Wherever you’re visiting form, you’ll have your own cultural views on tipping. In some countries it’s mandatory, like in the USA. In other countries, such as Japan, it is seen as rude to tip. Whatever your views, the UK has a fairly lax policy on tipping, which is ironic on account of our rule and manners based social conduct. Nevertheless, if you’re staying in the Lancaster Gate Hotel London and you’ve never visited the city before, it might be wise to take heed of these general rules, assuming you have the money to tip in the first place.
What is Tipping?
Tipping, or gratuity, is the act of giving extra money to your service staff as a token of appreciation for their service. Whilst many services allow their waiters to personally take the tips, others have a tip jar which is then dispersed through the days staff equally at the end of the day. This has been a custom for hundreds of years now, and whilst waiters in different countries live off tips, other countries don’t allow them at all. Whether you’re having an Indian afternoon tea in London or your hotel concierge is carrying your luggage, here are the general rules on tipping in the UK.
Tipping in Bars and Pubs
London is famous for its abundance of traditional pubs and swanky bars. Whilst there is often a tip jar at the front of a pub, it is not generally expected that you leave a tip for your bar staff. These slightly more informal environments mean that it is more likely that you will ask the bar staff to keep the change, rather than tip them. Whilst in the USA many bar staff survive off their tips, the UK often pays their bartenders more money, thus ensuring that tips are not a necessity.
Tipping in Cafes
Much like bars and pubs, Cafes will have a tip jar at the front of the till. Baristas in chains are not usually tipped, but independent cafes will gladly dispense of any loose change for you! This is due to the more personally experience you will get when in an independent cafe.
Tipping in Restaurants
If you’re visiting restaurants near Lancaster Gate tube station, you’re already in for a mouthwatering treat. With a wide range of different cuisines to choose from and at great value prices, you won’t be able to stop yourself tipping! When you do, though it is customary in the UK to tip between 10 to 15 percent of the bill when you are eating out, especially when eating with a larger group. Make sure that when you do tip, you ask the waiter if they will be personally receiving the tip rather than the business they work for. Tipping is not necessary by law, and so some businesses capitalise on the grey area and do not let their staff take the money themselves.
Tipping in London Hotels
Hotel bills often include a service charge of between 10 and 12 percent. It is customary to tip if the service charge is not included. If you want to tip your cleaning staff, then you leave your desired amount in your room upon leaving. All other staff at a hotel can be tipped, but it is left to your discretion as the customer.
Tipping in London Transport
It is polite but not mandatory to tip your taxi driver 10 to 15 percent of the bill, especially in black cabs and licensed London minicabs. If you can’t afford this, most people round up their cab fare to the nearest pound or if possible, 5 pounds.