So, coming from the UK and a first timer to WDWI have a question re tipping. We are on the dining plan but wondered the etiquette of tipping with regards to buffet meals and actually if I'm honest just tipping generally. Obviously I am used to tipping for meals etc in the UK but anything else is a bit alien. I would be grateful for advice on whether you should do % or based on your experience...Thanks everyone!
The receipts will have suggested tipping amounts on them, which should help a bit. It may seem like a lot, tipping 18-20%, but this is the norm.
It's no different at buffets, still 18-20%. DH nearly died when I told him we'd be tipping that much, not so much at individual meal level but when I was getting dollars for mousekeeping tips and TS tips and it came to about $500!! Generally I rounded it up because we were really short on change and single dollar notes, so we ended up leaving big tips sometimes. I could have avoided that by charging tips to the room, but I prefer to use cash.
Here are my two cents. I was a waiter during college and I play by these rules
1 - Anyone who touches your bags - $1 - $2 per bag. This includes the hotel or the airport
2 - If you have a car and valet - $2 at drop off $2 at pickup
3 - Sit down meals - 20% to start. This is for good service. For Great service a bit more 22% or so. For bad service 15-18%
4 - Buffets - I do 10-15% based on service. I have had servers at buffets that are really good and I may do 20% but this is the exception and not the rule
5 - Room Service - 10-15% closer to 10% but I round
6 - Maid Service - Try to keep room as neat as possible and also tip a few dollars a day $2-3 plus a bit. If it is $18 I'll leave a $20 etc. This is if the service is good. We stayed at a the SWAN and the service was AWFUL just AWFUL so no tip
7 - No tip for front desk, counter service restaurant etc
Tips for mouse keeping should be left each day as you may have different people during your stay. It needs to be clearly marked for them, the easiest way is to put it in an envelope marked mousekeeping and leave it somewhere obvious. I'd say most people do $1-2 per person. There are 3 of us and we leave $5 a day.
IWe're also from the UK and weren't sure about tipping so before our trip I wrote down a list of all our ADRs and an estimate of worse case scenario bill (we were also on DDP but tip is based on price the meal would've cost) I then noted the 20% tip and added them all up at the end. I also added an estimate for bell services, drinks, mousekeeping and worst case scenario for two TS meals that we hadn't yet booked. This gave me a total of just under $400 for the two weeks. So just like missoverexcited we put cash to one side and used that for tips. That way the money wasn't ever ours from the start and we didn't get a shock with it being added to the room bill at the end. It worked really well for us and I wasn't far off the mark for my estimates. Oh and the front desk we're happy to exchange 20s for dollar notes. We went a couple of times so we had enough small change for tips.
I went through the menus and worked out 20% too! It never occurred to me to ask for change at the front desk though.
Mousekeeping isn't a tipped position, so there is no need to leave a tip unless you want to.
Really? I've never read a tipping thread that didn't say you had to tip mousekeeping, and with no exaggeration I have probably read 1000 of those threads over on chat.
It's definitely not a tipped position based on negotiations with the union a few years back. However they can and do accept tips, so if you want to tip you certainly can - but nobody should feel forced to do so.
I really want you to say that on a thread on chat, but I won't be responsible for the abuse you would get so you'd better not!
Let's keep in mind this is an area for ideas - even if people have disagreement
The forum is pretty civil. Chat not so much.
Tipping housekeeping seems to be regional, even in the U.S., maybe? I grew up in the Midwest, and I didn't even know that was something people did until I was in my late 20s. Hopefully even in chat people can realize that it might not be something some people had any cultural expectation of.
I am also originally from the Midwest and only learned the custom of tipping housekeeping when I moved to the Pacific Northwest. I do wonder if it is a fairly new concept and that is only now making its way to the Midwest or if it has always been that way and we just didn't know. I know my parents even now do not tip housekeeping unless they ask for something extra (shampoo, comb, extra pillow or towels, etc.).
ETA: We have a family of 4 and request our linens and towels not be changed daily. We would typically tip $4/day, but we usually wind up leaving $5 because we don't keep fistfuls of singles with us.
Thank you all, I'm glad to hear it's not just us Brits who struggle with the etiquette of tipping!
Its confusing for us when we go to Europe as well
Also from the Midwest and had no idea about tipping housekeeping until I joined here!
To add some context to what @lecras pointed out, here in the US there is something called a "tipped wage." It has to do with the minimum wage. If a specific position (best example is waiter/waitress) is expected to be tipped, then their minimum wage is something ridiculously low, like $2/hour. Like most everything else here, this actual number varies by state, but otherwise a normal minimum wage is currently in the $8/hour range.
So if you do not tip a waiter/waitress, then you are in fact potentially allowing them to earn less than minimum wage. They earn the majority of their wages in tips and often some don't even receive a paycheck since taxes and benefits get taken out of that $2/hour wage. They also get taxed on an expectation of a certain level of tips. Mouse/housekeeping on the other hand, is earning a minimum wage regardless of if you tip them and do not get taxed on their cash tips. I, personally, think that the more recent increase of tipping housekeeping position stems from more of a social consciousness than these positions actually relying on tips for income.