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room service: $5 delivery, 20% service charge and ?

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  • dtud Jan 26, 2008 05:21 PM
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we were at a hotel recently and ordered room service. the menu noted that there was a $5 delivery charge, a 20% service fee. no problem. we ordered a tuna sandwich ($14) and a steak with a balsamic reduction ($25).

DO WE TIP???

we didn't b/c there was already a delivery fee and a service charge - but the server who brought it look kind of disappointed. but i just didn't know what to do and didn't know if there was any rule on this. what about home delivery where a service charge/fee is charged - are you supposed to tip on top of that? i have no clue. please help.

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  1. I don't generally tip on top of charges like that. I treat it just as I would an included service charge/tip at a restaurant; I don't need to tip any additional amount.

    For your bill, that's already the $5 delivery charge and a $7.80 service fee (ie, tip) on top of a $39 bill. That's presuming they didn't calculate the 20% on the $5 delivery charge.

    If the delivery person rendered some truly outstanding service, I might be inclined to tip a bit extra...but with the service fee already at 20% it'd have to be pretty seriously outstanding.

    1. SORRY - i just found this link w/essentially the same question

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/475569

      1. It's not required nor expected to tip--that's what the 'service fee' is for. However, if the service were 'above and beyond', you might choose to throw in a bit extra.

        1 Reply
        1. re: xanadude

          honestly, it's a person bringing you food when you do not feel like leaving your room. i can't even comprehend what would be "above and beyond" (mentioned here and in the post i linked). the only thing i would appreciate is someone leaving asap since i don't like strangers in my room. other than that - i can't think of anything (maybe free dessert or a pot of tea) that could possibly be above and beyond in the category of room service.

        2. Not typically but if your service is fast and you are in a very high end resort it is common to add a couple of dollars. The charges and policies should be clearly printed on the room service menu.

          1. jfood is in the camp of if the hotel has included a 20% service charge then you are covered and no additional tip is required. Getting the food to the room quickly is not an added tip. If when the tray arrives you decided that a couple of bananas would be nice with your cereal and he runs down and immediately brings them back, then that is an added tip. Not for the normal course of bringing the tray. That is what the service charge is supposed to cover from the guest's point of view.