On the face, this looks like a nice, caring things that Marriott is doing. “The Envelope Please” Initiative, which is actually A Woman’s Nation initiative created by Maria Shriver, is designed to:
Encourage and enable hotel guests to express their gratitude by leaving tips and notes of thanks for hotel room attendants in designated envelopes provided in hotel rooms.
They say that this is because hotel room attendants are out of sight, out of mind. I had the chance to experience first hand some of the feats hotel room attendants do as part of last year’s Star MegaDO 5, and I will be the first to admit – no guest would want to sleep in a bed that I made.
A controversial interpretation
So, I see the idea of encouraging folks tip. Its the American way. But, when I see a major hotel realize that their employees might not be taking home the kind of compensation that they should–or else why would Marriott spend the money to place envelopes in 160,000 rooms in the US?
I think you can go either way here. I’ve seen articles referencing hotel room attendants as making in the realm of $8 per hour (that seems low but we can go with it). Based on a yahoo answer from a casual Google search, one might say that a hotel room attendant might clean 15-20 rooms in an 8 hour day. Roughly 1 every 24 minute, lets say a half hour to keep things clean, so 16 rooms a day. If hotels believe the average tip is $1 per room, that represents $2 more hour. However, the some articles state that a tip could be as much as $5, which would represent more than doubling the average hourly rate. So, really, is Marriott making the assertion that their people are not paid enough? Further, is this approach an indication that Marriott feels that these envelopes better serve their hotel room attendants with a higher potential hourly wage? Or is this an indication that Marriott is just unwilling to pay their hotel room attendants the additional $2 per hour?
What do you think?