REVEALED: This is Britain’s most tipped profession
• 88% of Brits always tip waiting staff
• Taxis are tipped 77% of the time, compared to Uber drivers at only 19%
• 24% of Brits would feel ashamed if they did not leave a tip for workers
• 21% of Brits would still tip at a restaurant even if the service was poor.
Since 2009, tipping has not been allowed to make up national minimum wage pay, but some
165,000 UK businesses still enjoy British tipping culture.
British marketplace OnBuy.com wanted to look at just what the UK’s code of practice was when
it came to tipping. A survey of over 2,000 participants has revealed who we tip, and why we tip.
How does Britain Tip?
When asked about who Brits tip, the results showed that we were most likely to tip a waiter or
waitress above any other industry worker, with 88% revealing that they tip waiting staff at a
restaurant. At the other end of the scale were Uber drivers, who have been revealed to be the
least tipped profession in the survey with only 19% of respondents stating that they’d give their
Uber driver a little extra cash. This is unlike taxi drivers however, who enjoy the fact that 77%
of Brits tip them (with the majority, or 42%, tipping around 10% of the fare).
Taxis aren’t the only drivers who get extra cash in hand. According to the survey, delivery
drivers are also frequently tipped. In particular, grocery delivery drivers are tipped 56% of the
time, takeaway delivery drivers 49% of the time and shopping delivery drivers 22% of the
What about in the beauty industry?
Many of us have been left shamefaced at the hairdressers when we do not have a couple of pounds
to hand over as a tip, but research has revealed that you are not alone. Although 73% of
participants stated that they tip at the hairdressers, research by the National Hairdressers’
Federation (NHF) shows that 47% of their members have experienced a drop in the number of
tips left by clients.
Steve Warburton, a hair salon owner in Lancashire has said that “since the last recession in
2008/09 things have become tougher and I would say that, certainly for the past 5 or 6 years,
gratuities have reduced.”
Workers in beauty salons may also experience tips less frequently, as the survey results show
that 38% of respondents do not tip after a trip to the salon.
So, what is our motivation to tip in the first place?
When OnBuy asked why Brits tip, the majority of Brits, or 61%, answered that they do so because
“that is just how things are done”. A further 24% said they only tip because they feel a “social
pressure” to do so, and would feel ashamed not to.
In fact, one survey respondent admitted that they had “a taxi driver who fell asleep at the wheel at
a red light. I still tipped him though because I’d feel awkward not to!” In fact, over 2 in 10 Brits
would still tip at a restaurant even if they received mediocre service due to the social stigma attached to not tipping. Similarly, 32% of restaurant-goers would feel too embarrassed to ask
for service charge to be removed from a bill, despite bad service.
15% of participants stated that they tip because they do not feel that workers “earned enough”.
Do you tip…
• Hairdressers: YES 73% | NO 27%
• Bar staff: YES 29% | NO 71%
• Taxi drivers: YES 77% | NO 23%
• Uber drivers: YES 19% | NO 81%
• Delivery drivers
o Takeaways: YES 49% | NO 51%
o Groceries: YES 56% | NO 44%
o Shopping orders (amazon/ASOS/furniture): YES 22% | NO 78%
o Beauty salon workers: YES 62% | NO 38%
• Waiters: YES 88% | NO 12%
Why do you tip?
• Because I would feel ashamed not to/social pressure: 24%
• Because that’s just how things are done: 61%
• Because I don’t think they get paid enough: 15%
Which option best describes what you do at a restaurant?
• I only tip when it has been a good service: 79%
• I always tip, even if service was mediocre: 21%
Would you ask to take off service charge from a restaurant bill for bad service?
• Yes: 68%
• No, I would be too embarrassed to ask: 32%