Tipping in London, the UK and the rest of the world is always embarrassing and awkward, especially if you get it wrong. Of course, when you’re doing it without planning for it will increase your expenditure. If you’re visiting the UK from the US and used to 20% tipping, here are some tips to help you adjust in the new country.

Tipping In Restaurants

While in the US an extra charge between 12.5% and 15% is always added to your bill but it’s not a similar practice in the UK. Of course, as a visitor to the country, you might have a hard time discovering the difference. Some restaurants might print the policy on their menus, something you might not notice until it’s time to pay your menu. However, in other restaurants the extra charge is always clearly indicated on the bill.

If you’re not sure about it, don’t feel embarrassed asking or feel flustered reading your bill. Most waiters often leave the total option on the bill blank especially when using credit card devices. It’s a tactful way of urging you to add a tip when your entire bill has been summed up. If the extra charge is present in your bill, you’re not mandated to add anything else.

However, you can always do so if you feel you have received the best service. If the charge hasn’t been included, you should calculate at least 12.5% or 15% of the total bill and make it your tip. Currently, there are some issues still in contention regarding tips in the UK. For instance, even when the extra charge is included in your bill, it is always discretionary.

Therefore, you don’t have to pay for it and if you didn’t like the service, you are not mandated to pay the tip. Also, there is no law in the UK that forces the restaurant management to turn over the services charges collected on the bill to your service. It’s actually a surprise to many people and there are some fishy restaurant chains that don’t give their staff the money or only provide a little part of it.

Currently, the UK parliament has created proposals that would by law grant the full amount of the service charge to the staff. Secondly, it would make sure that customers have a prior understanding that the service charge is discretionary. Therefore, if you have received exceptionally good service you should tip the server. You can also subtract the service charge amount from the total bill and leave a cash tip separately.

Tipping In Pubs

If you have a drink in a pub, you’re not expected to leave a tip. Take an instance where you receive good service from a bartender or he/she fills large orders, you can always offer a small sum or the price of half a pint of beer and invite the bartender to enjoy a drink. He/she can proceed to pour their drink on the spot or take the money aside and take the drink at a later time.

Also, you’re not expected to tip for food received in pubs. However, gastropubs have become quite popular making it quite a gray area. If you feel the pub is actually more of a restaurant, then you can always offer a tip, similar amount to what you would leave in a restaurant.

Tipping Taxi Drivers

At least 10% of the overall fare is the norm for licensed and metered taxis. The rural minicabs and taxis often charge a pre-agreed and flat fare so many people don’t have to add the extra tip according to Go Green Taxi's in Newbury..

Tipping Guides And Coach Drivers

Once a walk or guided bus tour comes to an end, the guide often introduces themselves and hopes everyone had a good experience. It’s the opening line for requesting for a tip subtly. Of course, if you feel the trip was properly entertaining, you can always tip the guide around 10% or 15% of the overall cost of the tour. You can always offer a standard amount per traveler or group.

If you’re on a coach or bus tour, you will notice a receptacle close to the exit where you can drop your tip as you leave. If you have been in the tour for many days, especially with the same tour guide, you can always tip the coach driver depending on the number of days you have been on the tour once your trip comes to an end.


Published by Arina Smith