“Do You Tip in England Pubs? Cheers Love, It’s Time to Break the Piggie Bank!”

By John Goldsmith •  Updated: 11/03/23 •  4 min read

Do You Tip in England Pubs? Cheers Love, It’s Time to Break the Piggie Bank!


When traveling to a new country, it is important to familiarize yourself with its customs and etiquette, including tipping practices. In England, tipping can be a bit different than in other countries. This blog post will explore the topic of tipping in English pubs and provide guidance for travelers who are unsure about whether or how much they should tip.

Tipping Etiquette in England

In general, tipping in England is not obligatory but is appreciated. It is seen as a way to show gratitude for good service. Unlike in some countries where tipping is expected and often added to the bill automatically, tipping in England is more discretionary.

When it comes to pubs specifically, the culture surrounding tipping can be slightly different from restaurants. Pubs are known for their informal atmosphere and many customers may not feel obligated to leave a tip. However, it is still common practice to leave a small amount if you have received good service.

Tipping in Pubs: Is it Expected?

The informality of pub culture means that tipping may not always be expected or customary. Many locals will simply pay for their drinks without leaving an additional tip. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t tip at all.

If you have had attentive and friendly service from the staff at a pub, it is generally appreciated if you leave a small tip as a token of your appreciation.

Factors Influencing Tipping Decisions in Pubs

Several factors can influence your decision on whether or not to tip when visiting an English pub:

1) Service quality and attentiveness of staff: If the staff has provided exceptional service during your visit, leaving a tip may be appropriate.
2) Order complexity or customization: If you have placed complicated orders or made special requests that required additional effort from the staff, consider leaving a small tip.
3) Time spent at the pub: If you have occupied a table or a bar stool for an extended period, leaving a tip can be a way to show appreciation for the staff’s patience and the use of their space.
4) Group size and bill total: If you are visiting with a larger group or your bill is substantial, leaving a tip becomes more customary as it is seen as courteous and generous.

Alternative Ways to Show Appreciation

If you prefer not to leave a monetary tip, there are alternative ways to show your appreciation:

1) Buying drinks for staff members: Instead of leaving cash on the table, offer to buy a round of drinks for the staff who have served you.
2) Leaving positive online reviews: Take some time after your visit to leave positive reviews on platforms such as Google, Yelp, or TripAdvisor. This helps promote the pub and acknowledges excellent service.
3) Expressing gratitude verbally: A simple “thank you” or compliment to the staff can go a long way in showing your appreciation.

Local Customs and Regional Differences

It is important to note that tipping customs may vary across different regions in England. In some areas, tipping in pubs might be more common than in others. For example, in metropolitan cities like London where tourism is high, people may be more accustomed to receiving tips. On the other hand, in smaller towns or rural areas where locals frequent their local pub regularly, tipping may not be as prevalent.

Advice for Travelers: What Should You Do?

If you find yourself unsure about whether or how much to tip in an English pub, here are some practical tips:

1) Observe local behavior: Take note of how locals around you are behaving when it comes to tipping. If most people aren’t leaving tips, it might indicate that it’s not expected.
2) Ask locals discreetly if uncertain about local customs: If you feel comfortable doing so, discreetly ask someone local about their tipping habits in pubs.
3) Use your discretion based on experiences: If you have received exceptional service or feel compelled to show your gratitude, leaving a small tip won’t be frowned upon.

Conclusion: Cheers Love, It’s Time to Break the Piggie Bank!

In conclusion, tipping in English pubs is not obligatory but appreciated. While it may not always be expected, leaving a small tip for good service is seen as a gesture of appreciation. Remember to take into account factors such as service quality and personal preference when deciding whether or how much to tip. Ultimately, it’s important to enjoy the pub experience while being mindful of local customs and showing gratitude for excellent service.

John Goldsmith