Housekeeper tips

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MountainMystery's picture
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02/23/2013

So I know this may not be something many of you run into as B&B owners, but you're all smart cookies so I'm sure you can help me figure out a good solution to something I've been wondering about... Smiling

While my mother's hotel is closed for the season this winter, she has been helping out as a housekeeper at another year-around hotel. She was working part-time with one other part-time housekeeper and they were basically working together to get each room cleaned. She ran into a situation where she believes the other housekeeper had been entering the rooms before her and taking the tips left in the room, because there were several consecutive days without any tips at all which is unusual. After hinting to the manager about her suspicions, the manager started going into the rooms first to collect the tips, and then the tips were shared between the two housekeepers.

Although they were both happy enough with this arrangement, it makes me think since I may soon be in the position of a manager myself! Usually, don't housekeepers get the tips for the rooms that they have cleaned themselves? If you have 2-3 part-timers that work opposite days each week and end up sharing the rooms, is it best to then split the tips? If a room is cleaned by Sally on Friday and the guest leave a tip in the room while checking out Saturday, which is then cleaned by Tina, Tina should give that tip to Sally, correct? What if the guest is there 3 days and has two different housekeepers during that time-- is it the managers job to collect that tip and make sure each employee gets their fair split based on the number of days they cleaned the room?

I know... I'm probably over-thinking and complicating this far more than it should be... But it's important to me that housekeepers get their fair share of tips when wages are pretty low to begin with. I'd love to be able to trust housekeepers to work it out amongst themselves, but I know that isn't always going to happen. What ideas do you guys have to handle this?

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Joey Camb's picture
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we have 1 house keeper who does 7 days so its not an issue trouble is when say you have one person who does Monday to Friday and one person who does sat and sunday - which here is common - person checks out on sat morning so the sat/sunday person gets the tip and not the person who has done the room all week.

To be honest tipping in the UK is so rare its not an issue.,

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OnTheShore's picture
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Most of our guests don't leave tips (for example, we don't clean during occupancy like you all do), but a few do. We don't think it is fair (and neither do our cleaners) that one cleaner might happen to find a tip in the cottages he or she was assigned to change over, while another cleaner didn't find any tips. So our policy is that any and all tips should be pooled.

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seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

 i ran into this problem.  one of the chambermaids would zoom into every room when she got there and take all tips ... or leave a dollar in a couple of the rooms. she said she was refilling the soaps ... which we did not do until after cleaning the bathrooms. so then she said she was making sure nothing was left behind. 

 so i had to collect them - i'd put them in a jar and tell the two of them to count and divide them together  (yes, i risked being asked about tips and probably would have denied knowledge if i'd been asked. i never was asked. since i didn't actually pass them out, i felt i was allowing myself some wiggle room)  but having two women at war was a nightmare.  i always ran around grabbing all the sheets for the laundry pickup often before the chambermaids arrived anyway ... so it was easy to do. 

sometimes one woman would have been cleaning a guest's room 3 or 4 days in a row, a tip left on the checkout day was obviously for HER   i had to assign the rooms to be cleaned then. 

i tell you, between tips and what i paid them, 'the girls' earned more than i did.  ah well, live and learn. 

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10/07/2008

It is mandatory to claim in a service industry where there are tips, if you don't they will automatically take the % out of your income come tax time.

I always thought that was absurd. I still do.

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birdwatcher's picture
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I don't think that you would need more than one housekeeper per room-and like Madeline said-the one that cleans gets the tip

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Learned from my son... Supervisors often clear the rooms of tips before the housekeepers even get there.

We leave a tip everyday so if we do get the same person everyday they know there are tips to be had. And we bury it under the pillows or somewhere a casual glance won't see it.

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MountainMystery's picture
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02/23/2013

Madeleine wrote:

We leave a tip everyday so if we do get the same person everyday they know there are tips to be had. And we bury it under the pillows or somewhere a casual glance won't see it.

Ahh, good idea Madeleine! Generally when we stay somewhere and leave tips, we've always used the little envelope and left it at the end of our stay, but I like your idea! Almost like finding an Easter egg! Smiling

Madeleine's picture
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JbytheBay wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

We leave a tip everyday so if we do get the same person everyday they know there are tips to be had. And we bury it under the pillows or somewhere a casual glance won't see it.

Ahh, good idea Madeleine! Generally when we stay somewhere and leave tips, we've always used the little envelope and left it at the end of our stay, but I like your idea! Almost like finding an Easter egg! Smiling

I'm just trying to make sure the cleaner gets it. My son will just give it to the cleaner in the hall. He also goes up to wait staff and hands them the tip. He's seen and heard it all working in Vegas.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Whoever cleans gets the tips.

If you have everyone on at the same time and you want to avoid the scenario your mother went thru you might have to initiate the same system.

You could clarify this as a 'damages check' so your housekeepers don't think you don't trust them.

The other thing to think about is that the housekeepers are supposed to claim tips on their taxes. If you start collecting them and handing them out you may be required to withhold taxes.

MountainMystery's picture
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02/23/2013

Madeleine wrote:

The other thing to think about is that the housekeepers are supposed to claim tips on their taxes. If you start collecting them and handing them out you may be required to withhold taxes.

Hadn't thought of this! I know that years ago I worked at a Starbucks and the tips from the counter jars were collected by the manager and divided amongst us based on the number of hours we worked. I think you might be right... I remember seeing my tips listed on my pay stub so I guess the taxes were withheld. Guess I need to look into this.

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10/07/2008

Whoever is in the room gets the tip, or so it seems.

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