Being from Europe, the tipping culture is “enough” – as a reward for good service, and not expected (in which case, it’s what I call a service charge. But that’s by the by).
Marriott International has teamed up A Woman’s Nation, a non-profit organization founded by journalist and former California first lady Maria Shriver to deliver a programme called “The Envelope Please”
The envelopes will be in over 160,000 Marriott rooms in the USA and Canada, spreading across the Marriott brands.
Maria Shriver, founder of A Woman’s Nation states
“The Envelope Please was born from having conversations with women I’ve met who have taken care of my room during hotel stays. Their stories of hard work and perseverance inspired and informed me. They told me that room attendants, who are often the primary breadwinner for their families, are often forgotten when it comes to tipping, unlike other front-of-house employees, since most travelers don’t see them face-to-face. I hope this gratitude initiative will make these women feel seen and validated”
Interestingly, it is suggested by The American Hotel and Lodging Association suggests that hotel guests leave $1 to $5 per night, dependant on the type of hotel, and tipping daily rather than at checkout.
Handily, The American Hotel and Lodging Association had produced a gratuity guide of how much you should tip.
Now, I freely admit I don’t tip in hotels much. Some may call it mean – but I’ve paid for a service and a room. As such, I expect what I pay for. If there was an action that went beyond the call of duty, then I’d have no issue with tipping (such as extra amenities, some special service, etc).
But for making up the room each day from a semi tidy state, ensuring the bathroom was stocked and room to keep up to specification? Sorry. Not worth a tip in my book.
This to me stinks of Marriott not paying their staff a living wage, and asking customers to “top up” their wage packet instead.
And that annoys me like hell.
Least of all, the cost of printing these envelopes, placing them in rooms, replenishing them could actually go towards a rise.
Sorry Marriott International. The heart is in the right place, but if you pay your staff a living wage in the first place, this campaign wouldn’t be needed at all.
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