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Tipping Guidelines


Christmas is here, and many workers in the hospitality industry are hoping that those they serve will be in the holiday spirit and leave a few dollars behind. Donald Trump recent left a $10,000 tip for a waiter who was no doubt elated. While not every customer can do that, it’s important to know how the tipping system works.{{more}}

Service industry employees are not paid large wages, so wait staff, hotel bell men, delivery staff and transportation experts like taxi, limo and shuttle service drivers rely heavily on offering great service in order to take home their desired income. Unfortunately, some patrons overlook this fact, and some workers leave cash on the table by offering mediocre or even bad service. The savvy business traveler must be aware of tipping guidelines to avoid embarrassment and get better service, especially when entertaining clients.

What is a tip? A tip is a reward given above the financial obligation for service. In other words, it is a way of saying thanks after you paid your bill. It’s also called a gratuity. Although it’s mostly financial, it doesn’t have to be.

When should you tip? You should tip when you have received good service and be a little generous after receiving exceptional service.

How much should you give? There are stories of wait staff receiving cars and large sums of cash, but those are very rare cases. Depending on the country you visit, the tip could run from 10%-20% of your bill. Again, depending on the country and the size of your group, your tip or gratuity could be included in the bill, so read carefully.

When not to tip? When you experience poor service, you do not feel obligated to tip. However, speak up and explain why. Never leave without saying something. At the first sign of trouble in your service experience, express your concerns, but do not be rude. If your matter is not addressed, ask to speak with the manager, and a good manager will try and rectify the situation instead of losing a customer. Unfortunately, there are some who abuse this and use their complaints about service to get freebies from the manager.

Other service professionals you should tip: airport and hotel baggage handlers- $ 1 per bag; if you have a very heavy bag give something extra. If the valet parks your car $2-$3. Give the hotel maid, room service or take out food delivery person a few dollars and the bar tender $1 per drink. When traveling, you never know when you will need help, and, yes, in many instances, money does talk.

Karen Hinds President/CEO – Workplace Success Group,
Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775; Tel: 1-203-757-4103
Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)