by Art Pfenning | May 01, 2005

chartMeeting planners are not so quick to show their gratitude to facility staff members with a tip or a gift. According to an online poll conducted in March by M&C, surprisingly few give gratuities to hotel staff. 
    A majority of the 399 planners polled said they never give a gift or a tip to the director of convention services (78 percent), the head of housekeeping (72 percent), the food and beverage director (69 percent) or the catering director (64 percent). Only three categories of hotel staff generally receive a cash tip: the banquet captain (from 71 percent of planners), the bell captain (67 percent) and the banquet manager (61 percent). These handouts rarely exceed $100 and often are $50 or less.
    Perhaps because gratuities are given so rarely, a majority (56 percent) of planners personally hand them out, and nearly all (81 percent) tip after the event to reward excellent service, rather than beforehand to motivate the facility’s staff.
    Respondents do not like to tip when service is mediocre. Only 6 percent said they always tip following unimpressive service.

Art Pfenning is director of M&C Research (