Category Archives: Tipping

Your Holiday Tipping Guide

Posted on by

The holiday season is a time when we focus on showing gratitude to those who make our lives easier all year long. Think of holiday tipping as holiday thanking. There are a number of ways to show your thankfulness; but for those who make their living in the service industry, the most appreciated is by tipping.

Along with the challenges of what to give your family and friends add the question of whom to tip and how much. When is it appropriate to give money and when should you opt for a gift rather than cash? Simply put, what are the rules of tipping? For that, you need a holiday tipping guide.

Start by making a list of the people to whom you want to express your gratitude. Then follow these guidelines:

  • Consider your budget and know how much you can afford to set aside for tips.
  • Tip according to the quality and frequency of the service rendered.
  • Take into account length of service – the number of years you have used a person’s services.
  • Present cash in a holiday card with a short handwritten note of thanks.
  • Give your tip in person whenever possible.
  • Tip within the week of the holiday or before.
  • Do it joyously.

Now that we’ve established the process, let’s consider who and how much.

The following suggestions should eliminate some of the confusion and stress associated with holiday tipping. But remember that there are no hard and fast rules. Tipping varies based on the type of establishment, regional customs, and your own budget

  • Housekeeper – Depending on frequency of service: one day or one week’s pay.
  • Gardner – $20-$50 or an amount equal to their monthly pay.
  • USPS mail carrier – cash gifts are not acceptable so give a small gift not to exceed $20 in value. Food is always good.
  • Delivery drivers – again cash gifts are not always acceptable so think about giving food items. Maybe something to munch on during deliveries.
  • Newspaper carrier – daily $25; weekend $10
  • Teachers, tutors, coaches and trainers for your children – small gift from your child. Cash is usually forbidden by school systems since it can appear to curry favor for your child.
  • Baby sitter – an amount equal to pay for a usual visit. Add a small gift from your child.
  • Full-time nanny – one week’s or one month’s pay and a small gift from your child.
  • Dog groomer – one half the cost of a session.
  • Dog walker or sitter – one day to one week’s pay depending on how often you employ them.
  • Nail technician- a sum equivalent to one visit.
  • Hairdresser – an amount equal to the fee for a typical visit

These are simply guidelines, and certainly not a complete list. The decision is up to you—whom you wish to tip, what you want to give and how much you can afford. Good judgment and an attitude of gratitude should be your guide.

If you would like the complete guide to holiday etiquette, order a copy of my e-book, Business Etiquette for the Holidays. It’s available as a PDF download or for your Kindle through Amazon.com.

Lydia Ramsey is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, keynote speaker, trainer and author. Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her website: LydiaRamsey.com. Find out how her presentations and workshops can help you and your employees add the polish that builds profits. You’d be amazed at how kindness and courtesy can affect your bottom line.

 

 

 

 

Travel Tips for The Tipping Traveler

Posted on by

HousekeeperEarlier this week A Woman’s Nation (AWN), together with Marriott International announced that Marriott International will be the first partner in AWN’s The Envelope Please™ initiative. The plan is to leave clearly marked gratuity envelopes in guest rooms each day to remind people that some hard-working person, who probably doesn’t get paid very much, cleaned their room.

For the most part, these room attendants go unnoticed. Hotel guests may never encounter or even lay eyes on the housekeeper assigned to clean their room. For that reason, these dedicated souls are often overlooked when it comes to tipping.

As one who travels often to offer my programs on business etiquette to individuals and organizations, I try to be thoughtful and aware of those who work to make my days and nights away from home more pleasant.

Tipping can be challenging and confusing. The first thing for people to do when they are on the road or in the air is to have a sufficient number of one-dollar bills to handle the tipping process. I check that before I leave home—it is on my traveling and packing to-do list. Then I keep an eye on how the flow is going. If I am running low, I get change for larger bills in a gift shop or at the hotel desk.

If my system fails me, as it sometimes does in spite of the best intentions, I get the name of the bellman or other service individual. When I have the correct change, I leave my tip in an envelope with the person’s name on it at the front desk.

The next thing to do is to be clear on how much and whom to tip along the way. For that reason I have compiled a short list of those people. Keep in mind that in upscale environments and urban areas, tip at the higher level.

Let’s start with the housekeeper. I like to leave the tip, given that an envelope is not already provided by the hotel, on the bed or on the bathroom counter with a note addressed to the housekeeper saying, “Thank you for cleaning my room.” Occasionally there is a card in the room with the attendant’s name on it so I can personalize my message. I prefer to do this each day since the same person may not be cleaning my room every time.

How much should you tip the housekeeper? The amount may vary depending on your length of stay. Generally speaking, you should tip in the $2-$3 range per day. When you follow this practice, you might sleep better and so will the housekeeper who just made a few extra dollars.

Other people to consider tipping and the amounts are:

The doorman who takes your bags from the curb to the lobby – $1-$2 per bag

The bellman who takes your bags from the lobby to your room – $1-$2 per bag (If he offers to get you ice, he deserves another dollar or two.)

The concierge who goes out of the way to provide extra help or special service – $10

Room service – the tip is usually already added to your bill. If not, 15% of the total is standard. (You can always tip more if you are inclined.)

Others to tip during your travels are the skycap who checks your bags, the taxi driver who delivers you to and from the airport. The skycap gets the usual $1-$2 per bag. The standard for taxi drivers is 10-15% of the fare.

Now you know why I say to keep lots of one-dollar bills in your pocket at all times. If you feel that all you do on your travels is reach for your wallet day and night, you might be right; but these hard-working people who make your trip more pleasant deserve a show of gratitude.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

The Holiday Tipping Point

Posted on by

The holidays mean parties, shopping, cooking, decorating, greeting cards and gift-giving. They also mean tipping. And of course, I am not just speaking of the day to day tipping that goes on. I am referring to holiday tipping—the practice of giving an extra amount of money or a special gift to those who provide various services to you throughout the year. Those people might be your newspaper carrier, hairdresser or barber, housekeeper, pet sitter and the list goes. It is challenging to figure out whom to tip and how much.

Holiday tipping is a way of showing appreciation to those people who make your life easier and more pleasant. Start with a list of people you would like to feel your gratitude. Then follow these guidelines for mastering the art of tipping during the holidays.

* Tip according to the quality and frequency of the service rendered.
* Consider your own budget in determining the amount.
* Present a monetary tip in a card or a small gift with the cash inside.
* Give it personally whenever possible.
* Do it within the week of the holiday or shortly before.
* Offer it joyously.

Now that we’ve established the process, let’s consider who and how much. The following suggestions should help eliminate some of the confusion as well as the stress of holiday tipping.

* Housekeeper – an amoount equal to the cost of a visit
* Gardner – $20-$50
* USPS mail carrier – cash gifts are not acceptable so give a small $15-20 gift
* Newspaper carrier – daily $25; weekend $10
* Teachers, tutors, coaches and trainers for your children – small gift from your child
* Baby sitter – one night’s pay plus small gift from your child
* Full-time nanny – one week’s or one month’s pay depending on length of employment
* Dog groomer – the cost of a session
* Dog walker or sitter – one day to one week’s pay
* Nail technician- $15 – $20
* Massage therapist – $15- $20
* Hairdresser – the cost of a visit

The list goes on. If you live in an apartment building, there are legions of people to reward. If you belong to a private club, unless a single amount is collected to be distributed to all, there are servers, receptionists and activities personnel to be considered. Good judgment and an attitude of gratitude should be your guide.

When we think of tipping, we usually think of cash. However, if this is a difficult time and you can’t afford to give cash to all these people, make or bake a holiday gift. In some cases a simple handwritten note of thanks is sufficient. When times are better, you can be more generous.

The most important thing is to let these people know valuable their service and their relationship are to you.

Happy holiday tipping!

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Don’t be a Tacky Tipper

Posted on by

When you go out to eat, order curbside pick-up at the neighborhood restaurant, check your bags at the airport, take a cab, have your luggage brought to your room or use valet parking, are you confused about how much to tip or even whom you should tip?  Trust me, it is a complicated issue.  In difficult economic times, it is all the more challenging.

The first thing to keep in mind is that tipping was intended to be for the service rendered.  Tipping varies from culture to culture.  In the US a tip is expected in most service industries. In other cultures, it is not an expectation, but a pleasant surprise.  In rare cases, your tip may be a violation of the norm or even an insult.

So where does that leave those of us who struggle to understand how the gratuity works in the US?  The time-tested rule for tipping in the US used to be 15 or 20%, depending upon the service and the establishment.  For example, servers in upscale restaurants expect more than those who work in moderate eating places.

Today it seems that an appropriate tip when dining out has risen to 18% .  For those of us who dislike doing the math at the end of the meal, the odd number creates a greater challenge.

When tipping in the US, keep these points in mind:

  1. Tipping is expected. Most service people depend on tips as part of their income.
  2. Tipping should be based on quality of service. The better the service, the higher the tip.
  3. If you choose not to tip or to leave a lower amount than expected, you owe someone an explanation and the opportunity to do better the next time.

In these challenging economic times, most Americans are proving to be more generous with thier tips.  As a business etiquette expert who believes that manners are about courtesy, kindness and respect for others, this is heartening news.  We need to take care of each other.

 

 

 

Tips on Holiday Tipping

Posted on by

Are you one of the many people who are struggling with what to give your friends and family for the holidays this year?  On top of that you may be wondering what to do about tipping those people who provide special services for you throughout the year.  Whom should you tip and how much?

I suggest you start with a list of all the people who help you in one way or another from the mailman to your pet sitter. If it is overwhelming, make some decisions about which ones provide consistent and exemplary service.  You might want to prioritize your list. Next consider your budget.  How much can you afford to tip?

If you can’t give monetary recognition to all, consider sending thank you notes to some. Everyone appreciates being appreciated. Your thoughtfulness will not go unnoticed.

I was recently quoted in this article at Nasdag.com written by Joan Goldwasser for Kiplinger.

Even better, take it a step further. For more of my advice on tipping buy a copy of my book Manners That Sell.

However you recognize those people who make your life easier all year long, they will feel good and so will you.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.