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Understanding Tipping Etiquette in Glasgow

Understanding Tipping Etiquette in Glasgow

Well, the tricky subject of tipping is a problem faced by all travellers, isn’t it? And just like Scotland’s unpredictable weather, Glaswegian tipping customs can be a bit difficult to decipher.

That’s why we’re here to help you navigate through the tipping culture in Glasgow, making sure you feel like a savvy local instead of a bumbling tourist. So read on!

Tipping at Restaurants

What are the standard tipping percentages for restaurants in Glasgow?

Glaswegian restaurant

In Glasgow, the standard tipping norm falls around 10% to 15% of your total bill, given that the service was up to the mark. However, tipping in Scotland isn’t typically seen as mandatory but rather as an expression of appreciation for good service.

Keep in mind, though, that given that ’round change’ coins often clutter up our pockets (you know, those 1 and 2 pence pieces), it’s totally alright to round up your bill to the nearest pound number—the servers usually appreciate it!

Is it customary to tip at fast-food or takeout restaurants in Glasgow?

customer giving or leaving a tip to a bar staff

It is generally not customary to tip at fast-food or takeout restaurants in Glasgow, as workers there are paid hourly wages. After all, there’s minimal table service involved, but this is where the Glaswegian courtesy comes in.

If you’ve got an A-grade service, it’ll be particularly appreciated if you leave a small tip. But let’s put a pin on high expectations here; while it’s always great to show appreciation, tipping culture here isn’t as pronounced as it is in full-service restaurants.

How do I handle service charges included in the bill in a Glasgow restaurant?

restaurant bill with a service charge included

Some Glasgow restaurants include a discretionary service charge, usually around 10% to 12.5%, with your bill, especially if you’re dining with a larger group. The good news is, if you notice this on your bill, there’s absolutely no need for any additional tipping.

In cases where the service had you raising your eyebrows, and not in a good way, remember that “discretionary” is the keyword. You are well within your rights to request that the service charge be removed from your bill.

Tipping at Pubs and Bars

Is it typical to give tips for drinks in Glasgow?

fast food restaurant counter or table

In Glasgow, it’s generally not typical to tip for drinks at the bar as you would in some other countries. 

The whole tipping situation is pretty laid-back in Glaswegian pubs—no eyebrow-raising or side-eyes if you opt not to tip. However, if you’ve run up a tab for the evening, then rounding up or putting on a wee bit extra—say 10%—can be a nice gesture.

How do I tip after ordering at a bar in Glasgow?

lively Glasgow pub or bar

At pubs and bars in Glasgow, tipping isn’t really mandatory. Unless the bar staff has been extra friendly or concocted that cocktail just the way you like it, then feel free to show your appreciation with some spare change or a pound note.

Slipping a tip to your bartender might also earn you some good old Glaswegian goodwill—you never know when that extra splash of whiskey might find its way! But remember, it’s generally not a cause of offence if you don’t leave a tip at the bar.

Tipping Cab Drivers

What are the standard tipping rules for taxi services in Glasgow?

taxi driver in Glasgow while driving

The standard tipping practice for taxi services typically involves rounding up the fare to the nearest pound or tipping about 10% of the total fare. However, it should be noted that tipping is not a mandatory standard and is left to the passenger’s discretion.

Your cab driver will appreciate the small tip, and you’ll get to feel like a clued-in local! But, also remember, tip or not, Glaswegian cabbies are always up for a good blather, whether it’s about the Scottish weather or the hidden Glasgow spots to check out.

Is tipping expected for ride-sharing services like Uber?

Uber car and the driver

Tipping for ride-sharing services like Uber is not mandatory as the app facilitates a cashless transaction. However, Uber does have an in-app tipping option if passengers wish to reward drivers for exceptional service.

Plus, rates are often set before the ride begins, leaving less ambiguity compared to traditional taxis. 

Tipping at Hotels

What are the suggested tipping amounts for hotel staff?

hotel guest leaving a tip

In general, for hotel staff in Glasgow, it is customary to give between £1-£2 per bag to hotel bellmen and around £2 per day to housekeeping staff. However, tipping is completely at your discretion and should reflect the level of service you have received

For instance, if a bellman helps schlepp your massive suitcase up to your room, a quid or two would be a fitting expression of appreciation. You might also want to drop a wee tip each day for housekeeping; just leave it on the bedside table or in the bathroom.

Is it customary to tip at B&Bs?

happy guest leaving a tip on the table

Tipping at Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) is not customary, as the service charge is often included in the rates. A big smile and a genuine word of thanks usually go a long way here.

However, if you feel that the service has been top-notch or if someone has gone above and beyond to make your stay extra special—managing a tricky dietary requirement at breakfast or arranging a Lochside tour—a tip would certainly be appreciated.

Tipping for Personal Services

How does tipping work for hairdressers, barbers, and spas?

Glaswegian salon

In Glasgow, it is customary to tip hairdressers, barbers, and spa staff about 10-15% of the total bill. However, this is not mandatory and is entirely up to the customer’s discretion based on the quality of service received

If you’re over the moon with your new hairdo or massage experience, feel free to add a bit more.

What is the tipping etiquette for tour guides?

group of tourists with their tour guide

For tour guides, it’s customary to tip between 10-20% of the tour cost if the service has been good, but this remains optional and not mandatory. The tip can vary based on the length and complexity of the tour, and the level of customer satisfaction

Special Circumstances

Should I tip even if the service is terrible in Glasgow?

dissatisfied customer looking at a restaurant bill

If the service is unsatisfactory, you are under no obligation to leave a tip. Again, in Glasgow, tipping is not obligatory and is often seen as a reward for good service.

If the service is really dire, you might want to discuss it with the manager. Remember, though, that Glaswegians are known for their fair-mindedness, so it’s important to keep your feedback constructive.

How do we handle tipping in a group setting in Glasgow?

group of friends in a restaurant

In a group setting in Glasgow, each person generally contributes around 10–15% of what they spend, and collectively, this should amount to a decent tip. 

However, some places might add a service charge, especially for larger groups, usually 12.5% in Glasgow (do note that this is technically discretionary, so if you’ve had less-than-stellar service, you can ask for it to be removed).

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