'I never tip, why should I?' - Telegraph readers on tipping etiquette

A photo showing cash on top of a restaurant reciept
Telegraph readers reveal their tipping habits  Credit: UrbanImages/Alamy

Writing in the Telegraph this week, William Sitwell attempted to traverse the mine field that is tipping, as a new body was launched to accredit restaurants which share their tips among their staff. 

The Telegraph's restaurant critic admitted that even he finds tipping confusing, so where does that leave the rest of us?  Readers weighed in, sharing their tipping habits in the comments section. 

Read on for the best comments on tipping from your fellow readers, including their experiences of some of the different attitudes to tipping around the world. 

Which tipping camp do you belong to? What tipping customs have you encountered on your travels? Tell us in the comments section below. 

Tipping customs around the world 

@Fischer Fischer

"In Scandinavian countries tips are included in the price. It works nicely, it takes the sting out of guessing and lets you fairly assess the price."

@Philip Stott 

"I've always found that when abroad, regardless of local customs, tipping anyone that provides a good service seems to pay dividends, whether it be getting served at the bar before everyone else, better taxis, late checkouts, etc.

"The tips always go, in cash, to whomever has given me good service."

@Martin Peckham

"Personally I would like this country to adopt the French system, whereby law all restaurant prices must include Service and VAT.

"Having just returned from New York, I can reaffirm that the American system is hideous. Tipping is required for anything and everything."

@Nick Bacon 

"I live in New York, where tipping is expected.  Indeed, people in "tipped employment" such as bartenders and wait staff in restaurants don't even get minimum wage, as they are expected to make most of their income from tips.

"Restaurant wait staff are taxed on the basis that they receive tips of 15% of their gross sales, and this is deducted from their already meagre wages. This can leave them with a zero paycheck (not to mention a big tax bill), making them utterly dependant on their tips.

"Brits are not popular with a lot of wait staff for their failure to tip - I always tip 20% - as they mostly don't know the rules."

@John Callaghan 

"Try going to Japan, where the food is great and tipping is considered an insult"

@Maria Johnson 

"Tipping is not all about subsidizing tight-fisted bosses who do not pay enough wages, it is more  a "cultural" phenomena. The Spanish hardly ever tip while the Americans tip lavishly. The English are nearer the Americans and the Scots tend to be worse than the Spanish!

"Me?  I always tip unless the food or service is bad. If you are a committed "tipper" it can pay dividends to tip before the meal even starts! Because, if you have the waiter on your payroll she or he will (usually) give you five star treatment.

"Shouldn't be necessary? Most things in life aren't "necessary"!" 

@Richard Vine 

"When in Rome applies. 20 per cent in restaurants in USA and always keep plenty of dollar and five dollar bills for bag carriers etc. In France 15 per cent service is included. Japan considers tipping beneath them. Everywhere else, 10 per cent is fine. A little more for exceptional service, 5 per cent for poor service. Just a quick Google before you go."

I always tip 

@Poppy Day 

"If you can't afford to eat out - and that includes tipping where "expected", (I certainly can't !) just don't go. Although, judging by the number of restaurant chains going to the wall, fewer and fewer people can afford to do so."

@Madeleine Richardson 

"Regardless of whether or not service changes are included, I always tip and leave the money on the plate for the person who served me."

I never tip 

@J Ro 

"The Aussies never tip and don't expect or even want it either.  I never tip, why should I? They are only doing their jobs - like firemen, shop workers, postmen, ambulance men, office workers etc. What's the difference, no-one ever tipped me when I packed shopping and helped old people across the road either.

"Carrying food from the kitchen to a table is easy, and yes I was a waitress too - the few tips I received went straight to the restaurant - who paid my wages!"

@Jane Young 

"Why should we tip? Meals out aren’t exactly cheap and if the owners of restaurants, hairdressers etc don’t pay a fair wage, that’s not my problem! As for providing a good service I expect any business to provide it not have to pay extra for it!"

@Roger Feraille 

"Tipping and service charges should be illegal. Business owners should pay a decent wage and prices should reflect that. Simple."

It depends 

@Anne Lamond

"Tipping for good service should be the norm but I do object to the mandatory 12-15 per cent. Why should I have an additional financial burden for drinking expensive wine compared to people next to me who are drinking free tap water - the amount of effort for the waiter is similar in both cases. For £100 of wine I pay £12-15 but my water drinking neighbour pays nothing. Most unfair!"

@Anthony New

"I tip an individual for better than expected service. I don't tip for poor service, I don't tip for normal service, and I certainly don't tip to boost the collective income of poorly-paid staff. That's what minimum-wage legislation is there for. 

"And yes, I often ask if a gratuity is included, but my experience is it is usually not."

@Adam Gourdon

"I usually ask for the ‘voluntary’ gratuity to be deducted and tip in cash instead, but the scarcity of some denominations, especially fivers, makes this increasingly difficult (I’m usually either with my wife, and a £10 tip is usually a bit OTT, or with my excessive numbers of teenaged children as well, when it’s far too little)."

@clive mockford

"I always ask the server if he or she will receive the tip. If the answer is that it's at the manager's discretion, then I don't tip.

"If, like last Friday in Bruton, the server confirms that all tips go into a pot that is shared between all servers, the chef and chef's staff, then I tip."

Read William Sitwell's article in full, Brits hate tipping enough as it is - and now it's getting even more confusing