Marriott Encourages Tipping and Faces Criticism

HousekeeperMarriott International has joined "The Envelope Please," an initiative to encourage tips for room attendants. The program was started by A Woman's Nation, founded by Maria Shriver:

"The Envelope Please was born from having conversations with women I've met who have taken care of my room during hotel stays. Their stories of hard work and perseverance inspired and informed me. They told me that room attendants, who are often the primary breadwinner for their families, are often forgotten when it comes to tipping, unlike other front-of-house employ­ees, since most travelers don't see them face-to-face. I hope this gratitude initiative will make these women feel seen and validated."

Despite the company's good intentions, Marriott faced criticism in a harsh New York Magazine article and on Facebook:

Marriott Envelope

In response, Marriott spokesperson Angela Wiggins told The Huffington Post that most room attendants are paid above minimum wage:

"The tipping initiative is a voluntary way for guests who would like to express their gratitude for good service – in the same way you would tip a bell man or wait staff. We get questions all the time from customers who don't know how much to tip housekeepers, when to tip or where to put it."

Image source.

Discussion Starters:

  • What's your view of the initiative and the backlash?
  • Read Marriott's press release and assess the content, organization, and so on. What advice would you give the company in writing future releases?