Our Members Speak Out
Question for September:
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You were asked:
Do you solicit tips? Why or why not? If you do, how do you go
my opinion, the only kind of tip you should ever solicit are
tips on how to improve what you are doing. If you have
employees, they should be paid enough so the question does not
even arise. The price our guests pay is inclusive; even if you
go out of your way sometimes, like I do, it is only to make sure
guests will remember your place and come back.
“On the other hand, if you offer meals as a supplement within
the guests’ stay, and if you hire extra help to serve those
meals, you can add a small gratuity to the bill. This should be
stated clearly either on your menu or in your brochures if the
meal option is mentioned. Under no circumstances should B&B
owners solicit any kind of gratuity for themselves; it is not
ethical.” -- Florence Fracarossi,
Flo’s Hideaway, Bristol, VA
post ‘no gratuities necessary, your business is thanks enough’
on our website, but people are encouraged to tip for dinner when
they dine with us as they would at any restaurant. We also point
out all of the amenities that are included with a night in a B&B
but often charged for in a hotel--added value. We don't collect
until the end of the stay; that way we have the opportunity to
meet each guest's need, and by the time they leave we hope they
feel it was money well spent.” -- Pam Matthews,
Montgomery Inn Bed & Breakfast, Versailles, KY
“Tips…don’t like them…don’t want them, and don’t think we should
get them! Do you get a tip for your working day…no! The
hospitality industry should pay real wages and not rely on
‘service/gratuity’ charges to make up wages. This con has been
going on for too long! It is an international problem, and we
honestly think the 20% service charge restaurants impose in the
U.S. is offensive. Charge more for the food rather than
continuing this false sense of value.
a client wishes to reward, write a review/ letter of praise to
the management/owner or send a bunch of flowers/wine/two tickets
for the lottery.” -- Dora, David and Stanley,
Woodstocker Inn, Woodstock, VT
solicit tips only if we've served additional meals to our guests
(lunch or dinner). Our promotional material and table signage
say that an 18% gratuity will be added to the bills for parties
of seven or more. That makes it clear that our waitresses and
staff members work for tips when serving meals just like they
would at a regular restaurant. When we take out credit card
paperwork to the guests, we use the variety with a place for
tips and ask them to total and sign.
“While most guests leave an amount in keeping with the meal
only, some do leave extra for our housekeeping staff. While we
don't ask or pressure them in any way to do so, I think it is
just wonderful when they do, and I always thank them for their
thoughtfulness. I love seeing my staff get a little extra for
their efforts, and they like knowing that they did their jobs
well enough to merit a special reward.
“Likewise, I don't expect tips, but when a guest finds some
special way to thank me, I take it as a compliment and accept
their considerate gift graciously. People appreciate good
service!” -- Sherrie Hansen Decker,
Blue Belle Inn, St. Ansgar, IA
do not solicit tips. Although monetary rewards are appreciated,
I am more motivated by positive reviews on the internet or in
the journals in the rooms. If I offered additional amenities, my
rates would reflect it.” -- Shari,
Sweetgrass B&B, Rapid City, SD
have recently added a tip line to our checkout receipt. Many
guests are generous. We have no Oregon sales tax, just the 1%
state lodging tax, no city or county tax here. We do not place
envelopes in the room for housekeepers. Most fine hotels solicit
tips for service. Surely our guests expect and receive 5+ star
service and hospitality!” – Shari,
Lobenhaus B&B & Vineyard, Carlton, OR
we do not solicit tips; we do however accept them when they are
left in the room or given to us in person. Always enjoy the
tips; makes me feel we’ve completed a good job in the B&B and
we’re being thanked for it.” -- Shirley,
Apple Country B&B, Yakima, WA
simply display an envelope on the kitchen counter of each suite
with ‘Your Suite Was Cleaned By (the name of the staff member
who cleaned the suite).’ The majority of the time, a tip is
left, the largest one being $100.” – Miriam,
Holmes with a View, Millersburg, OH
tip solicitation: never, ever, ever at my inn. I have worked in
the hotel industry for eight years and have seen that this
practice has become very passé. It has never crossed my mind to
solicit tips. People feel they are paying a fair rate for their
room and expect that rate to include stellar service. I have
received tips from a few guests when I went above and beyond for
them and I was sure to write and thank them for the gift. If you
have a housekeeper, pay fair wages for their work. If someone
should leave a tip, be sure to pass this along to the
housekeeper.” -- Sue Groffie,
Virginia Rose Inn, McKinney, TX
am not a solicitor of tips, but if I receive them it puts a
smile on my face and a pat on my back.” – Jennifer,
The Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast, Sparta, WI
do not solicit tips. We've been going to B&Bs for over 12 years
and recently stayed at one that did. I found it offensive.
Guests have left us tips, but unsolicited. Innkeepers do this
for the love of meeting and sharing their home with new people,
not to make a buck. If you are, then go buy a hotel, not a B&B.
We're not waiters or bellhops with our hand out stretched for a
tip; we're here to show our guests a restful stay and to tell
them about the great treasures our town has to offer.” –
The Inn at Hickory, Hickory, NC
we have housekeeping help, we do mention that gratuities are
greatly appreciated, although not required. We do this with an
embossed, heavyweight cardstock note in an envelope addressed
'To Our Guests'. The note contains our thanks to the guests for
staying with us and a request that they let us know if anything
could be done better. The note also contains the housekeeper's
name and that she takes great pride in her work.
“We have found that with the envelope addressed to the guests,
the tips are more frequent and in a higher dollar amount (we
never mention what a 'fair' tip should be unless a guest asks
directly). Generally, the guest would take the embossed card as
a memento and leave the tip in the sealed envelope with a note
written to the housekeeper on the envelope flap.
“When we do not have housekeeping help, the note card simply
states our thanks for the guests' patronage and the request to
let us know if we could do anything better for their next stay.
We do not solicit tips for ourselves as we feel it is
inappropriate for the owners to do so. Always nice to find an
unexpected tip, though! Our best tips are our repeat guests –
that’s the perfect way to know we have done our job.” --
Monica & Rock,
White Cedar Inn, Freeport, ME
never solicit tips. Our B&B is in Europe where tips are never
expected and must be earned. 1.) This keeps the maids on their
toes; they know they have done something special when they are
tipped. For example, when guests stay with us 5-7 days, we wash
a load of their clothes for free. Extra loads, or loads of
laundry from daytrippers cost 5 Euros a load. Our maid folds the
laundry very carefully, but even twice as carefully now after
she once received a tip from a lady after having been able to
remove a stain from her sweater. It was unexpected, and she was
positively surprised and now outdoes herself. 2.) If my staff
expected tips and didn't get them they could be upset and
under-perform. 3.) We have a price/quality standard to keep up.
We want our clients to feel that little something without having
to purchase it. Anything they find extra nice they can tip for
and will be appreciated.” -- Virpi de Oliveira,
Casa do Valle, Sintra, Portugal
Would you like to continue the debate? Go to our innkeepers'
forums and post your 2 cents!
to your Home Base and click Message Boards.
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