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Gratuity Envelopes - Your view?

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The Farmers Daughter

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I was curious to know how you handle gratuity envelopes. I presume those of you without staff probably don't have them ... or do you? Those who do have staff, how do you handle gratuities? Whoever cleans the room gets them or divide them amoung the staff or what?
 

Proud Texan

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We ARE the staff. We don't use gratuity envelopes. The few times we have received a gratuity, the guest left it on the desk in their room under the room keys or in a thank you card.
The money goe into a petty cash envelope that we use to buy our floral arrangements.
 

Country Girl

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We don't use gratuity envelopes because I'm the only one doing the cleaning. Whenever I do get a tip I usually give it to my husband because he does all of the "behind the scenes" maintenance that I could never afford to pay someone else to do. He always gets a big kick out if when I hand the money to him. Like I mentioned in another thread, husband worship is not a bad thing....
 

egoodell

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I don't like them. I try and setup my B&B so that once they have booked they don't need to pay anything other than the invoice at the end of stay.
Riki
 

Proud Texan

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I don't like them. I try and setup my B&B so that once they have booked they don't need to pay anything other than the invoice at the end of stay.
Riki.
egoodell said:
I don't like them. I try and setup my B&B so that once they have booked they don't need to pay anything other than the invoice at the end of stay.
Riki
I think most of us do that. B&Bs aren't usually one of those institutions that you tip. However, there are those few guest that really really really really appreciate the service and will from time to time leave a gratuity.
 

YellowSocks

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No staff, no envelopes. And usually no tips... although this past weekend we had a bunch of them, which was nice since we took an expensive day trip on Monday!
=)
Kk.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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I don't like them. I try and setup my B&B so that once they have booked they don't need to pay anything other than the invoice at the end of stay.
Riki.
egoodell said:
I don't like them. I try and setup my B&B so that once they have booked they don't need to pay anything other than the invoice at the end of stay.
Riki

We don't have anything in the rooms for gratuities and find the practice in other similarly sized B&Bs we've stayed in tacky and presumptive.
Pay your help a decent wage, research your local market and charge what the freakin' rooms are worth. I can always spot the hobbyists sitting on a pile of dough either locally or when trip planning by seeing room rates way out of whack below what nearly everyone else is charging for a similar quality.
While incredibly grateful when a guest leaves us a little gift of any kind, we don't lay awake at night counting on anything but the room tariff.
We did our homework on our place, its static and predictable future costs and what kind of rates would have to be charged to make it competitive, work for us. We're pretty comfortable with the results so far.
We're kind of throwing this year out for planning and forecasting purposes, but we're keeping our heads above water with room to spare.
A little bump upward between now and the end of the year and we'll feel much better going into the three month slow season.
What does grind me in this current economic downturn is that you'd think with all the discounts and specials and last minute bookings we're getting that we'd see an uptick in gratitude and gifts or tips, not so. Far less, considering that we're doing all the budging to get people in beds.
Hell, leave us a five dollar bottle of wine and a nice note in the guest comment book and you've made our day.
 

Iris

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ummm, I have tiny cottages which we rent by the night, if there are gaps in the calendar. For those, I have this cute, small envelope with a drawing of our local lighthouse. I leave that on the coffee tray in the room and often there is a tip in there.
 

egoodell

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I don't like them. I try and setup my B&B so that once they have booked they don't need to pay anything other than the invoice at the end of stay.
Riki.
egoodell said:
I don't like them. I try and setup my B&B so that once they have booked they don't need to pay anything other than the invoice at the end of stay.
Riki
I think most of us do that. B&Bs aren't usually one of those institutions that you tip. However, there are those few guest that really really really really appreciate the service and will from time to time leave a gratuity.
.
Proud Texan said:
I think most of us do that. B&Bs aren't usually one of those institutions that you tip. However, there are those few guest that really really really really appreciate the service and will from time to time leave a gratuity.
What is funny is that we have guests that have left tips and wine. And Chris gets tips all the time on wine tours. I get them too but not as much as he does. And we get enough to go out to dinner often. I think since we guide them the whole afternoon they really notice the service.
RIki
 

MooseTrax

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We have one housekeeper and we have a funny postcard that thanks the guest for staying and says it is ok to tip at a B&B and tells the housekeeper's name. When the season is over and she's done here, the postcards will go in the trash and we'll redo them for next year's housekeeper. The reason guests don't know it's ok to tip at a B&B but are damn certain it is ok to tip at a hotel is because they all think the kid running around cleaning is my daughter and why would they tip her when she's getting free room and board!
Just for ourselves? No tip note, we own the place. The guest will more than likely thank us in person when they leave. An appropriate thank you for the housekeeper is a tip. If it's ok to tip the person who cuts your hair, holds the door open for you every day in your fancy apt house, carries your bags at the swank hotel, then it's ok to tip the little college student cleaning up after your sloppy self.
Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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ummm, I have tiny cottages which we rent by the night, if there are gaps in the calendar. For those, I have this cute, small envelope with a drawing of our local lighthouse. I leave that on the coffee tray in the room and often there is a tip in there..
Now in a case likes yours where its a cottage with a kitchen? and it sounds like you're offering these somewhat last minute, that subtle reminder that there is more cleaning involved than a typical single B&B room, then I wouldn't be offended by that.
We're big tippers in every aspect of life, so I lean more towards hoping folks will give me the credit for doing so voluntarily and not flaunt the pursuit of tips too overtly.
We both get our hair cut by the same stylist and usually the same day to save a trip into town. Yesterday on a $35.00 bill for two straight up haircuts, we gave her a ten on top.
Because we both sport short hair and don't fixate on our looks beyond looking neat and clean, we were in there less than 45 minutes total. Not a bad hourly rate for her and she is a total sweetheart who we gab our heads off with every time we're in there.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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We have one housekeeper and we have a funny postcard that thanks the guest for staying and says it is ok to tip at a B&B and tells the housekeeper's name. When the season is over and she's done here, the postcards will go in the trash and we'll redo them for next year's housekeeper. The reason guests don't know it's ok to tip at a B&B but are damn certain it is ok to tip at a hotel is because they all think the kid running around cleaning is my daughter and why would they tip her when she's getting free room and board!
Just for ourselves? No tip note, we own the place. The guest will more than likely thank us in person when they leave. An appropriate thank you for the housekeeper is a tip. If it's ok to tip the person who cuts your hair, holds the door open for you every day in your fancy apt house, carries your bags at the swank hotel, then it's ok to tip the little college student cleaning up after your sloppy self.
Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less..
"Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less."
Maybe not in most decent employer's eyes, but tell that to the millions and millions of restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel housekeeping staff, etc. whose employers go to great lengths to calculate their hourly pay to make sure once tips are added up, the person is barely making poverty level wages.
Or those joining industry/business groups that throw millions in lobbying dollars and influence to make sure unions are suppressed, living wage laws aren't passed, maintaining the offset minimum wage laws that pay way below minimum wage because of "all that" money in tips this category of workers earn.
 

MooseTrax

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We have one housekeeper and we have a funny postcard that thanks the guest for staying and says it is ok to tip at a B&B and tells the housekeeper's name. When the season is over and she's done here, the postcards will go in the trash and we'll redo them for next year's housekeeper. The reason guests don't know it's ok to tip at a B&B but are damn certain it is ok to tip at a hotel is because they all think the kid running around cleaning is my daughter and why would they tip her when she's getting free room and board!
Just for ourselves? No tip note, we own the place. The guest will more than likely thank us in person when they leave. An appropriate thank you for the housekeeper is a tip. If it's ok to tip the person who cuts your hair, holds the door open for you every day in your fancy apt house, carries your bags at the swank hotel, then it's ok to tip the little college student cleaning up after your sloppy self.
Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less..
"Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less."
Maybe not in most decent employer's eyes, but tell that to the millions and millions of restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel housekeeping staff, etc. whose employers go to great lengths to calculate their hourly pay to make sure once tips are added up, the person is barely making poverty level wages.
Or those joining industry/business groups that throw millions in lobbying dollars and influence to make sure unions are suppressed, living wage laws aren't passed, maintaining the offset minimum wage laws that pay way below minimum wage because of "all that" money in tips this category of workers earn.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
"Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less."
Maybe not in most decent employer's eyes, but tell that to the millions and millions of restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel housekeeping staff, etc. whose employers go to great lengths to calculate their hourly pay to make sure once tips are added up, the person is barely making poverty level wages.
Or those joining industry/business groups that throw millions in lobbying dollars and influence to make sure unions are suppressed, living wage laws aren't passed, maintaining the offset minimum wage laws that pay way below minimum wage because of "all that" money in tips this category of workers earn.
We were discussing tip envelopes at B&B's not the state of employment woes. You don't have tip envelopes because you don't have staff. We do have a tip note because we do have staff. Question asked. Question answered. Politics are not required to answer the question that was asked. Start a new thread if you want to discuss the political aspects of tipping.
 

mooseberry

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We have one housekeeper and we have a funny postcard that thanks the guest for staying and says it is ok to tip at a B&B and tells the housekeeper's name. When the season is over and she's done here, the postcards will go in the trash and we'll redo them for next year's housekeeper. The reason guests don't know it's ok to tip at a B&B but are damn certain it is ok to tip at a hotel is because they all think the kid running around cleaning is my daughter and why would they tip her when she's getting free room and board!
Just for ourselves? No tip note, we own the place. The guest will more than likely thank us in person when they leave. An appropriate thank you for the housekeeper is a tip. If it's ok to tip the person who cuts your hair, holds the door open for you every day in your fancy apt house, carries your bags at the swank hotel, then it's ok to tip the little college student cleaning up after your sloppy self.
Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less..
"Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less."
Maybe not in most decent employer's eyes, but tell that to the millions and millions of restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel housekeeping staff, etc. whose employers go to great lengths to calculate their hourly pay to make sure once tips are added up, the person is barely making poverty level wages.
Or those joining industry/business groups that throw millions in lobbying dollars and influence to make sure unions are suppressed, living wage laws aren't passed, maintaining the offset minimum wage laws that pay way below minimum wage because of "all that" money in tips this category of workers earn.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
"Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less."
Maybe not in most decent employer's eyes, but tell that to the millions and millions of restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel housekeeping staff, etc. whose employers go to great lengths to calculate their hourly pay to make sure once tips are added up, the person is barely making poverty level wages.
Or those joining industry/business groups that throw millions in lobbying dollars and influence to make sure unions are suppressed, living wage laws aren't passed, maintaining the offset minimum wage laws that pay way below minimum wage because of "all that" money in tips this category of workers earn.
We were discussing tip envelopes at B&B's not the state of employment woes. You don't have tip envelopes because you don't have staff. We do have a tip note because we do have staff. Question asked. Question answered. Politics are not required to answer the question that was asked. Start a new thread if you want to discuss the political aspects of tipping.
.
MooseTrax said:
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
"Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less."
Maybe not in most decent employer's eyes, but tell that to the millions and millions of restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel housekeeping staff, etc. whose employers go to great lengths to calculate their hourly pay to make sure once tips are added up, the person is barely making poverty level wages.
Or those joining industry/business groups that throw millions in lobbying dollars and influence to make sure unions are suppressed, living wage laws aren't passed, maintaining the offset minimum wage laws that pay way below minimum wage because of "all that" money in tips this category of workers earn.
We were discussing tip envelopes at B&B's not the state of employment woes. You don't have tip envelopes because you don't have staff. We do have a tip note because we do have staff. Question asked. Question answered. Politics are not required to answer the question that was asked. Start a new thread if you want to discuss the political aspects of tipping.
I agree wit Moose Tracks.
I have one houskeeper and I pay her almost double what others make here in town and she is worth every penny of it. However I do have little envelopes with "HER" name on it letting people know that she made the room and not me since I used to do all the work myself.
I don't see anything wrong with the envelopes especially in places with more employees....I tip for a job well done and for appreciation and like it to go to the right person, not to the one who does a lousy job after.
But when the season is over and I am all alone agaon, no, I don't have envelopes.
Also in todays economy, I know the help appreciates every extra penny too.
 

muirford

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We have tip envelopes and I never see the inside of them - whoever cleans the room gets the tip. I have two part-time housekeepers who do the cleaning almost exclusively. I would guess that maybe half of guests tip? The previous owner had them also - I have no reason to give them up and the fact is they make my housekeepers happy. That more than makes up for the few guests who might find them tacky - sorry if you feel they are, but hopefully you'll find other things to get excited about.
My housekeepers make a very good wage - $11 and $13 per hour. I guarantee they make more here that at the local 4-diamond hotel and I'm pretty sure I'm a nicer boss. They work all year round and I find things for them to do in the slow months to keep them happy. The first two years we were here our housekeepers made a better salary from the B&B than we did. I would never do it without them.
The deal with tipping is that you usually don't tip the owner - whether it's a hair salon, massage therapist, or B&B. Owners are presumed to make all the money although we all know that's not entirely accurate. Since we have housekeepers, we have the envelopes. If people hand us a tip directly, we give it to our housekeepers.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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We have one housekeeper and we have a funny postcard that thanks the guest for staying and says it is ok to tip at a B&B and tells the housekeeper's name. When the season is over and she's done here, the postcards will go in the trash and we'll redo them for next year's housekeeper. The reason guests don't know it's ok to tip at a B&B but are damn certain it is ok to tip at a hotel is because they all think the kid running around cleaning is my daughter and why would they tip her when she's getting free room and board!
Just for ourselves? No tip note, we own the place. The guest will more than likely thank us in person when they leave. An appropriate thank you for the housekeeper is a tip. If it's ok to tip the person who cuts your hair, holds the door open for you every day in your fancy apt house, carries your bags at the swank hotel, then it's ok to tip the little college student cleaning up after your sloppy self.
Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less..
"Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less."
Maybe not in most decent employer's eyes, but tell that to the millions and millions of restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel housekeeping staff, etc. whose employers go to great lengths to calculate their hourly pay to make sure once tips are added up, the person is barely making poverty level wages.
Or those joining industry/business groups that throw millions in lobbying dollars and influence to make sure unions are suppressed, living wage laws aren't passed, maintaining the offset minimum wage laws that pay way below minimum wage because of "all that" money in tips this category of workers earn.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
"Tipping is not a subsitute for poor pay, it is a thank you, nothing more, nothing less."
Maybe not in most decent employer's eyes, but tell that to the millions and millions of restaurant servers, bartenders, hotel housekeeping staff, etc. whose employers go to great lengths to calculate their hourly pay to make sure once tips are added up, the person is barely making poverty level wages.
Or those joining industry/business groups that throw millions in lobbying dollars and influence to make sure unions are suppressed, living wage laws aren't passed, maintaining the offset minimum wage laws that pay way below minimum wage because of "all that" money in tips this category of workers earn.
We were discussing tip envelopes at B&B's not the state of employment woes. You don't have tip envelopes because you don't have staff. We do have a tip note because we do have staff. Question asked. Question answered. Politics are not required to answer the question that was asked. Start a new thread if you want to discuss the political aspects of tipping.
.
"We were discussing tip envelopes at B&B's not the state of employment woes."
Not all B&Bs are identical in size, approach or willingness to pay commensurate wages as evidenced by the broad range of answers given here. Plus, we are all semi or mostly anonymous so none of know for sure just how fairly anyone's help is being paid.
"You don't have tip envelopes because you don't have staff."
We don't because we find the practice a putoff. Even if we did have staff, we wouldn't do it. We'd figure it into our room rate.
This feels kind of like the folks we've encountered over the years that tell us "You two don't have kids, you're not entitled to speak on anything that has to do with children."
"We do have a tip note because we do have staff."
I didn't think I was being judgemental about anyone's choice to do so. If so, I apologize.
 

Redbirds

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Like others have said, DW and I are the only staff (with the exception of some college students who clean on busy mornings). If tips are left in the room they go to the students.
We haven't had many, though.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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We have tip envelopes and I never see the inside of them - whoever cleans the room gets the tip. I have two part-time housekeepers who do the cleaning almost exclusively. I would guess that maybe half of guests tip? The previous owner had them also - I have no reason to give them up and the fact is they make my housekeepers happy. That more than makes up for the few guests who might find them tacky - sorry if you feel they are, but hopefully you'll find other things to get excited about.
My housekeepers make a very good wage - $11 and $13 per hour. I guarantee they make more here that at the local 4-diamond hotel and I'm pretty sure I'm a nicer boss. They work all year round and I find things for them to do in the slow months to keep them happy. The first two years we were here our housekeepers made a better salary from the B&B than we did. I would never do it without them.
The deal with tipping is that you usually don't tip the owner - whether it's a hair salon, massage therapist, or B&B. Owners are presumed to make all the money although we all know that's not entirely accurate. Since we have housekeepers, we have the envelopes. If people hand us a tip directly, we give it to our housekeepers..
"That more than makes up for the few guests who might find them tacky - sorry if you feel they are, but hopefully you'll find other things to get excited about."
Let me clarify, I stated earlier that I find it tacky in a B&B in the owner- occupied and no staff realm. The bigger the place, the less tacky, but I still think if even close to a majority of guests felt that a "tip" wasn't already built into a B&B's room rate or automatically forthcoming like at the other business types mentioned, more guests would leave them, even for those not putting envelopes out.
I'm not sure what the last part means.
We tip when staying at hotels and at B&Bs, but we've both had customer service jobs for decades, so know what its like. I'm sure there also are plenty of people that don't leave anything for a hotel housekeeper.
"My housekeepers make a very good wage - $11 and $13 per hour."
Depending on the local cost of living, that might not be as good of a wage as one might think. I'm not illustrating this to single you out in the slightest but food for thought on how expensive it is live these days. Those tips gotta really help I'm sure.
Even at $13 per hour and offering a 40 hour work week, thats only $27k per year. That's just a few dollars over the per household member median income level.
If living in San Francisco, New York, San Diego, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, etc.. thats just getting by without any frills and probably no chance at home ownership.
 

seashanty

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my chambermaids (their preference in title) made $16 an hour in 2008. that was the prevailing wage in the area for chambermaids. in 2005 it was $13. i usually had just one ... sometimes 2 .... and they shared the time. they earned more money than i did ... and i'm not kidding ...
i did have tip envelopes because the chambermaids wanted them and felt they got more tips that way. it listed the girl by name (and they were girls). if a guest had stayed for 3 or 4 nites and there were 2 girls sharing the job, i made sure that the tip was shared but they did it themselves because i did not want to be involved in reporting or any of that.
the one who cleaned the room got the tip, unless two had been trading back and forth as a team during a stay ~ then they split it. if i was fortunate enough during busy times to have two chambermaids at one time, they worked together on all the rooms ~ and shared any tips.
i told them again and again that they were being paid very well and a tip was a bonus or gravy and they should not 'expect' them ... because they would grumble when tips were light.
big problem i faced:
there was a mind set in the area that chambermaiding, housekeeping, cleaning ... was very hard work (it is) and somehow beneath many of the girls. they would often quit a housekeeping job to work a less physically demanding job and earn $8 an hour ~ with NO possibility of a tip. i told them i wouldn't ask anyone to do a job i wasn't willing to do and that ANY job well done is a job to be proud of. and that they were absolutely vital to the b&b being a success because it had to be clean. a few 'got it', many did not.
also ~ regarding the wage (and yes i paid all the taxes and workers comp insurance - expen$$ive) i was in a seasonal area and paid that wage to insure that when we opened the girls would come back. i also kept them on as long as i could in the fall, but knew that i'd be the chambermaid early and late in the season. when we'd have an occasional busy time during the shoulder seasons, it was ROUGH.
peace!
 

SecondAct

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I agree that gratuity envelopes are "tacky and presumptive." I feel the same way about hotels. I feel it's all part of what I'm paying for in the room rate and seems like an attempt to just nickle and dime a person. I'm a generous tipper otherwise, just feel that those envelopes and in some cases things like tip jars are out of line. Only my opinion. It's interesting to hear from those who do use them that it works well and makes the housekeepers happier.
 
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