Tipping Etiquette for a Bed & Breakfast

Show the staff at a B&B that you're appreciative of their service.
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Visiting a hotel requires you to tip a long list of people to show proper etiquette, but the process is often different at a bed and breakfast. It's not customary to tip the owner of a bed and breakfast, although you can convey your appreciation in other ways. For establishments with staff, tipping is the same as at a hotel.

1 Tipping the Owner

Tipping the owner of a bed and breakfast isn't required, according to The Etiquette Daily, a website run by etiquette organization The Emily Post Institute. The website suggests that because the owner of a bed and breakfast often treats her guests as friends or family and develops a rapport with them throughout the visit, it's not necessary to leave a tip to show your appreciation.

2 Tip B&B Employees

Many bed and breakfasts, especially those on the larger side, have a few employees who assist the owner with tasks such as housekeeping and serving food in the dining room. It's appropriate to tip these employees just as you would tip hotel employees. Tip the housekeeper $2 to $5 per day and the restaurant server 15 to 20 percent of the bill, before taxes. Even if you're unclear of who cleans the room, for example, it doesn't hurt to leave a tip.

3 When in Doubt, Just Ask

If you're concerned about possibly offending someone at the bed and breakfast by not tipping or even by tipping, check the establishment's website and its gratuities policy. Some bed and breakfasts note online that you don't have to tip while you enjoy the hospitality. You can also ask the owner when you call to book your reservation. A simple question such as, "I know the policy can vary among B&Bs, but do you or your staff accept tips?" provides you with clarity.

4 Convey Your Thanks With Words

Beyond tipping, you can show your appreciation for your stay by warmly thanking the bed and breakfast owner for his service during each encounter, and again as you prepare to check out. Many bed and breakfasts have visitors' guestbooks that serve as testimonials about the establishment's service. Take a moment to not only sign your name, but to also write a couple sentences about what you enjoyed during your stay.

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.