Tipping in the UK

Old Sep 29th, 2014, 04:09 AM
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Tipping in the UK

A newspaper's take on this controversial subject.
http://www.theguardian.com/money/201...ervice-charges
ribeirasacra is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2014, 05:51 AM
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Not a bad round up at the end. However, I don't think he means "smarter" hotel, but more "international". You don't tip in a smarter hotel, it would be like tipping the butler at someone's house.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 06:27 AM
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Sorry, but when somebody hauls my luggage to and from my room, calls me a taxi, etc., I tip them and I will continue to do so because IMO it is warranted.

As usual, people come up with all sorts of rationales for not tipping and I suspect most of those who do so have never had to work for a tip, either.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 06:47 AM
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>>>most of those who do so have never had to work for a tip
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 06:51 AM
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I have posted my comment before reading the article. The article is quite right and writes about practices which are common not only in the UK but in most European countries.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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But in the UK a service charge is usually added to the bill. If they add 15% service charge - do you then tip in addition to that?
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 07:26 AM
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Tulips, it gets complicated. A service charge is not normally added in the UK but it does happen especially in high tourist areas. If there is a service charge (or a table charge) (15% sounds crazy) then I tend to not walk in, but I would not offer a tip on top of it, no but if you knew the dish prices and the charge on top and you still went in, then up to you.

To be clear 10% is the absolute max tip and I normally only round up in UK restaurant. I guess on average I hit about 4%
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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A lot of central London sit down restaurants add an 'optional' 12.5% service charge - you can ask to remove it. I do not tip on top of this.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 07:33 AM
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Hilarious article. It suggests tipping is the norm in the UK and accepted as such. Yet in every instance that I have seen tipping being brought up as a topic on a travel forum (and it is many times), invariably the Brits argue against it as not the norm for them and that it should not be.

So to me this article is simply stating the obvious that exists everywhere, not just in the UK, of how restaurant tips are divided and saying it as if it were news. News to who? Those who don't tip I suppose which is apparently (judging by their irate responses when told they should tip when visiting the USA for example)a lot of Brits. But then why is it also suggesting that tipping is the accepted norm in the UK? This article is in fact the opposite of what Brit travellers say is their norm.

Second, the writer's reasoning is flawed. The assumption is that you should be concerned with how the tip is distributed among staff. That's none of your business. If were were, you would give the person who seats you a tip, the server, the cook/chef, the dishwasher, etc. Was your plate clean or did it have some leftovers from the last person's meal on it? So why not tip the dishwasher for doing a good job? LOL

Your job as the customer is to show your appreciation if you feel it is merited. You do that by tipping and how it is divided is up to the people involved to decide. If management is taking it all and sharing none of it, that's up to staff to deal with. No one is making them work there. Try taking all the tips from a N. American server and see how long they stick around.

Finally, tipping is an art, not a 'just add a percentage' on when you pay. Most people never realize that and do just add a percentage. Those who do understand the art of tipping get different service from the average. It is also a two way street, those who understand the art of earning a tip get more tips than the average person.

Learn the art of the $20 bill. Always folded in 4, always offered with your palm facing down. Give it to a bartender when served your first drink in a busy bar where you struggle to get served (you know what I mean) and you won't need to wait to be served again all night. Slide it across the reception desk when checking in to a hotel and the room you get will differ. (Never underestimate what a hotel reception clerk has the power to do for you.)

Every situation in which you might decide to tip has a best way of doing so. Usually, making it clear at the start is best. How to do that is the art.

The usual argument against tipping is that the person should be being paid a fair wage to do their job and that you should not have to pay them extra to do their job properly. That's where people don't understand the purpose of tipping.

I don't tip someone to 'do their job', I tip to get service above and beyond just doing their job.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 08:10 AM
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The majority of restaurants in London add a service charge. Sometimes 15%, but 12,5% is the more usual charge.
If you avoid restaurants that add service, you'll rule out a lot of places.

This is from Bread Street Kitchen;
"A cover charge of £2.00 per head will apply in the dining room only and a 12.5% discretionary service charge will be added to your final bill".

We did not leave an additional tip here.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 08:27 AM
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The difference between tipping in the UK and tipping in the US is that it really is considered optional here. And there is no set expected amount. So most people do tip for decent service, but it would be whatever they felt appropriate and/or could afford, not some automatic figure of 20% or whatever. Also people would not feel uncomfortable leaving little or nothing for poor service. And again it's limited mainly to waitstaff. You might tip your hairdresser (though its not set in stone that you must) and you might round up to the nearest £ when getting out of your cab. Again not compulsary. But that's it - not anyone who holds a door for you for 2 seconds, not the bartender (though you might buy him a drink).

Btw, the info about being able to decline a service charge is correct - though most people would only do it if they were unhappy with service as it saves paying a tip if you were going to anyway.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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I don't tip someone to 'do their job', I tip to get service above and beyond just doing their job.>>

That makes sense, but that isn't what people do in the US. In the US, you are supposed to tip them if they just do an average job, in tipped professions, anyway. That's mainly restaurant services. That's because the govt allows employers to pay them less than minimum wage in certain professions that are designated as such. A lot of Americans tip more than I do. Most people in the US tip people even if they don't even do a great job.

I've been in quite a few restaurants in London that didn't add a 15% service charge to the bill, although I didn't keep track. But most of them didn't were I ate. I don't tip if ther eis a service charge as I consider that's what a tip is for -- the service. I don't expect nor demand anything special and can't thing of what that would be for me. But I travel at a moderate budget and don't demand extra services. I don't even know what extra service I would want. I don't consider taking your order, getting it correct, serving it promptly when available to be extra services, as well as not disappearing so no one can ask for anything more or even the check. I've never asked for anything else and I don't go to bars, anyway.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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"tipping is an art ..." et sequitur

This is the funniest thing I've read in a long time.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 10:10 AM
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My comment seems to be have misconstrued by you Christina. Let me make it clearer. I tip for an average job just like most in N. America but what I was referring to was WHY I tip more than average sometimes. If I received average service they will get an average tip. If I received superior service then that is when I will give an above average tip.

Generally, if I get average service, either the server has not understood or I have not made it clear that the opportunity to get an above average tip was there for them. OR, the server shouldn't be in the job they are in. They don't understand how it works.

What I want is to try and have it clear between the person I am tipping and myself, that I WANT above average service and am willing to tip well if I get it. The 'art' is in getting that message across.

The message being, 'I'm not tipping you so you will do your job, I'm tipping you to do more than just your job for me. You don't have to guess whether I will give you a low or average tip, you know I will give you a good tip.' Again, a good server knows how to earn a tip and knows when they can expect to get one. The message between the two people is clear and understood.

RM67, tipping is optional everywhere including in the USA. The difference in the UK is that far fewer people understand tipping and how to use it to get above average service.

The 'have one for yourself' that has been common in UK pubs is simply a polite way to tip without handing over cash. However, unless you are a regular and staff know you are likely to offer them that, it is of no use to you in a pub/bar where you are not known. It is quite likely, they will not expect you to tip and so will not give you service above and beyond. Why would they treat you differently from everyone else without having a reason to do so? You may wait for your drink while the regular gets served faster. Let's be clear, that's not what I want. I want to be served faster th
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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Oops, finger slipped onto 'submit' button.

I want to be served faster than you as a regular will be RM67 in YOUR 'local'. You can argue if you want but I am quite willing to bet that on a busy Friday night in your local when people are 3 deep at the bar ordering drinks, I can get faster service than you can.

When I pay at the bar for that first round, I will tip. Nothing flashy, just an 'I appreciate the service' and a folded 20GBP note slipped over the bar. You probably wouldn't even see me tipping that girl that smiles at your dumb jokes ever week, greets you by name when you come in and serves you your favourite drink without you having to ask.

I have to tell her what I want the first time but not the second time. The same happens in any bar, anywhere in the world.

Not understanding tipping and why you could say there is an 'art' to it, bvlenci, is why people make remarks such as yours. You simply don't know any better. In situations where tipping is done, you'll go through life having average service. I prefer superior service and understand how to get it.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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"Tipping is an art"

Where do we find these people?

Is there a production line somewhere in the dark as of Wonderland.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 11:07 AM
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Sorry that should have been "dark areas"

But the typo "dark ass" was nearly close enough.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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You know, sojourn, I don't need or want service that's superior to that provided to the regular customer. I assume he wouldn't be a regular customer if the service were shabby.

But you're always good for a chuckle, and this time you've outdone yourself. Keep on folding those £20 notes in four!

And don't be a stranger here! A little humor is always welcome.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 11:11 AM
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God, Sojourn.

I missed you last post, just realised that the Autumn Psilocybins are sprouting, you've clearly had your harvest.
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Old Sep 29th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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In pubs and bars in the UK the staff are usually pretty good at keeping track of who is next in the queue and it would be considered bad manners to try and bypass whoever's next in line for service. And the barstaff would probably just ignore you and your ostentatious £20 origami anyway.
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