Ask a Hotelier: Contract Negotiations and How to Tip

Editor’s Note: Ask a Hotelier is a new reoccurring column in Association Leadership in which TSAE takes association professionals’ burning meeting planning questions and poses them to hoteliers in our membership. Have a question you want answered? Interested in providing feedback to planners? Send your questions or interest to josh@tsae.org. Participants will remain anonymous.

QUESTION: What elements (if any) of a contract have the highest chance of being negotiated? (This may vary by location.)

ANSWER:

  • Complimentary internet
  • Discounted AV
  • Discounted Parking
  • Room rental with a realistic food and beverage minimum

ANSWER: At a resort, the resort fee can be negotiated, especially if the meeting isn’t a summer meeting when activities are in high gear with extra employees hired to implement these activities. Rates are negotiable when a pattern is desirable, such as a Sunday arrival. Food and beverage is much less negotiable as the profit margin is less. Minimums are negotiable as long as they do not represent a budget. Meeting room rental also tends to be an area that is negotiable and is usually relative to revenue brought in by banquets.

QUESTION: Thinking of every staff member we interact with, from bellhop to cleaner and banquet services manager to AV, who should get tipped and how much? What is the best way to deliver tips to ensure they get to the correct person?

ANSWER: I think tips are a personal preference based on the level of service one receives. Bellhops and housekeeping should be tipped on a different level than banquet services manager and AV. Often the banquet services manager and AV are overlooked because customers pay a service fee; however, that money does not go to the banquet manager, it goes to the banquet staff. I think the best way to deliver tips will be through your sales or convention service mangers in confidential envelops for banquet services and AV and directly to bellhops and housekeeping. Also, I think housekeeping should be tipped daily as you may not have the same person each day.

ANSWER: It is appreciated more than you know to tip outline staff at the conclusion of the meeting. Any mandatory charges will be clear at time of signature, so do not feel obligated to tip by any means. If the staff member gives truly exemplary service and has gone above and beyond, then give any tips to your events manager and they will personally deliver them to staff members. Also, a great way to recognize staff without spending a penny is to write an email or letter to the general manager listing names of service staff who have shined. That goes a long way internally.

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