Let’s talk about tipping!


Tipping is such a touchy subject! And it really shouldn’t be. It is how a large number of American’s make their living!

Now before we continue, this isn’t a debate about whether or not tipping should even exist. Point is, it currently does. And by refusing to tip doesn’t teach those who make the decisions about tipping policies, it only hurts the people who are underpaid by their employers and need the tips to make a livable salary. Underpaying staff is one thing, but paying staff incorrectly is something businesses can’t afford to do. Making sure they’re in line with ACA Compliance and equal opportunities employment policies can help to ensure that the business can avoid any potential financial penalities.

General rule of thumb, 20 percent is standard.

In the US, we generally tip 15 – 20 % of the bill when dining out. The same applies to hair stylists, drivers, taxis, massage therapists, and the like.

When staying a hotel, the most forgotten employees are the housekeepers! So yes, please remember to tip those cleaning up after you. You can tip daily or in a lump sum at the end of your trip. An envelope is best so they know it is for them. And if they bring you extra toiletries, give a little extra as a thank you! A few dollars a day will do, from $3-5. And if you leave your room really messy, then a bit more.

Always Tip After a Service Has Been Done

Other people to remember in hotels, the front desk, your bellmen, the valet, and yes, even the concierge.It is appropriate to give a little something to the front desk upon check-in. I personally am a fan of tipping AFTER someone has done something. Let’s say you ask if they can put you in a nice room, or you ask for an upgrade. If you tip before they say they can do something, and let’s say, they can’t give you what you asked for, well then that is awkward for everyone. So tip AFTER you get that upgrade or that dinner reservation as a THANK YOU, which is what tipping is. Tipping is not a way to “buy” what you want. Some things can’t be bought. A $20 is a nice gesture to the front desk if they are able to upgrade you or give you a really nice room. As for the bellmen, $5 – $20 is appropriate based on how much they assist you with your check in. A few dollars to the valet is appropriate each time you use them. And as for the concierge, anything from $5 – $100 is reasonable depending on the degree of the request, number of requests, length of your stay, or based on how much they were able to positively impact your trip!

Don’t Forget to Tip the Housekeepers

Of course, just as I mentioned with housekeepers, you can also tip as you go, or tip in a lump sum at the end of your stay. And you can always say you’d like to leave something for a particular person if they are not working. That works too!

I Get Asked About Tipping All The Time

Now I am not sharing this to be cheeky, especially because I am a concierge. Let it be known I don’t do my job with any expectations of a tip. It’s not how I operate. I am sharing this because I get asked this question ALL THE TIME. And there is nothing wrong with asking if you are not sure.

Gratitude is Expressed Differently Everywhere

Similarly, when I travel abroad, I ask about etiquette, policies, and expectations because I want to do what is culturally the right thing to do without insulting anyone by under OR over-tipping. I’ll never forget getting chased out of a restaurant in Italy with my boyfriend because the waiter insisted we over-tipped. We were just trying to be nice, and what’s a few extra euros when you’re on vacation and someone is really nice to you. Gratitude is expressed differently everywhere!

OK, enough on this post. I could talk about it at length because there are so many nuances to it. But I hope I’ve given you a bit of insight on the world of tipping in the United States.

Have Travel Tuesday everyone!