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To tip or not to tip

I love eating out – it’s quality time with the family, my husband or time out with my girlies.

But there’s one thing that gets to me – tipping. I’m not sure why we all feel so obliged to do it? We pay for our food and for the time in the restaurant, why should we then feel the need to add an extra 10% or so to the bill? Who made that rule?

The people I dine with have mixed reactions. My husband will always add around 15% as a tip, even when the restaurant has taken the liberty to add on 12.5% ‘service charge’ – which, by the way, you don’t have to pay.

It always turns into a little dispute; to me, it is at the end of the day an extra cost. Although I am grateful to be able to enjoy eating out with my family, I know of a number of families, who will have saved for a night out, and they should not be put in a position where they get looks from disgruntled staff because they didn’t leave a tip.

My friends on the other hand, are pretty much in agreement with me. If a restaurant adds 12.5% to my bill, asking for a tip essentially, then although we pay it, we don’t feel guilty about not leaving some more money on the table when we leave.

But where the so-called service charge is not applied, we all feel the need to dig a little deeper or add an extra pound or so to our cards, out of guilt, because someone somewhere made the rule that tipping was essential.

It’s not the law, it’s not essential and we shouldn’t be thinking of waiters and waitresses as someone to feel sorry for if we don’t tip. They are, after all, paid and I would expect them to perform the job they are paid for to a high standard.

What if we stop tipping? Is that to say restaurants staff will become rude and spit in our food? What are we afraid of?

The act if tipping is showing your appreciation, but today, it has become an expectation and I don’t believe we should be made to feel obliged.

It’s fine if we do and fine if we don’t.

Of course, the etiquette of tipping is pretty much a westernised custom. Head to China and you’ll see tipping is not expected nor is it common.

I’ll probably continue to have arguments with my over-generous husband over tipping (espcailly when he even wants to tip the pizza deliver guy) but next time you eat out, don’t feel obliged. Tipping is not the law and you should not have to feel the financial strain of adding a few pounds to your meal.

If the restaurant shamelessly asks for it by adding an extra charge to your bill, then you certainly have no reason to slap on a few more pound when you leave.


Let me know what you think about the tipping culture that us Brits have been made to adhere to. Do you tip? Do you feel the shame and guilt for not doing it and is it right that we are made to feel like this?


Follow me on @KalpanaFitz @MumMoneyMatters

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2 Responses

  1. Maria says:

    I totally agree tipping is just ridiculous . My partner does it all the time even if the service is bad .

  2. waiting to exhale says:

    Have you ever worked in hospitality on minumum wage? working evenings and weekends while other people enjoy themselves. If you do believe you are right you should fight for a higher minimum wage that lets people have enough money and self respect in their job. Or eat in and save even more money.

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