Tipping in London

Learn how to tip like a local in London and reward the good service you receive.

The UK government has advised against all non-essential travel and instructed that people remain at home. 

Public transport must only be used for essential journeys. If you need to make an essential journey, it is advised that you walk or cycle where possible. 

Events have been cancelled, and attractions, restaurants, pubs, theatres, public spaces and other venues have temporarily closed. 

A nationwide ban has also been placed on public gatherings of more than two people.

Check the latest UK government information and travel advice for London.

Do you tip in London?

  • It is customary to leave 10 to 15% of the bill as tip when eating out, though some restaurants add on a service charge instead.
  • In London hotels, people often tip porters.
  • It is polite to round up your taxi fare to the nearest pound for black cabs and licensed minicabs. 

Tipping is appreciated but not always appropriate in London. There are some situations where it is customary, for example in restaurants. Although ultimately tips (or gratuities) are discretionary and depend on the quality of the service you receive.

Tipping in London's restaurants

It is customary to leave 10 to 15% of the bill when eating out. However, restaurants often add on a service charge (usually 12.5%), especially if you're in a large group, so it's worth checking your bill if you don't want to tip twice.

It's not customary to pay a tip for fast food, self-service or takeaway meals.

Top tip: Although restaurants (and other businesses) should make their policy clear, it's worth checking with your waiter that they will personally receive your tip rather than the company – particularly if you're paying by credit card.

Tipping in bars and pubs

People generally do not tip in bars and pubs in London. Bartenders sometimes hand back change on a tipping tray, although it's still up to you to choose to leave a tip.

Tipping in hotels in London

If there's no service charge added to your bill in a hotel restaurant, it's customary to tip as for any other restaurant (10 to 15% of the bill).

For room cleaning staff, you can leave an amount of your choosing on departure. Tips for other hotel staff such as concierges and door staff are discretionary and are most commonplace for porters.

Tipping taxi drivers

It is polite to tip 10 to 15% of the taxi fare for black cabs and licensed minicabs in London.

However, most people simply round up the fare to the nearest £1 and tell the driver to "keep the change". If you've had a longer journey and the driver has assisted you with luggage, you may wish to tip a little more, up to £5. 

Learn about British currency and find other useful traveller information.