When you have been living in London for a while you will automatically know when and how much to tip the people that serve you in various occupations. It can be hard though, at first to get used to the different percentages and amounts to tip. Moving to London will be a great experience and you’ll have the opportunity to see many new things and meet new people. This guide should give you a general run down of who to tip and the approximate amount. Of course, there are some people that choose not to tip, but many people in London do tip and generously.
It is common in the United Kingdom to tip the person who has been serving you your meal a tip of about 10% of the bill. You can of course tip more, but tipping less than 10% is not polite, unless you have had lousy service. Contrary to popular belief, waiters and waitresses do rely on their tips to round up their salary which can be pretty low, so you’re bound to get good service wherever you go. Be aware though, that some establishments add a service charge to the final amount. This can be anywhere between 10 and 15 % and it will say so at the bottom of the bill when it is presented to you. You do not have to tip your waitron if the service charge has been added to the bill.
This can be tricky. It is common to round up the tax fare to the nearest pound, so £4.30 would become £5 including the tip. If however the fare is £4.90 then you should round it up to £5.50. Giving a tip of 10pence is an insult to the cabbie and he may chuck it back at you. On an £8 fare it would be acceptable, generous even to give the cabbie a £10 note and tell him to keep the change.
If you have take out delivered to your home or groceries, then it is customary to tip the delivery person £1. Hairdressers are also tipped about £1 after you have finished. If you are ordering drinks in a pub then you do not have to tip the barman pouring the drinks, but if you are in a bar where a waiter takes your order and brings you the drinks to your table then you should follow the same rule about tipping as you would do in a restaurant.
In most cases you should use your common sense. Great service should be rewarded no matter where you are and bad service should be reported as unacceptable immediately.