My belief on tipping comes from the first time I took a business trip. My boss had forgotten to leave a tip, and mentioned he had to go back to his room to right his wrong. He said, “$10 per night is what I do.” Then off he went. From then on, my tipping trajectory was set.
My husband Dean does not tip. He feels that it’s already included in the hotel charge and that housekeepers are already paid a fair wage, whereas waiters (for example) get paid less than minimum wage with the expectation that they will make it up in tips.
I did what any rational, modern-day, truth-seeking person would do and posted the debate up on Facebook which elicited quite the firestorm of responses!
16 responded that they tip
9 responded that they do not tip
Here’s a selection of interesting comments:
- Missy: I’m a heavy tipper in general, but have never tipped housekeeping. The first time I saw someone leave a tip for housekeeping, I thought it was strange.
- Melissa: We tip if they deliver extra towels, blankets, etc. but not for general cleaning because we thought that was part of the general fee.
- Chavonta: I take my middle school students on a hotel trip every year and I encourage them to leave a tip on their departure as well.
- Camilla: I tip housekeeping on cruises, but not in a regular hotel. However I believe it’s because tipping indicates that service has been above and beyond expected…or it’s customary, as in a restaurant. I have never had housekeeping staff do anything above and beyond expected. If they did, I probably would tip. But it’s certainly not a habit I have.
- Lysa: Housekeeping is probably paid minimum wage. If you are staying in a hotel, you probably make a ton more and especially if you are on an expense account, I say, share the wealth…
- Dan: Do you guys have any clue what housekeepers make? (Hint: it ain’t a lot) Almost all are women, immigrants, many single moms. If you gave that hipster-asshole five bucks for the two minutes it took to hand you that Martini then please do the same for the poor woman who picked your towels up off the floor and cleaned your pubes out of the shower drain. Sheez. And yes, it is “included” in the cost of your room/night.. which doesn’t mean it gets passed on though.
- Jim: I keep a do not disturb for all the time I’m at the hotel so they only have to clean up one day. I leave a few bucks for a tip.
I continued to research and learned that it is standard practice that you should tip your hotel housekeeper.
Tripadvisor: $2 to 5/night. More if there are more than 3 people in a room or suite. Leave a tip each day since your room may be serviced by different people.
Interesting article from the NYTimes that shows that most people don’t realize they are supposed to leave a tip. In fact, only 30% of hotel guests do. Keep in mind that this work is labor-intensive and mainly done by women, minorities and immigrants.
Here’s the gratuity guide from the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Do you tip or not? Anyone considering changing their behavior after reading this post?