Tipping for Comped Meals

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by DAS02135, Feb 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DAS02135
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    DAS02135 Gold Member

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    Do you tip when you get breakfast vouchers as part of a frequent guest program?

    I always do, but I've noticed many people don't. I was talking to someone in a Hilton restaurant Monday morning, and he said he didn't because the tip is covered by the voucher. Is that right?

    My most recent voucher didn't answer that question and I cannot recall looking on others, but I cannot imagine the restaurants order terminal being set up to compensate a team who served a guest with a free breakfast certificate.
     
  2. rkt10
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    rkt10 Silver Member

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    I think it depends upon how much service you actually receive. If the breakfast is a buffet, but the server is prompt about bringing coffee (and refills), then I tip a modest tip. If it's full service, then full tip. All dictated by local tipping custom of course.
     
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  3. DAS02135
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    DAS02135 Gold Member

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    For Doubletree's, it turns out I can answer my own question. I just found a certificate from a few weeks ago in Austin and it says halfway through the Terms and Conditions, "gratuities are not included".
     
  4. This is funny.

    I will normally tip like I do under any other circumstance. If there are people doing work to serve me and its done well, I tip them. In a buffet situation, I will tip if I am served (table bus and clean) in some manner or the buffet is stocked and maintained.

    Nice thing about tips is that its up to you and how you feel.
     
  5. TuxTraveller
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    TuxTraveller Silver Member

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    I think it's extremely important to follow the local customs.. in many places tipping is not the local custom and it can be considered rude. I know particularly in certain parts of Asia and in Northern Europe it's not customary to tip in most places.

    When in Rome as they say ;)
     
  6. chemist562
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    chemist562 In Memorian

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    I give a tip based on what the food/drinks would cost before vouchers, coupons, comps, etc.
     
  7. I get free breakfast coupons at the Hilton Garden Inn. I ask for a to go box and grab a bagel, yogurt and a cup of coffee which is all self serve. Sometimes I give $1 for the HGI self serve. If I go to a sit down restaurant and their is a waitress who brings me drinks and clears plates from a buffet then I tip accordingly for service.
     
  8. Its a good point

    Its very true that tipping may not be the custom, but nobody has ever gotten upset or gave it back. Not even so much as a comment besides thank you. I have tipped in all these places many many times. When they consider you a foreigner, (aka ALIEN) they most often seem to expect it :p
     
  9. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    I think a tip on a "comped" meal is the correct thing to do. While staying at a Fairmont property, my wife and I were comped a meal in one of the higher end restaurants (the value was well over $300). It would have been wrong not to tip our server, IMHO. That being said, even though service might be included on the bill, leaving a tip is still the correct thing to do.
     
  10. Kagehitokiri
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    Kagehitokiri Silver Member

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    15% = $45+

    + my question is how expensive before no tip?

    related >

    + with large discount (instead of comp) how expensive before tip reduction?

    + with alcohol (when paying) how expensive before no tip on alcohol?

    more in line with OP - i dont want to tip on included breakfasts. still trying to figure that one out.
     
  11. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I have this policy for all meals, comped or not. I mean really, a tip is not going to be a huge cost relative to what you received for free. However, I only tip for service. Quantity X Quality = Tip. A buffet does not involve service so no tip. A waiter bringing you a drink and condiments is minimal service earning minimal tip. A full-service breakfast earns a full tip. A full-service breakfast with bad service earns a minimal tip.
     
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  12. TuxTraveller
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    TuxTraveller Silver Member

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    Another way to view it though is that by giving tip in countries that don't do it by custom you are teaching those in the service industry to expect a tip... this is often considered detrimental to the local culture and impacts the customs of that place.

    I therefore try my best to tip based on the locals ie in the US I'll tip more than France for example. In Scandinavia I'll only tip at restaurants when it's a sit down meal. Also it's often just a small tip unless it's a more fine-dining restaurant. In the UK I tip about mid-way between the US and France...
     
  13. lhrsfo
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    lhrsfo Silver Member

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    Agreed. Plus, in many establishments service is included in the price so a tip would be inappropriate.
     
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  14. Tkey
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    Tkey Silver Member

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    Always - I repeat, always leave a tip just as you would have had you paid full price.
     
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  15. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Only leave a tip if you have mobility problems and can not leave fast enough!
     
  16. scoow
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    scoow Silver Member

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    That's my policy, also. If tipping is appropriate when paying, tip the same when comped/discounted/etc.
     
  17. Westsox
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    Westsox Gold Member

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    After spending a few years working in the Corporate Office of a national restaurant chain, I understand the plight of restaurant service worker. The are paid below minimum wage and survive on tips. If I eat in a restaurant or hotel, I always leave a tip if someone is there to provide any service, even if that service is only to clean off the table for the next patron. If there is no service, there is no tip. I calculate my tip based on the value of the meal as well as the value of the service. How much I actually pay for the meal is not relevant when considering a tip, I calculate the tip on the amount of the bill pre-tax, pre-coupon, pre-discount. If it is an included meal, i.e. free breakfast, I tip based on what it would cost if I had to pay full price.
     
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  18. diver90
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    diver90 Gold Member

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    Complete agreement. Same rules as when paying full price.
     
  19. iloveawardtravel
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    iloveawardtravel Silver Member

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    Interesting conversation and something that comes up invariably in frequent flyer discussions. I usually tip for a comped breakfast if the meal is served in the hotel restaurant. However, for self served meals at the hotel lounge, I do not unless the hotel staff went above and beyond. But I agree that hotels can simplify this by putting a note on the vouchers, if that's how they do it.

    On a side note, I have been to a few full service Hyatt hotels that also covered tip as part of the comped diamond breakfast. That seems fairly "best in class" to me to not even have the guest worry about it.
     
  20. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    IME, this varies with Hyatt from property to property. They often have a complicated formula for just ow much is included. At one property, for example, they comp up to the value of the buffet plus 18%. So, if you order more $$ worth than the buffet, presumably it comes out of the tip first before it hits your bill -- or maybe not. It's been a bit murky. At another property, the server says, "Is breakfast included in your rate?" and that is their way of finding out whether to add an automatic 18% gratuity which ends up being zeroed out at checkout. I've never been sure what happens if there is additional spend. At one property, the servers end up saying something bright and cheerful like, "Your breakfast is all included except the gratuity!" and I always feel like a heel that they have to say that. But...I always ask at the front desk (and stay there until a manager can give me an answer) how that particular property handles it.
     
  21. Chimpy
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    Chimpy Gold Member

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    I tip as if I have paid for the meal. If in a country where they do not tip I do not tend to, unless the service is exceptional.
     

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