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A Guide for Tipping in England

November 13, 2013 - 10:17am
Seniors can get ready for dining in England during Europe tours with these tips on tipping.

Travelers gearing up for a trip to England have little to worry about when it comes to culture shock compared to other countries on their Europe tour itinerary. The destination is, after all, the mother country to the United States and embraces the same language; however, there are some key differences that visitors should prepare for. For instance, it's important to understand that British slang varies greatly from American colloquialism and that the culture relies heavily on manners and niceties. Guests can also prepare for dining in England by becoming familiar with the tipping etiquette.

During England tours, seniors can expect to enjoy traditional beverages and regional cuisine in London. Tipping in restaurants here is similar to American practices; however, the amount of gratuity is generally lower - at about 12.5 to 15 percent of the total bill. That's because United Kingdom law dictates that all workers must be paid the national minimum wage whether they receive tips or not. Note that the English typically round the tip up to the nearest half-Euro. Additionally, it's unnecessary to tip in establishments where patrons pay at the counter, even if food is delivered to the table. In general, people should only tip if they are seated and order at a table and are being served by a waiter or waitress.

In clubs and pubs, it's uncommon to tip the bartender. In fact, leaving gratuity in these settings is often considered a way of showing off. If a staff member has provided particularly good service, it's acceptable to purchase him or her a drink. It can be considered rude to ask pub and restaurant staff if gratuity is expected. Fortunately, travelers touring the country as part of senior travel groups can turn to their knowledgeable escorts for help.