Tipping in England

Old Jan 6th, 2001, 07:45 AM
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Tipping in England

I've met several British tourists in the U.S. who all commented on how much tipping is expected here, however, in the travel books I've looked at tipping expectations in England seem similar. Can anyone enlighten me on who to tip in England, and how much (i.e., taxi driver, bartender, waitress, tour guide, etc.)?
Old Jan 6th, 2001, 07:54 AM
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i am from england and have read the tipping comments on england, one word... bollocks...
the only people who get tipped are waiters!!!
Old Jan 6th, 2001, 08:10 AM
Nigel Doran
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I would only tip bellboys and the like at very plush places.
In restaurants, leave 10% in places lke pizza joints and bistros, but always check that the tip is not already included. 12.5% seems to be creeping in as the 'suggested gratuity.'
Taxi drivers should not be tipped, in my opinion, as the fares are extortionate anyway!
In bars there is absolutely no need to tip unless you have taken a real shine to a barman/barmaid over the course of your stay.
I have never left an envelope stuffed full of notes and coins for room maids and the like in the U K.
I would feel uncomfortable tipping a tour guide, and have to say that this particular type of tipping is encouraged by U S tourists who are following their own customs rather than those of the place they are visiting.
Old Jan 6th, 2001, 08:21 AM
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Thanks for the responses. I just want to be sure I don't offend anyone while I'm there. This info. is good to know.
Old Jan 6th, 2001, 07:47 PM
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The ones I always tip are London taxi drivers. I think the fares are reasonable, but the tip is because they're honest & don't try to cheat you.
Old Jan 7th, 2001, 03:53 AM
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I'm from the UK, and I can confirm that very few people 'expect' tips here, although it is always nice to receive them!

We have minimum wage legislation, which means that all (legal) employees receive a minimum of 3.70 per hour - it's not a lot, but it is a living wage, so don't feel obliged to leave a tip unless you really want to. ( If you think your waiter might be working illegally, you might want to be more generous, as minimum wage legislation won't apply)

Rather cynically, I tend to tip when I think I might want above average service during my NEXT visit! Depending how long you're going to be in England, you might not have time to build up this reputation.

In bars, I'd suggest, NOT explicitly tipping the bartender (our pubs are 'self-service', i.e. you go to the bar and get your own drinks, so tipping isn't really appropriate.) If you want to be generous to the bar staff, you might offer to buy them a drink by saying 'will you have one yourself?', and generally they'll charge you an extra pound. It's not really expected that they will drink the drink - rather that they will take the pound.

In restaurants, you could tip your waiter anything from nothing to about 10%, depending whether service has been good, but don't feel obliged to leave anything. I work in an upmarket restaurant in Yorkshire, and I'd say about a third of customers leave nothing, a third leave a pound or two, and a third scrupulouly leave 10%. However, if we're busy, we always take care of our 'regulars' (the ones who don't tend to tip, as they're practically friends), not occasional visitors who might (or might not) tip us.

I did have a laugh, last month, when an American visitor asked me how much she should tip me. In the UK, tipping is a much more discrete activity than it is in the US!

The only people who might complain if you don't tip are London taxi drivers. They're probably self-employed, so not protected by minimum wage legislation.

Enjoy your trip, and don't feel obliged to tip anyone! Let me know if I can help further.
Old Jan 11th, 2001, 07:05 AM
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It's true that tipping here is very different to the US. I was astonished by the rude reaction I got from a waiter in Chicago I had refused to tip because the restaurant was terrible, the food order completely wrong and the service nil.

I only ever tip in restaurants as the norm, and taxi drivers if I'm feeling generous (or drunk).

Even in restaurants, don't tip if you haven't been happy with your service, and mention this reason to the waiter. Most London restaurants now add a 12.5% tip automatically to the bill which I find convenient, but it is still discretionary and you are perfectly entitled to ask them to remove it if you haven't been happy with your meal, or if you would prefer to leave your own tip on the table. I have done this on (rare) occasions.

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