Proper Etiquette for Tipping at a Bed and Breakfast

When enjoying a stay at a bed and breakfast, here are tips and etiquette to follow.

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We're obsessed with all things etiquette. Because etiquette practices change in ways big and small with the passing of the years, it's essential to stay up-to-date with the most recent iterations of accepted codes of conduct.

One of our most recent etiquette questions broaches the topic of tipping at bed and breakfasts. Should you tip the proprietor? Tipping is customary to show gratitude for an excellent job at a particular task—especially a hospitality-based job. It is a monetary addition to the assigned value of a service or product. Read on to avoid tipping mistakes and to help follow the proper etiquette during your next stay at a B&B.

Tipping Etiquette for a Bed and Breakfast

Should You Tip the B&B Proprietor?

The first question we receive on B&B etiquette is, should you tip the owner? The owner of a B&B usually wears many hats. They're host, front desk attendant, and cook, for starters. They welcome you, tidy up, and make you feel at home. We think it's a generous idea to tip the proprietor upon departure. It's not required, but if they've made a positive difference in your stay, you should show your appreciation with a modest tip. Or a big one—your call.

How Else Can You Show Gratitude to the Proprietor?

Another way to show your gratitude is with a thank-you note. By sending or handing a thank-you note to the B&B's proprietor, you can describe what exactly about your stay was memorable and help them in their business practices moving forward. It adds to the personal experience that often accompanies B&B visits because of its friendly and charming atmosphere.

Should You Tip Other Employees at a B&B?

If other employees at the bed and breakfast do the cooking, serving, valet parking, and housekeeping, you should tip each of these employees once they've assisted you. When the valet returns your car, offer them a tip. If a bellhop dropped your bags off at the room, you should provide a tip. When the server brings you the check, they also deserve a tip. In a hospitality-based industry, tips can often be a significant supplement to a person's income, so your appreciation for their hard work should reflect in your gratuity.

How Much Should You Tip B&B Employees?

It's a good idea to keep a stash of one-dollar bills so you can easily access them for tips. Depending on the service, the typical tipping range is from two to five dollars for valets, bellhops, and housekeepers, or 20 percent of a bill to servers. Each employee who provides a service to you should receive a tip.

What Is a General Rule for Tipping?

The last word on tipping is yes. Just always do it. Don't assume it's extraneous because tips can add up. They can make a big difference in the lives of the people working hard to make your stay a good one.

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