Supporting Essential Associates Amid Changing Tipping Trends

In the dynamic world of hospitality, change is the only constant. From expedited check-outs to the rise of contactless payments, the landscape of hotel operations is evolving at a remarkable pace. Amid these transformations, one crucial aspect often overlooked is the gratuity extended to the hardworking individuals who ensure guests have a memorable stay – the housekeepers and bellmen.

As revealed by an article by CNBC, the number one place where Americans forget to tip but should be for housekeeping. But, what about the bellmen, a group for which data is often missing? Join us in exploring innovative strategies, practical solutions, and insights to ensure these dedicated professionals continue to receive the recognition they deserve. 

Take the Survey Now and Shape the Future of Tipping

The Shift in Tipping Etiquette

The last few years have seen a whirlwind of transformations – expedited check-outs, contactless payments, and an array of guest-focused innovations. Amid the rapid progress, there’s one crucial facet that’s often overlooked: the art of tipping, particularly when it comes to the backbone of a hotel’s operation housekeepers and bellmen.

According to a survey conducted by Bankrate, only 28% of U.S adults always leave a tip for Housekeepers in 2021 and that number is in steady decline at 23% in 2023. 

Bellmen, who also play a vital role in hotels, demonstrate a need for a more comprehensive understanding of tipping practices within the broader spectrum of hotel services — a need which Evention is hoping to fill through its new tipping-focused survey for hotel professionals. Since they often operate as part of the front desk, the tips for bellmen might not be categorized separately, underscoring Evention’s desire to expand its understanding of tipping practices for them.

The Landscape

Traditionally, guests have shown their appreciation through tips, acknowledging the efforts of these unsung curators of the guest experience who contribute to their stay’s comfort and satisfaction.

As the hotel industry adapts to new norms and guest expectations, the dynamics of tipping are shifting. The rise of expedited check-outs, for instance, has streamlined the departure process, making it faster and more convenient for guests. While this benefits travelers, it poses a challenge for service staff who might miss out on gratuities due to the faster pace and reduced interactions during check-out. 

In an interview with CNBC, etiquette expert Diane Gottsman suggested that tippers should budget gratuities as a part of their travel. However, not all travelers will be as intentional regarding tipping when planning their trips. Bankrate found that 66% of US adults have negative views about tipping. While a majority of this is due to the recent surge in pre-entered tip screens at coffee shops, food trucks, and more, 15% of tippers are just confused about who and how much to tip. 

The surge in digital payment methods, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has further changed the way guests engage with tipping. The Federal Reserve reported that the share of consumer payments made in cash dropped from 31% in 2017 to 20% in 2021. As the world embraces contactless payments, the conventional act of leaving a cash tip in a hotel room or handing it directly to staff is becoming less common. When you realize you don’t have bills, you’re more likely to catch your flight than run to find an ATM. 

Strategies for Gratuity in a Digital World

To support housekeepers and bellmen amid these changes, it’s essential for hotel leaders to get creative. It’s time to explore innovative strategies and implement practical solutions that ensure these dedicated professionals continue to receive the recognition they genuinely deserve.

  1. Digital Tipping Solutions: Embrace the digital revolution by offering guests convenient and contactless ways to leave tips such as with Evention’s InstaTip solution. With the rise of digital payment, it’s easier than ever for guests to express their appreciation. Digital tipping not only offers a more convenient way to tip but has also shown higher amounts in tips. Evention found that InstaTip tips are over $8 per tip higher than standard cash tips. Consider implementing digital tipping solutions tailored specifically for housekeeping and bellmen. 
  2. Communication is Key: Inform your guests about the importance of tipping housekeeping and bellmen. This may be difficult to do, but many guests might not be aware of the impact their gratuity has on these service professionals. By communicating the significance of tipping and the convenience of digital options, you can encourage guests to express their appreciation. This could be done through printed assets that leads to a digital tipping portal, such as, business cards, table tents, door handles, and more. These systems not only offer guests the flexibility to tip when it suits them but also serve as a gentle reminder of who and when to tip.
  3. Surveys and Data Collection: Gather insights from guests about their tipping preferences. To truly grasp the evolving landscape of tipping and ensure our solutions resonate with guest preferences, we invite you to participate in a new survey being conducted by Evention. By sharing your insights and experiences, you’ll play a pivotal role in shaping the future of gratuity practices in the hotel industry. 
  4. Flexibility and Choice: Recognize that guests have different preferences when it comes to tipping. Some may prefer cash, while others lean towards digital options. Provide a variety of choices to accommodate these diverse preferences, ensuring that no guest feels inconvenienced or compelled to forego tipping. In a recent in-house study, Evention found 50% of InstaTip tippers do so outside of the property. Meaning, digital tipping allows them the convenience to scan and go, giving guests the option to tip while on their way out without having to make additional stops for an ATM or wait for an associate to find change. 

Take the Survey Now and Shape the Future of Tipping

Your voice matters, and together, we can create a more gratuity-friendly future for the hardworking professionals who make your hotel stay extraordinary.

As we journey through this digital era, let’s embrace change as an opportunity for growth and improvement. By implementing these strategies and remaining attentive to the evolving needs and preferences of our guests, we can ensure that our dedicated professionals, the housekeepers, and bellmen, continue to receive the appreciation they genuinely deserve.

The evolving landscape of tipping need not diminish the recognition our staff receives. With a proactive approach and innovative solutions, the art of hotel tipping can be revitalized in the modern era, bridging the gap between guest convenience and the well-deserved gratuity for our hardworking service professionals. Together, we can ensure that the heart and soul of hospitality, our staff, continue to thrive and deliver exceptional experiences to our guests.