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Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

Bangkok, Thailand
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Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

We saved hard for a trip to London so that we can treat ourselves to some fine dining experience here. We want to make sure we tip enough but will not be able to afford to tip excessively. As this will be our first time dining in these restaurants, would appreciate if anyone can give us some advice on tipping etiqutte at these places.

We will be having lunch at a Michelin star restaurant in London and this is our first time. The restaurant has a tipping advice that 12.5% will be added to the bill. Are we expected to leave additional tips above the 12.5% and if so, can anyone advise how much would be the right amount we should add to the tips. If we are paying by cash, do we hand the 12.5% that is added to the bill over to the wait staff or just pay the amount together with the bill? Do we have to tip the somelier or any other persons who may come by our table during the meal or the wait staff for taking our coats? We are really looking forward to our lunch and do not want to create any uncomfortable moments.

We have pre-paid for a pre-theatre dinner at the Ritz and have a voucher so we do not have to make any further payments at the restaurant. How much should we tip the waiter? Do we need to tip the man who takes our coat as well?

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

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11. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

"-- you will be making a fairly strong statement if you choose not to pay the 12.5%, but that's fair enough if you can point to specific, meaningful faults in the service."

You are not required to point out any faults in the service whatsoever should you wish to have the optional charge removed.

It is merely and option on the final bill which can be removed should you wish or it can be left there, it is up to the person paying the bill.

London, United...
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12. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

Virtually all high end places in London now add the gratuity to the bill. There is no need to leave extra.

London, UK
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13. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

I disagree Williamnt. If you ask for the service charge to be removed from the bill, you are effectively saying you thought the service was poor and you should be prepared to back that up with examples. In fact, if the service was poor, why did you not bring that to the restaurant's attention during the meal? A well-managed restaurant will quite rightly want to know what went wrong, so they can ensure it doesn't happen again. I think if you make no complaint at all during the meal but ask for the service charge to be removed and cannot say why, that's unreasonable and petty. If you simply object to paying service charges, don't eat in restaurants that include them.

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14. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

You can disagree if you wish but as it is an optional charge you can have it removed there is no need to give an explanation. Having it removed does not mean you think there is anything wrong with the service.

As I posted earlier you are free to leave a tip should you wish.

I feel that optionally adding an amount to my bill is petty.

I would much rather the restaurants were honest and said we would like to charge you 12.5% more. You can then decide if you wish to pay those prices and should you wish to tip then do so.

There is no obligation to pay an optional charge, nor to give a reason for not doing so.

Edited: 18 October 2013, 11:52
Hampshire, England.
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15. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

"I disagree Williamnt. If you ask for the service charge to be removed from the bill, you are effectively saying you thought the service was poor and you should be prepared to back that up with examples."

Why should you be "forced" to pay for service anyway, I've never been in such a restaurant but would object the expectation that you should pay it. My S-I-L took a couple of Italians to London last week and the 12.5% service charge was her only complaint.

London
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16. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

I think that brittraveller31 and others have failed to tie up that part of my reply with the correct part of the question. Of course one does not tip staff for taking coats in restaurants. That would be ridiculous. The question was whether to tip the person who looks after their coats (and perhaps bags) at the Ritz.

London
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17. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

To return to the original point, all that I was trying to get across was that the question that the OP really needs to ask is simply "Whom, and how much, do I tip?"

London
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18. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

A point I make to anyone venturing into fine dining for the first time: if you are made to feel you have somehow 'messed up', the service was not up to scratch. Staff in these establishments know that many people will be there for the first time, celebrating something special. If you're left feeling bad, they did it wrong.

Re: tipping. There will almost certainly be service charge added to the bill. If you're happy to tip, pay it. If not, ask for it to be removed. Either is fine. You don't need to tip otherwise.

19. Re: Tipping at Michelin Star Restaurants

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