Tipping the Locker Room Concierge / Attendant?
April 3, 2009 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I joined a fairly nice gym that has a concierge in the locker room (hands out keys, steams clothes etc). I rarely ask the concierge to steam shirts, slacks etc -- but I occasionally do. Do I need to tip them?

W/regards to the tipping....

Should I provide an annual tip / holiday bonus similar to the way one might tip their doorman?

Or do I tip on incident (eg. any time I need them to steam something)

If I should be providing annual tips/packets a la doormen...

Do I need to provide tips/packets for each member of the service staff? -- I tend to go eary in the am so I see the same people all the time, but I hardly ever interact with the other staff.

How much should I be tipping?
posted by cheez-it to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
This would be a great question to ask the manager or another member of the club. Without knowing the specific culture of that establishment, it will be difficult for us to answer.
posted by HuronBob at 3:06 PM on April 3, 2009

I tip a locker room attendant $5 - $10 per incident (i.e. providing service beyond handing out the keys/towels). They appreciate it. As well, it's not always the same attendant on duty, so I shy away from the annual holiday mega-tip.
posted by ericb at 3:10 PM on April 3, 2009

Yes, tip them. If it's not appropriate they will tell you.

How much? Figure a number you think is reasonable and then add 20%. Generosity in these situations will 1.) always make someone's day better, and 2.) at the very least get you the best damn shirt steaming a concierge can muster.
posted by Smarson at 3:41 PM on April 3, 2009

When in doubt, give tips out.
posted by christhelongtimelurker at 4:40 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

First, consult the rules for your gym and/or club. Some organizations prohibit tipping and accepting tips can get employees into trouble at such places. If you've developed any kind of rapport with any of the attendants, ask if tipping is permitted. If so, then find out if it is pooled, or will go to him personally, and if the pooling policy applies to holidays. If to him personally, since he's now (hopefully) given you the low-down on tipping, a tip in the generous $5-10 range would not be inappropriate. Then perhaps $2-5 thereafter. If it is pooled, give him a couple bucks each time. If you have not been tipping, the correction will probably excuse that fact.

Remember that over-tipping makes you look like a dolt or mark, and that being cheap will get you that reputation. Don't exceed the normal tip unless there's a reason, such as a holiday or you have received some special service from the direct recipient of your tip.

Also remember that these rules may vary from state to state. If you are in an affluent community, tip more. If you are pummeling slabs of beef next to Rocky Balboa, maybe not so much.
posted by Hylas at 5:11 PM on April 3, 2009

Remember that over-tipping makes you look like a dolt or mark.

Can't say I agree. I worked crappy jobs for tips when I was younger--and it certainly wasn't the big tippers who inspired my disdain. On the contrary, my co-workers and I regarded a few generous regulars with sincere appreciation. ...And at the risk of sounding crass: Should a guy seemingly successful enough to afford enjoying a fancy club really care if the towel-attendant thinks that he's a “dolt?”
posted by applemeat at 5:39 PM on April 3, 2009

Five dollars per shirt seems fair.
posted by watercarrier at 10:47 AM on April 4, 2009

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