British people receive bad service abroad because everyone thinks they’re bad tippers
Posted on May 12, 2010 by yankeebean
I had an interesting chat with my brother-in-law and his wife awhile ago. My BIL and his wife travel all over the place constantly. They’ve been back and forth across the world again and again – from snazzy fancy places to places where you have to get a slew of shots before you’re allow to set foot in.
We were talking about waiting tables and how it’s bloody hard work for bugger-all cash. I commented that I’d been a waitress both in the US and in the UK and that you could made a PACKET from tips in the US – but not in the UK. Based on my experience, in the States tipping averaged out between 15% and 20% – in the UK it averaged out to roughly 1 pound per customer.
To compare – If 4 people went out and spent 50.00 GBP / 74.04 USD on a meal the tips might be:
- 10.00 GBP / 14.81 USD in America (20% tip)
- 4.00 GBP / 5.92 USD in England (1 pound per person tip)
(Rate conversion was done via Google)
When you’ve been on your feet for 8 hours and your ankles are the size of a couple of hams, the difference between those two amounts is HEEE-YOOOJE… I’m so glad I don’t wait tables any more…
Anyway… my BIL then said that they regularly receive terrible service while abroad, even in America. He thinks that all Brits are up the international creek just because of their reputation as bad tippers. Have any other Brits noticed this?
Mr Nice Guy hasn’t noticed really, but I usually do the talking when we’re out about because no one understands what he’s saying
I’m definitely guilty of rushing to judgement about UK tipping (probably because I’ve been on the wrong side of a bad tip WAY too many times) – but it never occurred to me that it would come back to bite the Brits…
UPDATE – I was watching Live at the Apollo last night and Jason Manford did a whole schpeal about why British people don’t tip. Too good to be true – http://bbc.co.uk/i/r95jk/. (This link will start right at the part about tipping and is only available until 15th May).