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Two people exchanging money

Tipping out the people you work with is an important part of the business. Tip too little and they're insulted. Tip too much and you're taken for granted. Knowing when, how, and why to tip can affect your cash flow. Most clubs have a required, minimum tip out, but some don't. If you're brand new you can ask other dancers what they tip the employees just to get a general idea until you get the hang of it.

What is a tip?

In an industry where nothing comes for free, your tip to them is motivating them to help you. Your business now becomes their business. If there is an incentive for them to help you (they know you will give them more money for it) they will find ways to try to increase your business. You want to incentivize people to look out for you. Your tip to them is your way of saying thanks for the time they put you on to a good customer, allowed you to skip a stage set, or organized your stage money for you.

Who do you tip?

Most clubs have a required minimum tip out in which you have to tip out the DJ, house mom, and all the bouncers. In addition to them, you should tip anyone who provides you with a service. The cook who snuck you a to-go box full of fries? Tip. The manager that grabbed you by the hand and brought you directly to a customer who's known to get champagne rooms? Tip. The valet who pointed out which customer pulled up in the Porsche or Ferrari? Tip.

How much do you tip?

Tip the required minimum tip out, and tip more if you make more money, or if they helped you directly. Think of the entire club as your business and they are your employees. You must treat them well to keep the business running. In the real world, they call that the cost of doing business. It is amazing how many dancers who live off tips don't understand the concept of tipping. Keep the business going, it's good karma.

Tip tricks

  • As you make it, separate your tip money from your take-home money through the night. Keep it in a different rubber band, different section in your money bag, or inside your work locker.

  • Always look people in the eye and thank them while you tip them. Let them know it is an act of appreciation from you, and that you're not bitter or stingy about having to pay someone else.

  • Tip bigger bills instead of a stack of dirty ones that you made on stage. It is more psychologically rewarding to be handed a $20 bill or a 10 and a 5 dollar bill than handed a stack of ones. Psychologically, it feels more significant. Always tip with the biggest bill you have available. Then get your ones traded in for bigger bills in the office.

  • Tip the managers with larger bills, less frequently. It is more impactful to tip someone $100 every five days than $20 each day.

As you move through the industry you will understand the nuance that comes with tipping etiquette. Never allow yourself to feel pressured or guilted into giving more than the minimum or what you feel they deserve based on how they've helped you with your business.

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