cleaning help (as rare as it is) to a bonus once in a while, but tips overall belong to me.  I believe a tip left in the room is not necessarily indicative of a tip for the clean room.  If they left a couple dollars on the pillow everyday, or if there was an envelope marked as such...then yes - that's obviously an appreciation of the cleaning.  But a tip left on a dresser in a vacated room is a gift that says thank you for the stay - the entire stay.

As far as thanking for a tip, when I send a thank you email to the guest a few days after their departure, I add a P.S. to it and write "Thank you so much for your gift - it was very appreciated and I enjoyed a treat at our local coffee shop (or treated myself to lunch, etc)."  I make it personal and tell them how appreciated it is - because a tip is personal.  They're telling me that I did a good job, and I want them to know that is important to me Smiling

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Yes it is common to tip. Leave an envelope, it's more dignified and no thank you is needed, they are thanking you for the service.

As for those who ask for favours, they usually won't tip at all. Don't you have enough work without driving them to the store and giving them free beer?

__________________

Permission to quote in whole or in part, other than usage on this forum, is entirely forbidden.

 

Offline
Joined:
08/13/2014

The ones who do pay us back in tips and great reviews make it worth the risk of wasted time, I suppose! Ha ha. The ones who don't, well -- they're just clucked at after they leave!

The beer guy though -- come on. I gave you beer.

Offline
Joined:
01/12/2013

Right!  I agree completely!  I love it when people are flying out direct from here and have to leave their unopened alcohol.  It's not quite as good a tip as cash, but I'll take it!

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

BananaE29 wrote:

Right!  I agree completely!  I love it when people are flying out direct from here and have to leave their unopened alcohol.  It's not quite as good a tip as cash, but I'll take it!

we get the unopened cartons of ice cream and cheese smiley

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

Breakfast Diva wrote:

BananaE29 wrote:

Right!  I agree completely!  I love it when people are flying out direct from here and have to leave their unopened alcohol.  It's not quite as good a tip as cash, but I'll take it!

we get the unopened cartons of ice cream and cheese smiley

Y'all are making me reconsider those individual room fridges.  hehehe

but I must wait til after Oct...  Gotta fit in my MOG dress. 

Offline
Joined:
01/12/2013

Copperhead wrote:

Y'all are making me reconsider those individual room fridges.  hehehe

but I must wait til after Oct...  Gotta fit in my MOG dress. 

When going in a room to clean it after departure, I used to look at the guest book first, to check for entries.  Now the first thing I do is look in the fridge.  It's like freaking Christmas in there sometimes Smiling

 

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

BananaE29 wrote:

Copperhead wrote:

Y'all are making me reconsider those individual room fridges.  hehehe

but I must wait til after Oct...  Gotta fit in my MOG dress. 

When going in a room to clean it after departure, I used to look at the guest book first, to check for entries.  Now the first thing I do is look in the fridge.  It's like freaking Christmas in there sometimes Smiling

 

What timing!! I just went into a guest's room fridge after they checked out and found the mother lode!!

DH with his favorite!

These are handcrafted gourmet truffles sold at a shop nearby...the one on the right is mine...S'mores!

Breakfast Diva's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/26/2009

BananaE29 wrote:

Copperhead wrote:

Y'all are making me reconsider those individual room fridges.  hehehe

but I must wait til after Oct...  Gotta fit in my MOG dress. 

When going in a room to clean it after departure, I used to look at the guest book first, to check for entries.  Now the first thing I do is look in the fridge.  It's like freaking Christmas in there sometimes Smiling

 

I just got a 1/2 gallon of unopened s'mores Tillamook ice cream! It was really soft, so I threw it in the freezer. Yeah, both DH and I need to start that juice fast!

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

That Tillamook stuff is pretty good. We went to the factory.

Offline
Joined:
01/12/2013

I got nuttin' this weekend Sad 

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Half a tub of guacamole. 2 opened bottles of water. Some frozen berries (shoved way in the back). More like the Cratchits' Christmas here. Eye-wink

Offline
Joined:
01/12/2013

Hahaha!  Good one!

Offline
Joined:
01/12/2013

Breakfast Diva wrote:

We get the unopened cartons of ice cream and cheese smiley

That works too!  Last summer, someone left a box of those Snickers ice cream bars in their freezer.  You know those little fridge freezers don't really keep things all that frozen, so when I pulled the box out and felt how soft they were, I had to inhale them right then and there.  All of them! Truly a treat!

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Don't email to thank them. It's awkward. If they hand it to you, fine, thank them.

And, YES, it IS common to tip at b&b's! Don't be spreading the rumor that it's not!!!

We rarely get tips. Our housekeeper had best not rely on them! And that's with a tip note.

Offline
Joined:
08/13/2014

I honestly did not think that it is customary to tip at B&Bs... or hotels, etc. It IS customary to tip a server at a restaurant, and if you don't for any reason other than terrible service, that makes you uncouth. However, not tipping at a B&B isn't really on the same level -- or so I thought!?

Don't get me wrong though, tipping for great service is always a nice thing to do, it's just that at some places it's "customary" and some places it's simply up to you. 

I love tips. We have an old yoghurt container in our office with TIPS written on it -- ice cream and beer money!

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

We do not do envelopes - and we (mostly me) do it all. Tips are rare but appreciated. I just realized I forgot to leave a tip where we stayed last night. Crap! I will console myself with knowing we were considerate guests and did not leave a big mess and did NOT use the jetted tub so she will not have to clean that hummer.

Silverspoon's picture
Offline
Joined:
10/16/2011

We advertise an "all inclusive rate" with no additional taxes, tips or fees.  Compared to most of you, our rates are on the high side....to ensure that we do not feel used and abused by not getting tips.  Every now and then someone will leave us $10 or $20 as a tip but it only happens a few times a year.  And that is OK with us because we do not have a housekeeper and would feel guilty putting a housekeeping envelope out.

But if we did have help, or if we were not owners of the property, then I would most certainly put a housekeeping tip envelope out.  As the owner/innkeepers we make a fair wage from the B+B. 

 

__________________

Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

 

Kay Nein's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/13/2012

We don't put out envelopes, but some days I wish I did.  The guests see us working hard to cook breakfast & serve.  Then they see us cleaning the kitchen for another hour as they leave the house to enjoy the town.  As they come back to drop of purchases, they see us vacuuming, doing laundry, cleaning rooms etc.  When they leave for dinner, we are still there (same two faces) making cookies and prepping for breakfast.  Then the next morning, they watch us do it all over again.  They know we are not the owners.  Rarely do we get tips.  When we do, it goes in a little pot that we use for eating out.  I would love to have a tip envelope.  I don't make enough money for all the work I do.  This time of year, I'm working 7 days a week, all day & making $100 a week.  I was lucky to get that - that's what working for family gets ya.  I do it because I want the guests to have a great experience and otherwise I would never see my girlfriend.  I do it because otherwise she would be burned out and working 24/7. 

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

We went to Olive Garden...the hobbling old hostess seated us right at the kitchen door. A whole restaurant wide open, she seats us there. Servers racing in and out... I didn't sit down, I kindly asked for a diff table.

she caused a big stink, radio'd in and we all stood there. She never said "oh sure thing"...

then once we got a new table, she bent over and said to us "next time, tell them at the front where you want to sit!"

horrid behavior.

here comes happy go lucky waitress ...

i said See how it is, now the waitress gets to pay for the hostess poor behavior in her pocket book!

needless to say, we are aware of this, and made sure the waitress was well tipped. But the avg customer would not have been happy to do that, the WHOLE RESTAURANT would now be at fault.

i mentioned to dd "no matter what they say or ask, say sure I will find out for you..." It is not difficult .

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

You found a waitress at an Olive Garden? Really? They do exist? We usually sit there for 15 minutes with our menus closed in front of us, get frustrated at not being served and start to walk our before they can find someone to serve us.

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

Sugar Bear wrote:

You found a waitress at an Olive Garden? Really? They do exist? We usually sit there for 15 minutes with our menus closed in front of us, get frustrated at not being served and start to walk our before they can find someone to serve us.

yes and she was delightful. Unlike the reception we rcvd

Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008

I have a diff perspective on sunnie's tipping experience of late. I do not believe it is the table set up, but her enthusiasm. I can guarantee she is sharing this new idea and transformation to the dining are w everyone. This would be contagious and the will be wishing her well w a gratuity.

Happy servers make more tips at a restaurant or bar. A smile IS tip worthy, as I tell my dd all the time. Drop food on their head, smile and be fun and they won't mind!  Attitude is everything.

 

Madeleine's picture
Offline
Joined:
09/29/2011

Joey Bloggs wrote:

I have a diff perspective on sunnie's tipping experience of late. I do not believe it is the table set up, but her enthusiasm. I can guarantee she is sharing this new idea and transformation to the dining are w everyone. This would be contagious and the will be wishing her well w a gratuity.

 

I'm thinking the enthusiasm is paramount, too.

We had guests the other day who stayed at another B&B on the other side of town for one night. They were gushing about those innkeepers. Everything they gushed over is something we do. And do often and well. But maybe because we're not doing that at 70 makes a difference!

Como Depot's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/25/2008

No envelopes, never kept count of those who tip, I have a jar for a local charity type project I am involved with and put the money in there or ask them to put the money in.

__________________

David

www.comodepot.com

 

egoodell's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/01/2008

No envelopes, but it's just us except for some help on Sunday. Our town is so expensive I don't want to make them feel like they have to tip, Everywhere has tip jars out now, even some of the tasting rooms so I think it's getting overboard.

Riki

__________________

Riki Goodell
Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast
Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours
www.arcadyvineyard.com
Come! Let us show you the beautiful Monticello Appellation!

 

Generic's picture
Offline
Joined:
02/24/2011

Tip envelope. Envelope says "For Housekeeping". We do most of the work, but have help from time to time. For the most part that money is mine, but we do use it to give the outside housekeeper a really nice Christmas bonus annually and pay her, since she's not salaried. When we do have help the tip is divided based on days worked and days guest was here.

Most people don't realize that I do the work. Some assume that I do and often those are the biggest of the tips. They use it as a way of thanking us for all that we do for them. So yes, I think owners should have tip envelopes around. You do more than a hotelier would do, you are the front desk, the cook, the cleaner and the concierge. I don't know about you, but I make reservations, recommendations, even print out maps from time to time. It's a way that some feel they can show their appreciation.

Offline
Joined:
09/26/2011

No tip envelopes.  About 20% tip.  Most probably know we do the work, certainly no one else is ever seen to come in at cleaning time, but I do wait until they are out of the house to do the room refreshes.  Not expected, but always appreciated.  No guilt whatsoever.  As a young person, I waited tables and tended bar.  I suspect many our age did too. 

Arks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2010

Madeleine wrote:

Other friends got dinged on a review because of the tip cards when the guest realized it was the innkeeper who was doing the cleaning and getting the tip.

That would be my fear. Most guests probably assume it's a low wage employee doing the cleaning rather than a low wage owner who they think of as rich, owning a big house and all that. Though their impression of the owner's riches may be unfounded, it's what they think and I could see them being upset to know the tips are going to the owner.

At the same time, I've freely tipped restaurant owners who also did the table waiting and cleanup. I knew they were the owners, but thought they deserved the tip as  much as an employee would.

So I definitely wouldn't want to put out envelopes that give guests the impression the tips are going to an employee when they are not. It would be better, if you use envelopes, to openly word it so they know the tip is going to you, if it is.

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.