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A Guide to Tipping in the UK


As society moves away from carrying cash, people who rely on tips to support their wages are facing a decline in their earning potential. Managers find themselves allocating valuable time to deducting taxes from card-placed tips and distributing them to staff. While customers continue to be hesitant about tipping by card at all, fearing their gratuity may not reach the right person.

It is becoming harder to ignore the impact of our cashless society on tipping culture. More than ever, it is important to be well-versed in the etiquette of tipping. When to tip, how to tip, and who to tip. These are questions we’re going to answer!

Tipping and the Hospitality Industry

Within the hospitality sector, a tip of 10-15% is customary. A significant number of restaurants add a discretionary service charge to the bill but in some cases, the value of your tip will be your choice and you can tip based on how grateful you were for good service. No matter what scenario you find yourself in, at a five-star restaurant or down your local pub, a tipping is usually expected!

Within the hospitality industry, there is a lack of transparency on how tips are split and whether they go to the intended person meaning there is a reluctance to tip on traditional card machines. To combat this, Grtfl utilises QR codes and NFC technology to make tipping transparent, easy, and fair by splitting tips seamlessly and transparently between staff. Oh, and not to mention, this takes a weight off the venues shoulders for having to deal with and distribute tips.

Tipping in the Hair and Beauty Industry

It’s common to tip anywhere from 10-25% after receiving excellent service in a salon, barbers, or for a beauty treatment, so we’d recommend tipping if you’re happy with your service. This will make sure you get the same great results the next time you need a trim! It also shows that you’re grateful for good service, often, you end up building a personal relationship with your barber/stylist and the rest of the team, so tipping is welcomed.

The beauty industry is experiencing a decline in tipping as we go cashless. This is not only affecting business owners, but stylists and even juniors. Gone are the days where you leave a ‘fiver’. So, don’t be surprised if you see Grtfl in your local salon next time you go in. The platform allows you to tip your love and show your thanks in 3 simple steps. You can also tip multiple people at once, how great?!

Tipping your Taxi Drivers

In the UK, it is polite to tip a taxi driver who offers excellent service. If they drop you off with time to spare or help to load your bags in the boot, aim for a 10% tip. 

Before the rise of contactless, most people would pay a cabbie in cash. Offering your taxi driver to ‘keep the change’ and rounding the fare up to the nearest pound was customary. Now, with less and less cash in use, QR code tipping systems, like Grtfl, are being used by drivers to give their passengers a simple way to tip.

Tipping Fitness Classes

Tipping in the UK fitness industry is not common practice. However, some customers may tip their personal trainers or fitness instructors to show appreciation for their dedication. Although tipping is not expected, if you’re feeling extra grateful, tips are always welcomed.

Tipping in Hotel’s in the UK

Do you tip in hotels? It is customary to tip in UK hotels, but like most other industries, it’s seen a decline with the disappearance of cash. Unlike in a restaurant, there is rarely any service charge added to the room so tipping the team is always welcomed. Because there are loads of elements that make a hotel work and contribute to your stay, it’s not easy to leave a tip if there is no ‘system’ in place. Grtfl are working with hotels in the UK to allow customers to tip directly to the team or individual if they’re happy with their stay.

So, to tip or not to tip? A general rule of thumb: if you feel you have received excellent customer service, it is always nice to show your gratitude with a tip, compliment, or rating.

With Grtfl, tipping is becoming enjoyable again! Say no to the frantic scrambling at the bottom of your bag for that loose bit of change. Grtfl allows you to show your gratitude easily and with the confidence that your tip will go to the right people. If you manage a business where tipping is customary, Grtfl will take the weight off your shoulders by splitting your staff’s tips for you. 

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