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Jun 10, 2011 09:44 AM


From what i read online:

You dont tip taxi drivers or bartenders

For restaurant tip if everything is great you tip 5-10%

Is this accurate?

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  1. That's not quite right.

    Most high end restaurants will add a 12.5% service charge to your bill. I would say you pay this unless something has gone very wrong. Certainly no need to pay anything more than this.

    Even middling restaurants will usually add 10-12% onto the bill and again I would generally pay this unless I had a problem with the service but equally I would never pay more than the standard service charge.

    You will still come across smaller restaurants which don't add a service charge. Here I would add 10% unless I thought the service poor. I wouldn't ever really leave a 5% tip in a restaurant as if the service was so poor as to justify not paying 10% I'd be inclined to go for nothing.

    You don't have to tip bartenders at all.

    I tend to round up a pound or two with taxi drivers but you are well within your rights to pay not a penny more than is shown on the meter and you won't be thought rude if you do this.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ManInTransit

      Agree, though I do tip bartenders as well.

      1. re: Nancy S.

        I suppose bartenders depends on the type of venue. It's not unheard of nowadays for good bars to add a service charge.
        In a pub it would look a bit weird to tip the barstaff.
        In the kind of fancy Soho bar where your change comes on a 'classy' silver platter you can leave a pound or two and it will be appreciated but I would only usually tip a bartender where the service was excellent.

        1. re: ManInTransit

          So if going to Purl / Rules maybe 1 pound or whatever change you get per round?

          At the pub just pay what it costs

          taxi round up to the nearest pound


          1. re: Dapuma

            If you go to Purl I imagine you would run up a tab rather than pay for each drink and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a service charge on your bill at the end. If you do end up paying cash for each round then yes a pound isn't going to go down badly but it definitely isn't necessary.

        2. re: Nancy S.

          I wouldn't ever tip a bartender but definitely have noticed in the last few years that many swankier bars now automatically add a 12.5% percent service charge when they bring you the bill (you tend to run up a tab rather than pay for individual drinks). I'd pay that without questioning it but I wouldn't myself think to add a tip to a bar bill that didn't come with one. I DEFINITELY wouldn't tip in a pub! At the end of the night you might say to the person serving you to 'have one on me' but tipping in a pub would feel extremely odd!

          Similarly more and more restaurants add a service charge, which I would almost always pay without question, so no personal tipping calculations needed; if no charge is added I'd tip about 10% unless things were particularly awful, yeah.

      2. Taxi drivers round it up

        Restaurant 10%

        Bartenders normally 50p - £1, if you want to get served quick next time tip more.

        4 Replies
        1. re: dryrain

          Taxis - 10%
          Bartenders - no
          Restaurants - check for service charge on the bill, if none, pay your own waiter 10% in cash so you know they're pocketing it

          Native Londoner ;)

          1. re: helen b

            For me it depends what type of bar you are in. an anonymous bar - no. a pub - no. a loud nightclub venue - no. someplace where you are getting personal, attentive service with a lot of effort being put into every drink, such as Purl - yes.

            1. re: johnnypd

              I agree with most of the above, but just to throw a spanner in the works, it isn't uncommon to tip someone serving drinks in a pub. It's not expected, but it is fairly common. I will sometimes say "take one yourself" when paying for a round. This used to mean "have a drink on me", but these days, depending where you are, it will mean they put anything between 20p and a couple of quid into a jar on the bar for the staff to share at the end of the shift.

              1. re: Theresa

                Theresa - agree with your comment, but it tends to only be every so often (once in a night) rather than every round.

        2. I think if you have worked in a bar or restaurant you are more likely to tip for drinks when you buy a round.

          I worked as a chef in my student days and there used to be customer who came in and tipped the chefs rather that the waiting staff. That made a nice change from the norm.