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Tipping in London

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M'sia
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Tipping in London

Hi, wonder any of you tip the concierge at the hotel?

If yes, roughly how much.

Thx

Nottingham, United...
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41. Re: Tipping in London

newtoplaya there is no hard and fast rule over here about tipping and views off the forum will differ as you have worked out. It is a contentious subject which often comes up and results in lots of debates. Search previous tipping threads on the forum and you will see what I mean.

All in all you are entitled to do what you wish on your trip and no doubt will.

Zzoee I am not sure about the difference between the North and South re this issue. I am strongly against tipping but I live in the Midlands. Some of my local friends would tip at a restaurant though unlike me. Maybe it depends on whether you have worked in the public service sector yourself which I have but my job didn't involve tips. I just got paid a fair salary for the work I did and I was quite happy with that.

I am a great believer in fairness and there are many people living off a minimum wage in the public service industry that don't receive tips so how can people consider tipping some but not others?

New York City, New...
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42. Re: Tipping in London

Ahh, this one is sure to arouse a bit of discussion.

As a Brit living in New York, I can see a bit of both sides of this argument. It is not necessary to tip a concierge in the UK but if you really want to, a couple of pounds is fine. It really depends what you're asking them to do. Book a restaurant or make some suggestions, no. I wouldn't tip. that's the job and you're not really asking them to do anything exciting or out of the ordinary.

Staying in San Francisco once, I asked the concierge for a car service number. I found out later that he took 20% of the fare. In fact, he was irate that I didn't use the car service on my return journey, presumably because he was missing out on the tip. A ridiculous situation really. And I'm glad I didn't tip him. The US tipping culture is actually quite difficult and a little bit annoying and it causes problems for a lot of people, not just foreigners, Americans too! At some point you have to say: why aren't these guys getting a decent wage? A tip should be for quick or great service, it shouldn't really be the norm. In my Manhattan flat when it came to Christmas, we were presented with a list of 33 staff who worked in the building. A quick Google threw up massive differences in what people tip. Some said $100 per staff member! With 500 flats in the building, that is some serious money. But most people we know gave $10-20 per person that they had actual contact with, which is what we did in the end. Less that $3000 but still a few hundred dollars. But we do tip for most things: laundry delivery, food delivery, our super, any kind of delivery really but I only give a $2-5 dollars, no matter what the cost of the thing that is being delivered.

Hotel workers in the UK (and I worked in a hotel when a student), love American guests because they just seem to give out cash, hand over fist! My general rule is that I don't tip for something that I can do myself. So, if I have a lot of luggage and I get a bell-hop to take my luggage to my room, I will tip $1 a bag or so. Usually I just take my own wheelie bag so I do it myself. Same in the UK. If someone has helped you with luggage, hailed a taxi, put your luggage in etc, give him/her a couple of quid. That's fine. Tip at a free coat check but not one that costs money. Food delivery, a couple of quid. And yes, I always tip the girl who washes my hair! Hotel room service have a big surcharge but I always leave a pound or so if I get a delivery unless it states in the menu that the hotel worker keeps some of the money (like they do at W hotels).

In restaurants, I absolutely believe that a 10% tip is standard. That's the norm in London. Further north you go, you probably don't need to do that but it will be much appreciated if you do and it probably depends a bit on the quality of the restaurant. My parents, for example, would never tip but they are northern and in their 70s. Taxis, you can round it up to the nearest whole pound. If the fare is £9, I will probably give £10. Same if the fare is £9.30. In a bar, it's not necessary to tip at all but I do if they're making a bunch of cocktails which take time and effort, 50p or a £1 will be fine per round. I have to say that I would be mortified if a friend of mine didn't leave a tip at a restaurant in the UK (live the above poster). I did quite a bit of these jobs as a student and they're pretty miserable so a bit of a tip makes a difference. These are not high roller jobs don't forget. And yes, I even tipped when I lived in Birmingham.

In Europe, you don't need to tip 10%, just a couple of Euros will be fine.

Don't ask if you should tip. Assume that you don't need to tip most of the time unless in a restaurant or cafe (or hairdresser). Everything else is at your discretion and £1-2 is just fine.

Good luck!

Edited: 18 March 2013, 04:51
New York City, New...
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43. Re: Tipping in London

Bevhicklin, I think your logic is a bit skewed to explain why you don't give tips and are a bit of meanie. I've worked the the public sector most of my career and whilst it's true that I never received a tip, I did receive bonuses, performance related pay, yearly pay increases/increments and and employer contributor pension: NONE of which I received when I worked as a waiter or in a hotel. Regardless, this isn't a matter of fairness but of custom and despite what you say, it is customary to tip in a restaurant in the UK (the tips are shared by all the staff, the kitchen too). I don't know anyone, my elderly parents aside, who wouldn't tip when eating out.

London, England...
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44. Re: Tipping in London

tip 10% in restaurants, or accept 12.5% when it's added to the bill. Fact of life living in London.

That said I have had it removed where I thought the service was bad. Got really annoyed once when I went to a bar on Dover Street and paid £10 for a cocktail and the barman tried to charge me 15% tip - I was stood at the bar watching him make it and walked it to my table myself?!?

Glad we have a generally more sensible/level headed approach to tipping in the UK, not the absurd American notion that it is up to the consumer to pay the business' staff a wage.

Portskewett, United...
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45. Re: Tipping in London

My Mum gives the Sainsbury's delivery man a KitKat - I am sure he can't wait!! And she is 81!!!!

Bundaberg, Australia
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46. Re: Tipping in London

We are going on a 16 day bus tour around great britain,costing 2000 pd each,and now we have been told it would be agood idea to pay 60pound to the driver and 60pound to the tour guide,I am at a lose to see why,dont they get decent wages and at perhaps 50 people per tour thats very good money.

Bodmin, United...
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for Cornwall
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47. Re: Tipping in London

They do indeed get paid to do their job. If I was you, if the service was exceptional I would give them maybe a tenner each, no way would I give them £60 and £50!

Hampshire, England.
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48. Re: Tipping in London

The tipping situation in this country is getting out of hand, the main problem is that Americans come here throwing their money about and it soon becomes the accepted norm, I see complaints on the New York forum about British/European people not tipping, surely it works the other way as well. To say that a tip is always gratefully accepted is a bit of a ridiculous comment (of course a bit of extra money will go down nicely) BUT all it is doing is pushing up the price of something that is probably overpriced (especially in London) anyway.

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane
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49. Re: Tipping in London

Simple solution to this "issue"

Do you tip? Yes if American and No everyone else.

I feel sorry for the Canadians though, they'll have to explain to everyone why there's no tip.

London, United...
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50. Re: Tipping in London

Stevenr35, the hotels in London work exactly the same, ask for a cab to the airport and he will give one of his mates a call, he takes a cut, the hotel takes a cut and the driver takes a cut, don't be surprised if the bill comes to £100.

If you want a black cab to the airport, he will ask for £15 from the driver, that's common practice.

Edited: 18 March 2013, 13:46