I do make a practice of tipping housekeeping but I think this is a great idea. It may help ensure that tips make their way to the correct person(s).
I'm with you, I always wondered if the actual service provider ended up with the gratuity, this helps increase those odds. I also share some of Ms. Ehrenreich's (in the article) concerns and hope hoteliers don't squeeze additional savings from future wages. We'll see how it works out.
I always leave gratuity, biggest problem you often don't know the housekeepers name as they normally clean room when i am not there. I end up giving to front desk with instructions as to forward to correct person.
Housekeepers, mostly women, should initially be carefully screened to ensure that they have the attitude, aptitude, physical ability, and clear understanding of what it means to clean up behind others(sometimes others who are not so clean).
And we, the traveling public, do need to tip, some of us generously, when we use (and some of us overuse) their services. The tip envelopes are good.
You can ask for the first name of the maid(staffer) assigned to clean your room. Then the way to ensure that the proper person is tipped is to ask for a confidential envelope and write the name of the person who cleaned your room on it.
Let me say I don't like this approach at all! I am not mean with tips, but I don't want to be practically blackmailed into them. I do tip good service, but at my discretion, not because I am asked. For instance, at a hotel I stayed in recently, there was a particularly nice young man on at breakfast in the restaurant. He had learning difficulties, and full marks to him for holding down a job. As the days went on he came out of his shell with us more and more. On our last morning I gave him a tip. He was delighted as he said "no-one ever tips breakfast staff". I tend to tip porters for helping me.
But where does this envelope thing potentially end. Receptionists for giving an upgrade? Executive lounge staff? The guy who sweeps the leaves from the door in Autumn? And so on. No, I want to choose.
My first job was with a large consulting company and we had a week long training at a central location. Our partner made sure to let us all know that he expected everyone to leave a tip at the end of our stay and I have done so for the past 20 years now. The sad thing I guess is that the amount I give has not changed.
I don't see any issue with an envelope request for tip. When it gets automatically added to the bill and only a % goes to the actual person doing the work then I would not be happy.
***** I am shocked people are complaining about leaving a dollar or two a day. At home I am sure you do not clean your shower, sink and toilets daily but housekeeping does.
The problem with putting down cash at the end of the stay are those situations where the maid that took care of you during the preceding days isn't working the day you leave it, essentially giving a windfall to the maid that is.
It's my policy to place $3 each day on the pillow.
But do you give $3 each day to the barman, chef, kitchen hand, gardener etc too? The problem to me is not giving a tip to the maid, but why only the maid? Any hotel has many different categories of employees, all of whom are paid to do their job. I have no doubt the maids are not paid too highly, but then none of the others are either. Where does one draw the line? Or will we end up with multiple envelopes for every category of employee?
I also like the idea as long as it ends up in the correct hands, many times the housekeeper that left the envelope in the room the previous day is not who cleans the room the next day. I don't think you can police that issue well enough to keep those who are somewhat less than totally honest from being themselves.
NO housekeeper and I mean NOT ONE should be tipped for just doing the job they are paid to do; the tip is a voluntary exchange for service that is above and beyond the norm.
Please do not ever feel that you must to augment the salary of those poorly paid. I myself do not use the services of the maids, but I respect them and what they do for a living. I would rather pay an increase fee per night stay so that folk can take home an adult salary (livable wage) than to feel as if I must tip. Some of what we the traveling public experience from those employed to provide a service to us is just not tip worthy.
This is outrageous; Marriott corporation should pay an appropriate wage and not depend on the guest to supplement the housekeeping staffs' income.
I leave a tip only when the housekeeping is outstanding or I have a special request of the housekeeping staff. The wages of the housekeeping staff, though low, are greatly above those paid to 'tip' staff such as waiters/waitresses, etc. I do not believe in tipping someone to "do their basic job." One of my biggest complaints in Marriott hotels is the poor housecleaning service; it is rare that I find the room 'clean' with a complete set of towels, and consumables (soap, shampoo, etc) or do they keep the room clean and fully stacked, and frequently they do not service the room..
I tip "bell" staff when they help me, such as moving luggage into.out of room. But not for opening the hotel door.
What is next, tipping the Front Desk staff for checking you in or giving you an accurate bill?
wearytraveler barrpat My points exactly. I was beginning to think I was the only one.
Don't get me wrong, I completely support and agree with what you and other folks are saying about the wages. However; my take on this is that is the very reason the envelopes are showing up because Marriott will NOT be increasing wages so this is a bone they're tossing out to this sector of the hotel staff thus my liking the concept, not liking the lack of appropriate salary.
Yup, I know what you are saying iahflyr, but my point is why just this sector of employee? I wonder what other sectors think of the envelopes just being for housekeeping? There are so many levels to this apparently inocuous request/blackmail for a tip, I just don't agree with it at all.
I tip - regularly. But I object to basically being asked to augment a salary which should be sufficient in the first place. I totally agree with barrpat I would rather pay a bit more for my room so that ALL staff can get a reasonable wage.
If we start seeing envelopes all around the hotel then it is a completely wrong message and you bring up an excellent point about the other employee groups.....see that's why I'm an Insider as you guys keep me thinking which isn't always a good thing!!
I Must admit, I thought this was a cultural thing.
The tip culture in the EU is pretty weak, I only tip waitstaff (10%), taxidrivers £1 or £2, bellboy £1 per bag and £1 to my barber. That's it. But in Canada/USA tipping is more prevailant, both in terms of amount (15-20% for waitstaff) and categories of staff it's customary to tip. I've always tipped housekeeping when staying in North America, $1 per day per occupant.
And I say this about tipping not as a Brit simply reading the internet but from the horses mouth so to speak, as my missus is Canadian (tho' she's definitely NOT a horse tommo781! And yes, I can read minds, or at least yours )
So from my point of view I have no problem with what, before I read is thread, I would have thought was a reminder about this North American custom.
Consumerist covered this as well: http://consumerist.com/2014/09/15/forget-mints-on-the-pillow-marriott-leaves-envelopes-so-you-can-tip-the-maid/
I think its a great initiative!
Yes, you are right brightlybob about the difference between tipping in the UK and Europe as opposed to the US. Would I ever suggest anything detrimental about Mrs Bob? Of course not.
I just got to thinking about this initiative by Marriott, and decided it is basically flawed.
I have been to countries where there is no tipping and found the service to be as good or better than in the US. I would like to see people in the paid appropriately for there services by the employer and then having those employees pay the IRS as I do. People should not have to depend on tips that sometimes are not given. If that were done, we would look at a price and determine if we wanted to pay it as opposed to being put in a management position to decide how much people should be paid for each service. If this were done, a tip could be given for exceptional service.
Hi, tommo781. You ask, "...my point is why just this sector of employee?" If I might hazard a guess, it's probably because it's a tedious and (often) thankless job. By leaving a tip each day for services rendered, I'm simply showing my appreciation for the work the cleaning staff performs. Of course, if the work's shoddy, there's no tip. But it's been my experience that the daily gratuity pretty much ensures quality housekeeping.
To say that the housekeeping should be paid more is all well and good, but the reality (in this nation, anyway) is that the federal minimum wage is the going rate -- currently $7.25 an hour, although some states have upped it a bit -- and Congress seems dedicated to preserving the status quo. I don't feel the need to supplement anyone's income, but I do feel the need to say "Thanks" for a job well done.
At practice of mine has been to either engage in a brief conversation with the cleaning staff near my hotel room if a specific one has not already knocked upon my door. Through this when time has allowed, an initial encounter has occured and through that brief interaction I have in my what I would like to leave for the housekeeper. With the prices we pay to eat out wait in restaurants and tips are customary to be given...why not for the ones who clean our rooms, draw back the covers at night, provide extra towels etc. To me, it's all about appreciation and perhaps making someone's day a little brighter.
As I stated; some of what we experience is just not tip worthy. When a Marriott is well managed and all the players understand that the reason they have a job is because of their guests then it is a thing of pure and rare beauty. Cleaning well is an art form.
Tip, but only if the job is truly well done. The job of cleaning up behind others is very hard and those doing it should be well trained, well equipped and have decent wages.
I tip the maid because they have a very difficult job and don't make squat at it. How would you like to change 50 beds a day and have to clean up after someone?
I tip the bartender as well, based on the amount of the tab and it's usually a lot more than $3. Gardner, not so much.
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