Sunday, January 18, 2009
I've been working at a local hotel for close to four years, I just put in my two weeks notice (I'm a bit too busy to keep this job anymore, although the real reason I'm quitting rhymes with danagerial blupidity) and would feel remiss if I didn't share some insights with you beloved Provonian readers on some Hotel stays dos and don'ts.
1. Sign it to my room!
It's amazing to me how many people don't know how to sign a charge to their room, or how to be able to such a thing, and maybe in the movies a leading man will tell a faceless waiter 'put it to the room', but in real life it's a tiny bit more complex.
First of all, in order to sign to your room a credit card has to be on file. So when you check in and they ask for a card, just GIVE them one. They don't want to steal any money from you, they just need it for your charges and if you kill and cook a goat in your room.
So once you have a credit card on file, all you need to do to sign to your room (for instance if you eat breakfast in the restaurant) is fill out the lines on your receipt that look like this.
Gratuity (Don't forget this!) ______________
Room # _________________
Printed Name ______________
Just fill this out, and presto! The breakfast will be charged to your room. You don't have to drop the check at the cashier, you don't have to check with the waiter that you did it right, you don't have to give your card again. If you have a card on file, just fill that bad boy out and LEAVE BABY, LEAVE!
DON'T: Fill out the receipt and then give us a credit card. If you want to charge your meal to a separate card than the one on file then GIVE the card to your server, and fill out the credit card receipt s/he gives you. Nothing gives away faster that you're a little green at this hotel thing than filling out the receipt and then giving a card and having to fill out the receipt again.
2. "Is gratuity included with this?"
All, and I mean ALL room service orders have an auto gratuity on them. ALL OF THEM. Some are 20%, some are 15% some might be more or less.
MOST room service orders have a 'delivery' or 'service charge' on them that's usually 1 to 3 dollars.
The server gets the gratuity and the hotel gets the service charge. Any extra gratuity you put on the order will go to the server.
Room service is expensive and the food is usually marginal, but it is completely worth it 1) After a long day and you just want to eat and go to bed 2) you check in late and have no idea where else to get food and 3) for the kids (Kids LOVE room service).
Because room service is expensive, more than most people thought it would be when they ordered it (Think about it, the price of the food + service charge + auto gratuity + tax) sometimes they get a big knot in their throat when they see the burger and fries they just ordered is 14.95, and they ask 'is your gratuity in here' which means 'I don't want to tip you anymore, is that okay?'
DON'T ASK THIS QUESTION!
Most servers will lie, or tell a sort of lie. 'I spilt it with the hotel' is a common one, and it's not an outright lie. Servers DON'T get the service charge, but do get the gratuity. So they are, sort of, splitting it with the hotel.
Listen, if you're completely strapped for cash, or the server is a bit rude or the food took longer than it was suppose to, feel no pressure to add gratuity. They already have some.
BUT, if the server is great, and the food was fast, put a couple of extra bucks on (please see section one on how to sign a charge to your room). If you're away on business and planning to eat room service multiple nights you'll notice how much better your service is after you've given the kid an extra five bucks two nights in a row.
Also, if you call down for a toothbrush, or a sewing kit or extra sweet & low and somebody runs it up to you, tip that person at LEAST two dollars. I can't tell you how many times I've run up plates or forks or something and the person opens the door, swipes the goods, says 'Thanks!' and slams the door in my face. Most servers make two dollars an hour. How about a little something for the effort, huh?
Posted by Tone at 10:03 PM