In an increasingly cashless world, many service workers are seeing their wages decrease. People oftentimes don’t carry cash on them, which makes it difficult to tip adequately. While there are many benefits to the cashless society, there are overlooked issues. Not receiving the occasional tip might not seem like a big deal to an outsider, but it can have terrible consequences. Many employees rely on tips to make a living and not receiving proper compensation directly translates to less food, less rent money, and less savings.
As a concierge, you may have seen the dip in earnings over the years, perhaps not on a daily basis, but as a total month-on-month comparison. In this guide, we’ll be looking at the best methods of changing the way you work to earn more tips as a concierge.
How much can you expect to earn as a concierge?
On travel advice websites, there are mixed feelings on what exactly is an adequate tip for concierge services. It seems that even the ‘experts’ of the tipping industry don’t always understand what is appropriate. According to one expert at USA today, guests of a luxury hotel are advised that “You don’t have to tip the concierge to provide help on subjects such as directions, transportation and tourist attractions. If your interaction with [them] lasts only a few minutes and doesn’t end with him taking further action on your behalf, no tip is necessary”.
While short, simple meetings may not seem highly valuable to the customer, the time that you spend helping them with their itinerary is still valuable and could have been spent helping customers more likely to tip. The advice and time you spend helping provides a much appreciated service to hotel guests and warrants some degree of compensation. While customers may come away thinking this is appropriate due to tipping guides they’ve read online, all it means for you is less money in your pocket. According to Curbed, concierge services deserve $5-10 for basic services such as “making a dinner reservation or obtaining tickets to a theatre.” However, the pay rate goes up to $20-50 at upscale hotels where the concierge services include arranging “transportation, in-room amenities, spa appointments or childcare”. As you can see, there are mixed feelings on concierge compensation according to travel experts. This makes your ability to predict your income much more difficult.
Additionally, minimum wage laws in the US regarding compensation vary widely state-by-state. Most states have either full employer tip credit (a tipped minimum of $2.13) or a partial employer tip credit (tipped minimum between $2.13 and regular minimum wage). Some states, especially on the west coast, have no employer tip credit and instead mandate tipped workers receive at least minimum wage.
Who tips concierges the highest?
While there is not much demographic data available on who tips concierges the highest and lowest, the reality is that predicting your income is quite difficult. In general, concierge services at a luxury hotel will be higher. However, more is expected of concierge workers at such a hotel, so while you might make more, you will also work harder to make the extra money. In addition, luxury hotels tend to cater to smaller demographics and host fewer guests. This means less opportunity for you to make tips. At more accessible hotels, you will have many more guests and a less demanding job. However, the tradeoff is that your tips on average will likely be much lower. In any case, it is very difficult to say with any degree of certainty who or where you can make the most money.
Why might you be earning a small amount of tips?
High-rollers at luxury hotels may tip less if they are not satisfied with their service. What these customers want is personal attention and access to exclusive events and restaurants. If you are not able to deliver for clients in this manner, they may be unsatisfied and leave a smaller tip. It is important that you pay attention to new happenings in your city and try to work with these events to bring them diners and event goers.
For a more accessible hotel, customers often value concierge services that are prompt and easy. They want recommendations about what to do, but are often in a rush and do not want to wait around to receive these recommendations. It is important that you know the common tourist hot spots as well as enjoyable local locations. Being able to fulfil these wishes in a timely manner will earn you some points with the customer.
How to earn more tips as a concierge
- A little attention goes a long way
At luxury hotels, guests place a lot of value in all-inclusive services with a personal touch. This may include reaching out to them before they arrive at the hotel to address their wants and needs. Many concierges at luxury locations will meet their clients at the door upon arrival and address them by name. Attention to detail and a bit of personal attention is highly valued, helping you earn more tips.
- Be prompt and go the extra mile
At a regular hotel, guests are often in a rush. They place a lot of value in a concierge’s ability to be prompt with filling their requests, and doing a bit extra. Travelers often want to know where locals go to eat and drink, but wait until the last second to make plans. The ability to gauge customer’s interests and match it to their request helps them have the best experience possible. Mastery of this skill in a prompt manner ensures a better overall experience for the customer, which equals better tips for you.
- Exclusivity is King
For a concierge in an upscale hotel, guests value exclusivity. A Forbes how-to guide states, “He or she is paid to be the ultimate insider. Concierges peruse museum exhibits, attend gallery openings, dine at impossible-to-get-a-table-at restaurants and see the newest shows—all to be able to tell you what’s worth seeing, doing and eating”. Upscale clients demand the best. Being able to deliver on these amazing experiences is the best way to ensure a large tip.
- Encourage them to come back for more
While this may seem silly, telling your customers not to hesitate the next time they want some advice can go a long way. This makes the customer feel appreciated and welcomed at the hotel. Personal advice can go a long way. In addition, good advice the first time makes them much more likely to come back for more advice. This personal connection will make the customer feel closer to you, leading to better tips.
In an increasingly cashless world, concierges are going without tips more and more often. In addition, most states do not require that tipped workers make minimum wage. These issues, added to the fact that there is no common protocol that customers follow, means it is important that you try to offer the best services possible to encourage more tips. In order to do this, it is important to understand that customers value personal attention, desire prompt advice, and many customers favor exclusivity in their itinerary. While this advice may not guarantee a higher tip from any one customer, they will make it more likely that you make more money from the average customer.
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