I tip
February 23, 2013

If you have ever worked hard in a bar or restaurant, anywhere in the world, you’ll know just how little you earn, and how important the extra money from tips can be.

I tip. I think you should make sure you always tip as well.

Having lived in Britain for about eight years now, I am shocked again and again at the country’s culture to not tip. They don’t tip waiters, bartenders, takeaway delivery drivers, cabs or anyone else. A few times, I’ve also seen folks proud of the fact that they don’t tip anyone, as if this is a badge of honour. A reason given for not tipping is often “we pay them good wages already, so there is no need to tip.” Not true!

Even here in Britain, a waiter or bartender may only be earning £4/hour. Could you really live on a wage like that?

As an American, I always tip, and I think most people from my country do so. The question Americans ask is not if we should tip, but how much we should tip. The minimum tip ratio is 15% of your bill. If you spent £10 then leave £1.50.

I’m especially sensitive about tipping because I have worked in service jobs. I was a hostess at The Colony restaurant in Miami Beach for a little while, in college I was a pizza delivery girl and I’ve worked at bars, coat checking and other roles where the wages were appalling. In the USA, most waiters earn less than the minimum wage. Employers have gotten away with this appalling salary because they say that tips are good.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to tipping that a blogger wrote about a few years ago that you may find helpful. It is for America, but it does list out appropriate service providers to tip.

Here’s a few more reason’s to tip:

  • It puts a smile on a hard working service provider’s face
  • You are sharing good with the world, and making it a less evil place
  • Giving a little bit away will result in it coming back to you in double with rewards
  • It is a part of your cost of living
  • It makes you be a generous person instead of a greedy bastard
  • Most often, the person serving you has done a good and friendly job and they deserve it!
  • You get to have a short chat with someone and hear the expression “thank you”
  • You teach your children how to be polite and respectful of others
  • It might get you bonus points, that can even result in a free drink or extra helpings on your plate

I tip! Do you?


1 Comment
  • Emma
    February 23, 2013

    Yes, I tip! But, like you, I am often shocked that lots of other people here in the UK don't. I tip 10 per cent though so - more if it was particularly good service. Glad you've raised the topic.