Hospitality in the News

Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: what to tip hotel staff and other ways to show appreciation.  

An April Forbes report shows that as more people become vaccinated, travel bookings are increasing across the country. For hotels that may be short-staffed, employees will be working extra hard to create a great experience for guests as people head on much-needed (and likely much-delayed) vacations. If you plan on heading out this summer, you may be wondering, “Can I tip hotel staff? And what should I tip?” 

Hotel employees play a pivotal role in making sure guests have everything they need during their stay. But many hotel goers are unsure about whether to tip hotel staff, especially if it’s not customary where you’re from. Below we’ll lay out what you need to know about tipping hotel staff when on vacation.  

Should I tip hotel staff? 

In the United States, not only is it traditional to tip (certain) hotel staff, but it’s also encouraged to show appreciation for a job well done. Additionally, several hotel positions rely on tips to supplement a lower hourly pay.  

Which hotel employees should I tip? 

Deciding to tip hotel staff depends on the position they work and will also rely on the amenities at your hotel. For example, customer service or front desk agents don’t typically receive tips because they earn a higher hourly rate. But positions like housekeepers or room service staff customarily receive tips. Here are the main positions that you’re encouraged to tip: 

  • Housekeepers 
  • Room Service Staff 
  • Doormen + Bell Staff 
  • Servers + Bartenders 
  • Valets 

You may want to tip someone who works in a position not listed above, and that’s okay. If an employee has gone out of their way to improve your experience or help in some way, there’s no harm in wanting to compensate them for that. Keep in mind that some employees may not be allowed or comfortable accepting gratuities, in which case you can show your appreciation another way. 

How much should I tip? 

How much to tip hotel staff differs based on what services they’re doing, how often, etc. When deciding what to tip, keep in mind the positions that rely on gratuity for their hourly pay. Before heading off on vacation, check out this helpful gratuity guide from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and don’t forget to bring some cash.  

How else can I show appreciation to hotel employees? 

If you want to show appreciation to hotel employees in other ways, there are a few ways to do so. One of them is by complimenting them to their superior. Letting a supervisor or manager know that their employee is doing a great job can have a positive impact on the employee. You can also try simple things like smiling and waving or saying hello/goodbye upon entering or leaving the hotel.  

Tipping a hotel employee is a great way to show your appreciation for the work they do. While the guidelines for who to tip and how much aren’t set in stone, the above information coupled with the gratuity guide from the AHLA should give you a good idea what to expect on your next vacation.