Culture city guides

How much to tip in the UK?


Dylan Mitchell

Tipping in restaurants and bars is widely accepted, but how much do you tip and when should you? Many people often get confused about tipping in the UK compared to other countries, like the United States of America. Tipping across the pond is seen as part of the overall bill while in the UK, there’s a different attitude towards it. If you’re interested in finding out how much to tip in the UK, continue reading this guide from tastecard!

How much to tip in a restaurant in the UK?

Tipping in a UK restaurant is often considered discretionary and not mandatory. However, it’s a good custom to leave a tip for a server who has provided a good service throughout your experience. If you feel that your server was friendly and attentive to your needs, answered any questions you had, and the food was to a good standard and was served quickly, you’ll often leave a healthy tip before you leave. The size of the tip will vary depending on the overall cost of the meal and the level of service provided but, generally, a positive experience leads to a tip in the UK. In contrast, in America, a tip of at least 10% is deemed mandatory in many restaurants and bars.

How much should you tip in the UK, though, and how should you tip?

  • Discretionary tipping
  • Service charge
  • Cash tip
  • Bill split
  • Round-up tip
Coffee shop payment

Discretionary tipping.

If you’re ever wondering how to figure out a tip at a restaurant, it’s customary to tip around 10 to 15% of the bill’s total when you feel you’ve had good service. This can be adjusted based on the quality of the service and how generous you’re feeling!

Man paying the bill smiling

Service charge.

Some restaurants in the UK will automatically add a service charge to your bill, which is typically around 12.5%. This is often only included for larger parties. If this is added to the overall bill, there is no need to leave an additional tip, unless you feel it necessary. Want to learn more about service charge, head to our handy blog - Tips Vs Service charge

Cash tip.

When leaving a tip, it’s common practice to do so in cash. You can either leave the cash on the table for the server to collect when clearing up, or you can hand it to them personally.

Couple paying for food

Bill split.

If you’re dining out as a group, whether it’s friends or family, make sure to agree on an even split for not only the bill but also the tip. It’s likely, though, that you’ll have a service charge added to your bill if you’re a large booking. If not, ensure you reward your server!

Round-up tip.

Another tip, which is more common in bars and fast food restaurants, is the round-up tip. This is when you choose to let the server “keep the change” when paying with cash for your order. So, if your order comes to £16.20, you’ll round up the overall bill and leave an 80p tip instead of taking change from a £17 payment.

Tipping location variety.

If you’re on holiday and are left wondering about the tipping etiquette in your location, it’s a good idea to get some knowledge beforehand. Whether that’s in America or somewhere in Europe, read up on tipping before you arrive. If you’re unsure while dining, speak to the server and other customers to see their perspective on the matter. This is a great way of understanding the customs of the area you’re visiting and may even give you some helpful tips and habits to take home with you.

Images sourced directly from Adobe stock. All restaurants available on tastecard at the time of publishing.

Save more and tip more with tastecard.

While we’re on the subject of dining out, we thought it’s important to let you know about the savings you could make at restaurants all over the UK with tastecard. Whether it’s London, Glasgow, Manchester or Leeds, signing up to tastecard opens the door to major discounts.

You can save 50% on your food bill and 25% on barista-made drinks with our exclusive Coffee Club. What does this all mean, though? Well, by using tastecard’s fabulous discounts, you can save money on your meals at your favourite restaurants. But, this also allows you more room to tip your server. We’ve all been there when the bill comes back a little higher than we thought so we weren’t able to offer much of a tip to the server, despite an excellent experience. Well, with tastecard’s discount, you can now reward the server with a healthy tip and still save yourself money – everybody wins!