Canary Technologies, a hotel guest management system, conducted a survey of 1,000 recent hotel guests and 300 hotel workers to uncover guest tipping behavior in hotels. While tipping in the service industry is a well-established American custom and an essential part of worker wages, tipping in the hotel industry lacks transparency. The survey results show that tipping in hotels is less prevalent than other service industries. partly due to friction in the current tipping process.
The survey found many inconsistencies in reported tipping behavior. While 79% of hotel guests think hotel workers should receive tips, only 59% reported leaving one at their most recent hotel stay. However, hotel workers say that only 30% of guests actually tip staff members. In contrast, 99% of recent hotel guests claim to tip at restaurants when they dine out.
Approximately 70% of housekeepers said tips from guests have stayed the same or decreased over the past five years. In an increasingly cashless economy, about 60% of hotel guests claim to carry less cash than they did just five years ago. Correspondingly, the survey also found that a digital tipping solution would be a welcome tool that guests would like to use to tip hotel workers. More than 70% of hotel guests who did not tip hotel staff at their recent stay would have left a tip if digital tipping was offered.
The hotel industry faces the challenge of Increasing hotel employee wages and attracting labor back to the hospitality industry. Wages have already increased 25% since 2019, outpacing overall wage growth in the US. However, AHLA’s 2022 survey found that 87% of hotels are still experiencing a staffing shortage, suggesting further wage increases may be needed to attract enough workers to the industry.
Canary’s survey discovered that nearly 80% of current hotel workers say they would be more likely to stay with their current employer if their tips were increased. Additionally, 70% of hotel workers felt that hotel management teams actually have a duty to encourage tips to staff members. Hotel workers reported low pay as the most common reason for leaving the industry.
Other key findings:
- Generation Z makes for the best hotel guests. They report cleaning up after themselves more frequently and thoroughly before checkout as well as being more likely to tip, with 62.5% leaving a tip at their most recent hotel stay (<12 months).
- However, Boomers tip more when they do tip. Only 56% of Boomers tipped at their most recent stay, but those who did tip left larger amounts than average.
- Business travelers are better tippers than leisure travelers, being 15% more likely to tip.
“With no end in sight to the hotel staffing shortage, and clear indication from our survey that both hotel guests and workers desire better tipping options, digital tipping is more relevant than ever,” said Bryan Michalis, VP, marketing, Canary Technologies. “Digital tipping is a powerful tool that hotel management teams can deploy quickly and easily to improve staff retention. It also provides guests with a cashless method to do what they overwhelmingly report that they want—express gratitude to the workers who provide them with outstanding service during their stay.”