What Makes Britain Great #15
Customs vary around the world regarding when tipping is appropriate, and at what level. This is one of the questions we’re often asked, we all know how embarrassing it can be if you get it wrong:
Unlike in some other countries, in the UK, tipping in restaurants is usually ‘discretionary’. It is not necessary to tip at all if you are unhappy with the level of service you’ve received.
Some restaurants automatically add an ‘optional’ service charge to the bill – again, if you are not happy with the service you’ve received you can ask for this to be removed. If a service charge has been added onto your bill, you should not feel that you need to add any further tip.
‘Service not included’ means just that, and it is usual to offer at least ten percent by way of a tip, depending on how happy you are about the service you received. In central London, twelve and a half, or fifteen percent are commonplace.
Tipping is also commonplace in hair and beauty salons, hotels and at the end of a taxi ride. Use discretion, but always err on the side of generosity. No one wants to be remembered as being mean.