Exploring hospitality’s tip envelope technique

December 11, 2014

Some of you may have heard the news about one hotel’s recent implementation of the strategy known as “The Envelope Please”, which is an envelope left in rooms to encourage gratuity for housekeepers. If you haven’t, there was a bit of hoopla about it.

It’s a simple concept apparently tied to Maria Shriver’s group, A Woman’s Nation, with the goal of promoting economic empowerment. The envelope is left in each guest room with a short message noting the opportunity to leave gratuity for the housekeeping staff who worked on a particular room. As the hotel chain explained:

“Hotel room attendants often go unnoticed, as they silently care for the millions of travelers who are on the road at any given time. Because hotel guests do not always see or interact with room attendants, their hard work is many times overlooked when it comes to tipping. The Envelope Please makes leaving them a gratuity simple and secure.”

Seems harmless enough, right? And this isn’t the first hotel chain to use a tip envelope. Some travelers say no, equating the practice to something resembling blackmail. For others, it prompts questions about the wages being paid to housekeeping staff members.

Of course, that’s not the stance all travelers take. Some feel that the implementation of “The Envelope Please” is a breath of fresh air allowing guests the chance to properly thank the housekeeping staff and ensure that their tip is going to the correct person every time. And some are not opposed to the idea, in theory, but would embrace the movement if some changes were made in how tips are dished out. For example, rather than a cash exchange, the option to add gratuity for the housekeepers onto their hotel bill would be more convenient.

So the question remains – to leave a tip envelope or not? What’s your stance? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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