Sadly, Bella Italia has once been accused of paying its employees particularly the wait staff with a basic rate less than the national minimum wage with the deficit coming from diners’ tips. This is not the case nowadays, fortunately, as the chain of restaurants has made it a policy that all tips and service charges paid by customers should be kept in full by restaurant employees.
But if you are new to the United Kingdom or you are still unaware about the British custom when it comes to tips, here are a few things to remember. Keep in mind that the British are known for their dining manners for a good reason.
Rule of Thumb
The basic rule of thumb: If you are not satisfied with the service, then don’t leave a tip. You are only expected to leave a tip for the wait staff if and when you are satisfied with the services rendered, whether it is for the delicious food or the fast service or both.
But you are not expected to leave a tip in all types of dining establishments. In fast-food restaurants and in casual dining restaurants, tipping is uncommon although you may want to leave a pound or two in the case of the latter. A casual dining restaurant, by the way, is where you usually pay for your order at the cashier’s counter but your food will be served at your table.
In a restaurant where orders are placed with the waiters and the dishes are served at your table, you may leave a 10% gratuity for the wait staff. While 10% is acceptable, you have to remember that the expectation will vary between two restaurants, as is the case with fine dining restaurants where personal service is a must for the waiters.
Tip or no tip, you should exercise good manners while dining out. Otherwise, you will surely get the cold stares, stiff upper lip, and tut-tuts of your fellow diners.