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What people do wrong about tipping hotel housekeepers

Hotel guests often interact with a range of staff – from valets to bellhops to lobby bartenders. And in these exchanges, it is common sense to tip them accordingly.

But there is one staff category that is often overlooked in the tip department due to the fact that labor often requires less face-to-face time: housekeeping.

“I must admit my ignorance,” life etiquette expert Juliette Mitchell, also known as Ms. J, told HuffPost. “When I first started traveling and living in hotels, I didn’t know you should tip the housekeeping staff. This, to many, is actually a lie born of ignorance.”

In 2017, The New York Times reported that less than a third of hotel guests left tips for housekeeping staff. And even if they do tip, they may not realize that it’s important to do so for each day of their stay.

To help explain the rules for tipping hotel housekeepers, HuffPost talked to some etiquette experts. Read on for their guidance.

Why it is important to tip the housekeeping staff

“You can sometimes pass hotel housekeepers in the hallways, but you rarely see how hard they work,” Jodi RR Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, told HuffPost. “Rooms should be cleaned, carpets should be vacuumed, sheets should be changed, beds should be made, towels should be refreshed, bathrooms should be wiped down and trash should be emptied. All this should be done without disturbing the guests or their belongings – and briefly, and often over a period of time.”

The job is even more precarious than you think. According to Unite Here, a labor union that represents more than 100,000 hotel workers in North America, housekeepers experience the highest injury rates in the industry due to the physically demanding and time-sensitive nature of their work. Housekeepers also face the additional risk of sexual harassment and assault, as the job typically involves working alone in strangers’ rooms.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many hotels have beefed up their cleaning protocols, which means additional disinfecting tasks for the homeowner. Meanwhile, the workforce has been reduced due to labor shortage amid renewed demand for travel. Despite all this, housekeepers are some of the lowest-paid employees in operation.

why you should do it every day

The standard for hotel housekeeping is to tip every day to make sure the money is going to the specific person serving your room.

“Since housekeeping is a 24/7 situation, there are multiple teams that work together to keep each room clean,” Smith said. “There’s no guarantee that the homeowner who cleans first in your stay will be the one who cleans your room when you check out.”

If you wait until the end of your stay to tip or drop everything off at the beginning, you run the risk of shortchanged employees.

“Imagine you’re on vacation for a week,” Smith said. “Maybe a homeowner kept your room for the first five days. Then the next householder has kept your room for two, yet receives a tip for seven.”

Many hotels have changed their cleaning procedures and facilities during the pandemic.
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Willie B. Thomas via Getty Images

Many hotels have changed their cleaning procedures and facilities during the pandemic.

During the pandemic, many hotels have adopted opt-in systems for daily room cleaning due to health guidelines and labor shortages. As a result, some guests may think there is no need to tip the housekeepers.

But if you choose to never clean the room during your stay, you should leave a tip on the day of your departure, as the housekeeping staff will come after you to clean up and disinfect the room before the next guests arrive . With staff shortages and better cleaning procedures, it’s even more important to show your appreciation for their work.

how much money to leave

According to a tipping guide from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the standard amount for housekeeping is $1 to $5 per day. But with the ongoing pandemic, Unite Here suggests leaving at least $5.

“Tip gracefully. There’s no set minimum gratuity, but if ever there was a time to show generosity and respect, it’s this,” says Diane Gottsman, an etiquette expert, author of “Modern Etiquette for a Better Life” and founder of the Protocol School. he said. of Texas.

“$5 to $10 a day is greatly appreciated, depending on the hotel you choose to stay in,” she said. “The more spacious the hotel, the more likely you’ll want to leave based on the overall price point.”

Smith notes that the tip amount depends on factors such as geographic location, length of stay, number of people per room, and additional requests.

“A very general guideline is $3 to $5 per person per day,” she said. “In five-star locations located in high-rent districts like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, the guideline is $5 to $10 per person per day. When in doubt, always round up. It may cost you a few extra dollars, But it can mean a lot to the labourers.”

The AHLA recommends placing the money in an envelope with a note to make it clear that it is for housekeeping. Smith believes the best place to put it is in the bed near the pillows.

and what to keep in mind

Courtesy towards housekeepers does not end at tipping.

“Remember that a real person is coming to pick up your shit,” Gottsman said. “Show respect to the person who keeps your room clean. Throw the trash in the container instead of on the floor. Follow special requests such as leaving your towels in a specific location if the hotel requests so.”

He also recommends asking front desk workers if they can accommodate your request for items such as clothing, as the housekeeping staff is more limited.

Civilization expert and “Everyday Etiquette” author Patricia Rossi stresses that it’s mutually beneficial to not only be considerate of hotel staff with tips and etiquette, in terms of service provided, but also in terms of spreading positivity in difficult times. Is.

“It’s giving back a small deposit of goodness for the good you’ve done,” she said. “It shows appreciation, gratitude, and respect, and it will boost you and their heart.”

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