Tipping a guide...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jonathan Gardner, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. valleyfishing

    valleyfishing New Member

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    Very interesting discussion and valid points made by all. I am a guide and I have paid for guided trips in areas I was not familiar with or did not have my equipment. I would agree that 10-15% is average tip I have received. This is about $20-$50 per person on the trip. On the odd occassion I would receive a much higher tip but this is infrequent and happens about as much as no tip. I do not expect a tip. I give all of my clients the best of my efforts and knowledge in the short time we spend together. I've been tipped on no-fish trips, one fish, and on 30 fish trips. I have also not been tipped on many occassions. At the end of the day, I appreciate every tip I receive. I also appreciate the business so I would never refuse a trip because I knew that the client wasn't going to tip. If that were the case I wouldn't end up taking most people from outside North America where it is not customary to tip.
    Tip what you please, as I do. To make a point about tipping and the overusage of it: I have purposely written on Visa slips "no tip" to let them know I didn't forget the tip I just made sure they knew I felt they did not deserve one. I encourage you to do so. If I were to receive no tip from you I would not think about it for long unless I knew that you actually meant to not to give me one.

    C. Goyette - Squamish
     
  2. nathanj

    nathanj New Member

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    That's the type of attitude that would earn my business and tip. :beer2:
     
  3. greenstork

    greenstork New Member

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    I know this is off-topic slightly but I have to chime in. Not tipping a waiter/waitress is absolutely outlandish. This person either gets paid minimum wage or often times, below minimum wage. In the restaurant industry (in the U.S. at least) tipping is an expected/assumed part of one's wages, which is why restaurants can pay $3-4 per hour in some (many) cases.

    Tipping a guide however, is an entirely different matter altogether.
     
  4. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

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    Interesting. I like Salmo_g's logic. I'm like Johnathan in that I don't use a guide enough to know what's expected.

    I hope I don't hijack this thread but I have a situation coming this fall. I'm booked with a guide for a steelhead trip that I almost accidentally won in a charity auction. All my money so far has gone to "Cast for a Cure", none to the guide who offered the item for auction. I'm inclined to tip him well because of the neat thing he's doing for the cause and because I won the item at such a low price, as long as it's not a disastrous trip, like maybe half-assed effort because the guide figures I'm getting him for free. Maybe 50-80% of his usual fee. At 50%, it's like the guide and I are splitting the donation down the middle. What guidance can you folks give?
     
  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Paul, I like the notion of 50% in that case, so that you're both contributing half the fee to the charitable cause. Each of you could feel good about contributing to the cause. If the guide sandbags that day because he sees it as a free trip for you, then I'd rethink my charity toward the guide.

    Sg
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Greenstork,

    It's not outlandish to not tip a waiter/waitress. It's outlandish that restaurants can pay less than minimum wage, if that's what they're doing. Tipping may be expected and assumed, but since it is voluntary and since customers often calculate their tip according to the price of the meal and the quality of the service, it's outlandish to expect and assume based on something so tenuous. See my other comment about being direct or being quiet. It's outlandish to expect me to bear someone else's problem. It's not that I'm a mean or uncharitable person; I do tip and do so according to the standards as I understand them. But I do draw distinctions between responsibilities and voluntary behavior. The surest way to not get a tip from me is to demand one. The next surest, crappy service, and I leave a nickel to leave a message.

    Sg
     
  7. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    TIPS= "To insure propt service."

    Good thread here, but, save for 'cow girl' and her $100 up front, most have long lost sight of what a 'tip' was all about. It was not to say 'thank you' for doing your basic job, but to get you to do your 'job' "promptly."

    "However, I'm trying to be clear that of all the reasons given for tipping guides, the only ones that stand up to my critical analysis is that the tips are an expression of a client's appreciation and gratitude for a good trip. I can be persuaded that there are other reasons, but you'll need to make an effective case."

    Equipment, knowledge, etc., aside, I see little reason to tip a guide who has already been reasonably paid for his services. Present thinking is a 'tip' is required for someone doing their basic job function, be that take your order for a meal (and delivering same) or a day on the river. Perhaps this is why, in many places in the world, tipping (as such) is not only frowned upon, but actively discouraged. One restaurant owner (Italy) I talked to (all-be-it several years ago) said (to the effect) 'I already pay my staff a good wage .....':ray1:

    In these situations, if you left a tip -which I usually did - it was hidden under the coffee cup.

    Personal feeling is I have a basic understanding what I'm paying for when I sit down, be that at a table or in a drift boat. It's what goes on beyond that point that I even begin to think about an 'extra.' :hmmm:
     
  8. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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  9. Dances

    Dances Assylum Escapie

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    This thread is a very good read! I am a guide and I have always woundered what people thought of tipping and this thread has enlightened me greatly. Now I do not expect to get a tip but when I do now matter how much or little it is I feel greatfull for it. I give it my all ever trip and put in a full day 10 to 12 hours if not more every trip and try my best to make sure everyone has a good time regardless if they are going to tip or not, because to me its not about money its about the people who are on the boat and letting them experience what I get to every day!!! I would never turn down a trip because I know the person is not going to tip that is just bad business, besides the boss wouldnt go for it either ;)
    Dances
     
  10. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    iagree

    I assume 'the boss' is "Mrs. Dances?"
     
  11. Calvin1

    Calvin1 Member

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    To answer your original question, I usually tip $100 per boat per day. I research (actually my fishing buddy does) the guide or fish with a guide who I've fished with before. I know I'm going to get top quality service and have an enjoyable day. If we get skunked and the guide worked his butt off to do everything he could to get us fish, that's $100 for me. I don't use guides often, but if I find a good one, I'll likely use them again. I'd rather be remembered at the start of a subsequent trip as the client who tips well.

    Just my humble opinion.
     
  12. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    How many of you tip your barber??? or hairstylist for some of you :clown:
    why?
     
  13. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    My barber gets a $3 tip on a $12 cut and an extra $20 at X-mas. Why is simply because she is worth it. She does a great job, open 7 days and I rarely wait. Thanks for reminding me to stop on the way home! A good barber is a lot harder to find than a good guide.
     
  14. SeaRun Fanatic

    SeaRun Fanatic Member

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    Bingo. Just charge what you're worth, especially if you are a sole proprietor. However, if the guide is an employee of the guide service, then a tip may be more in order, as they are only getting a portion of what you paid for the trip.
     
  15. tntrout

    tntrout New Member

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    I'm a new guide on the board and to fly fishing, but here are my thoughts. I've done two guided trips in my limited flyfishing experience and I tipped on both of them although I did it with a bit of reluctance. The first trip, my partner was with a guy who guides deer hunts and he obviously felt there should be a tip. I didn't want to be a schmuck and we had a good day so I contributed to the tip. The second time it was the cold end of a winter trip and it was a 1/2 day wade/instruction and I really tipped more out of a felt obligation. I really don't have a problem w/tipping as much as I do the %. As far as a waitress, I pay her for service and the owner for the food. I know they don't pay her a standard wage b/c they factor in tips. If I pay an outfitter, I feel more inclined to tip, b/c I know they take a cut. But if I were paying a guide: Say on average, a guide fee is about $400 for a 10hr trip (probably a stretch) $40/hour is good money even if you are supplying boat, gear etc. I collect about $45 an hour for teaching adjunct at a local university (not including any prep time or the time/expense of getting an MA). To give him another 15-20% of that fee seems a bit much unless the service was exceptional or a special circumstance. I pay tithes at my local church and if the good Lord only requires 10% why should a fishing guide expect more?? Both times my guides were gracious and thankful, but i've run into services (ski lessons, airports, taxis) where I've had people turn their noses at a "standard" tip. That's what ticks me off the most. I don't know how my guides would have reacted if I had handed them a 20 and said thanks, but to me, that is a reasonable gesture of thanks. what would you guides out there have said???