"Tipping" London Local Custom Tip by msmodeshowsuhow

London Local Customs: 717 reviews and 883 photos

I’d just like to clear up some stuff about tipping in England. The recent practice of tip trays in bars aside, there is a traditional way of tipping bar staff in pubs, although it may seem a bit obscure! If you feel moved to tip your bar server you say to them (when finishing ordering your round) ‘and have one for yourself’. The barperson then charges you for one extra drink. They might drink it as they work but more likely theyd say ‘I’ll take it later, if that’s okay’ – meaning (depending on how they feel/ the pubs policy) they’ll either have a drink after work or take the money as a cash tip. Yes I know this must sound weird!
In restaurants, the bill should clearly state whether service is included. If it’s not, then at least 10% is expected, unless you were unhappy with the service. Be alert, because even if the service was included, they will still (if you pay by card) bring you the signing slip with a space for you to add a ‘gratuity’. There was a recent court case where waiters took their employers to court – the employers were keeping the tips paid by customers on their credit cards, rather than paying them to their staff. Believe it or not, the employers won the case. So if you want to be sure your tip goes to the waiter, pay in cash.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 19, 2003
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