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Tipping Policy - Well House Manor

The other night, I think I spent more that I have ever spent before on a meal for two three of us - Lisa, myself, and Zyliana asleep in her cot; and when the bill arrived at the meal end, there's an extra line printed on the bottom showing how much a top of 15%, 18% and 20% would be. I can understand that - for we were in the USA, where base salaries in the service industry are painfully low, with much of the income for the staff earned from gratutities. In a place such as Orlando, where we were, there are a lot of Brits for whom giving a tip of more than 10% is a new experience ... with prices in US Dollars rather than pounds, too - so the numbers are higher. Lisa reminded me to leave a tip in the hotel room for the maids when we left as well - calculated at X dollars per day.

It's so different in the UK. Certainly as a business hotel, and serving only breakfast which is included in the room price, tips are a rarity. And that's not due to any lack of service on our part - travelling in the UK for work, I often stay away, rarely tip at a hotel, and if I were to tip in a restaurant at US levels I would be asked "are you sure"? In the USA, I see signs like "Gratuities welcome" even on buses, and handscrawed signs on plastic tubs on the end of the self service buffet counters at times - and there's some creep to the UK for such things - one of the cafes in Melksham has a tip bowl next to the till.

We've never really needed a tip policy at Well House Manor until ... now! What happens when the first person leaves a tip after their cream tea for the excellent service that I know that Sarah, Rachel, Heather and Kim will provide? None of our current team is the sort to be making a dirty dive to get to clear tables of departing guests so that they can pick up the money, but never the less this is an area that we need to decide what to do.

"If guests feel they have had good service at Well House Manor, they are welcome to leave a tip. Any tips will be pooled in a jar that's already been hidden away out of public view, and when the hours of each team member who serves are worked out at the end of each pay period, the money in the jar (if any) will be split between them in proportion to the number of hours worked in that pay period.".

I started this article talking about a very expensive meal indeed; and it was a really lovely meal too - certainly the best we had while we were in the USA, and served by a waiter who provided exactly the right degree of attentiveness. He advised well on the menu, but was then able to help Lisa move things around so that she got two treats on one plate. He seated us in such a way that Zy was well placed beside me as we ate, without her crib getting in the way of our eating or passing traffic, and when the beer barrel had to be changed and there was a slight delay, he came along and let me know. Small things - but things to say "yes - we should do that". We tipped him at the upper of the levels that were calculated for it, and felt it was well justified; good service is so important, and I hope we'll do as well as he did.
(written 2011-05-29, updated 2011-05-30)

 
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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Comment: "I've found a good tipping policy for hotel rooms is to tip ..."
Visitor Ranking 5.0 (5=excellent, 1=poor)

Comment by Anon (published 2011-08-18)
I've found a good tipping policy for hotel rooms is to tip daily - in the US a few dollars left in the bathroom sink with a note "TIP" works - as the maids often change and don't clean the same room daily. This way is fair, and also obvious to the staff. [#3953]

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