If I am going to a restaurant in London, would it be customary to tip the waiter/waitress when I receive the bill?

Would it be seem as offensive if I don’t?

  • Could those who have downvoted please explain the downvotes?
    – Muzer
    Oct 16, 2019 at 14:50
  • @Muzer - at a guess, despite self-answered questions being explicitly allowed on SE, people don't like them. But it's only a guess.
    – AndyT
    Oct 17, 2019 at 10:16

1 Answer 1


would it be customary to tip the waiter/waitress when I receive the bill?

In London it is customary to leave an extra 10-15% of the bill to the waiter, especially in large groups.

Please note though, if you pay by card the tips might go through to the restaurant itself and not the waiter so it is always good to ask the waiter how to tip them. The best is usually leaving some coins/cash.

Some restaurants automatically add on a service charge of usually 12.5% so make sure you don’t tip twice.

Tipping in London's restaurants. It is customary to leave 10-15% of the bill when eating out. However, restaurants often add on a service charge (usually 12.5%), especially if you're in a large group, so it's worth checking your bill if you don't want to tip twice.


Would it be seem as offensive if I don’t?

If you are not a large group and it is evident you are a tourist it might not seem as offensive but leave a small tip just in case.

  • 5
    I think 10-15% is not particularly correct for London, but I don't have time right now to find some other sources... I'll just point out that a website designed to help tourists spend more money in the local economy is probably not going to be an unbiased source! Personally I would usually pay the service charge if it's included, otherwise I would likely round up the bill. I might tip up to 10% if I've had good service, but tipping really isn't expected.
    – Muzer
    Oct 16, 2019 at 14:52
  • 3
    @Muzer 10-15% is what most sites quote if you Google it, not just touristy ones. 12.5% often seems to be the commonest when a service charge is included. Personally I would add 10% and round up a bit, and I'm form London.
    – richardb
    Oct 16, 2019 at 15:24
  • 1
    I'll add that any restaurant automatically adding a service charge is very likely not giving it to the serving staff. I'll also add that a service charge is completely optional, and even if it's been automatically added you can request it to be removed. +1 for "normally best to leave cash", not that I always manage that though...
    – AndyT
    Oct 17, 2019 at 10:19

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