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#7280 - 08/04/04 01:00 PM Should we tip the chamber maid ?
CarlosV Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/30/04
Posts: 4
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Hi !
We will be staying in hostales. Should we leave a tip for the maid. If so, how much per night ?

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#7281 - 08/05/04 06:12 AM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Hmmm.. in "hostales".... It's my impression that most people don't tip in "hostales" and probably only occasionally in hotels. But if you have a Euro or two coin in your pocket upon leaving it's always nice to leave it in the ashtray or on the counter as a token of your appreciation.

Anyone else? I doubt those that DON'T leave tips upon leaving won't speak up here for obvious reasons.... And while I don't know for sure, I doubt "hostales" expect tips to be found in the rooms when they clean up. If you leave a tip, it's more customary, I think, to do so on the day you check out.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#7282 - 08/06/04 12:41 AM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
Mongo Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
I allow 1 euro per day as a gratuity to the room cleaners. I leave it the last day. I think about what they do and with all the details they attend to it is the least I can do. (I do it in every country)

Secondly, I believe that Javier, Vlad and Alex at Hostal Adriano might resent being called chambermaids! wink

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#7283 - 08/06/04 03:44 AM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
Anonymous
Unregistered


It's not customary in Spain. You don't need to do it, and I believe it's not one custom we should import. I hate having to tip in some places only because the tourists' customs have made it popular, like taxis or bars. Fortunately, an inmense majority of spaniards don't tip at all anybody at the hotel.

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#7284 - 08/06/04 10:09 AM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
Booklady Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 1680
Loc: U.S.A.
I always tip the hotel staff. I not only tip the chamber staff, but the desk staff as well. These people help make my trip enjoyable and see to my comfort, it is the least I can do to repay their many kindnesses. smile
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The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
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#7285 - 08/06/04 11:32 AM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Is it possible that, like in the USA, tipping in restaurants and hotels may actually drive DOWN wages for those working at these establishments? Maybe not if the person serving you is the person who owns the business.

Tips are a nice extra bonus for the person serving/helping you, I agree, and I always tip well at restaurants here in the USA and also the recommended amount abroad. But tipping can give EMPLOYERS reason to lower wages of those working for them because part of their (the workers') income would come from tip. Employers will start PROMOTING tipping to patrons & to society so that THEY (the owners) won't have to pay so much in salary. This makes the worker dependent on tips from customers and, well, as we all know, not ALL customers tip the same and sometimes not at all.

In my opinion, I've always appreciated the policy in Spain which seems to have existed for many many years. I love seeing "Professional" waiters whom, it seems, have worked at XYZ Bar/Café/Restaurant for the past 20 years, always being paid a living wage and rarely receiving tips. This, to me, is the responsible way to employ people. Pay them a living wage and they'll provide good service, be happier & more responsible with their jobs, and will respect their employers more. If employers pay their employees less and force them to depend on tips for survival, the employees will be less happy & less responsible, more stressed, and have more resentment towards management/owners.

So, in the BIG PICTURE of the economy and salaries and happiness, is tipping REALLY a GOOD thing? (Hmmm.. Maybe my discussion on this topic would be better located in the "About Spain" forum of the message board) Maybe if you secretly/quietly put a tip directly in the hand of that person helping/serving you directly but..... I don't know.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#7286 - 08/06/04 12:44 PM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
Anonymous
Unregistered


True. I guess that's how the custom begun in the USA and other countries.

Here, many times they make publicity like "600 euros plus tips", maybe nobody would taks the job (at least a quality waiter) for 600, but maybe yes with 200 euros in tips. Thus, the employer is saving 200 euros and the consumers pay 200 euros more. The waiter sees his wages became variable. frown

That's in Spain. Obviously in the USA, tips are a ore important part of the wages, and these consecuences for the three actors are more intense.

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#7287 - 08/06/04 01:20 PM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
Booklady Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 08/19/01
Posts: 1680
Loc: U.S.A.
The problem MM is that the competition is fierce in the food industry. To truly pay a living wage to an individual, the restaranteur must raise the cost of the meal. Many are unwilling to do so because they are barely breaking even due to increased competition.

The question then remains, do the wait and chamber staff earn "living" wages? Generally, here and in many countries, the wages for ordinary wait staff are minimal.

The wait staff is in essence an independent contractor offering his/her services to a particular restaurant. He/she must have a basic "wage" as you mentioned 600 euros, enough to pay the rent, and then the rest he/she must make in tips.

Ignacio, do Spanish wait and chamber staff earn a living wage? That is enought to feed, clothe, and house a family?

Saludos,
Carmen
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The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
--St. Augustine (354-430)

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#7288 - 08/06/04 04:13 PM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
Mongo Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/17/01
Posts: 582
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
I am closely involved in the management of two good sized restaurants and I have some knowledge of the economics of tipping in the US. To say that the practice of tipping drives down wages is simply wrong. First off, state and federal law requires the server be paid the minimum wage IN ADDITION to their tips. We closely track the level of tips and have to report to IRS every year. The current level that a server is required to report is, I believe 12%, which means that a server is earning at least 12% commission on their sales in addition to the wage. We don't have anybody making less than $15/hour. In fact one server turned down a management position because he made more money waiting tables.

We consider servers to be like commissioned sales positions. Because tips are based on check prices, they have incentive to sell more product, which is good for the company and the employee.

To say that Spanish waiters are not tipped is a bit of a misnomer. I have many friends that work in the hospitality business in Madrid and they are all at least partly dependent on the service charge that is included in all restaurant prices. They divide it up at the end of the night/week. The more they sell, the more they make just like in the US. The difference in Europe is, the tip is included.

As for room cleaners, I tip them because I appreciate what they do, microeconomics be damned!

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#7289 - 08/06/04 05:08 PM Re: Should we tip the chamber maid ?
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Question for debate: What would happen if there was a Global law/rule proclaiming that tips were illegal and from this point forward no more tips would/could ever be given.

Would everyone quit their jobs to find better paying jobs?
And if so, would the jobs & business they left behind close their doors?

Would one-time minimum-wage employers pay higher salaries to make up the difference?
And if so, would patrons pay higher prices if the raise in rate in the XYZ industry was universal?

Would this force more people to take minimum-wage jobs?
And if so, would this simply widen underemployment?

Saludos, MadridMan
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