90% of Scottish diners always leave a tip, according to survey

A new survey has revealed the tipping habits of Scots and the results may surprise you.

Published 2nd Nov 2017
Updated 2 nd Nov 2017

As a nation, Scots have a reputation for being a bit “overprotective” of our purse strings.

But a recent survey by restaurant booking website 5pm.co.uk has smashed the myth that Scots are stingy by revealing 90 per cent of Scottish restaurant diners always tip - no matter the quality of service.

The survey, which was sent to restaurant goers asking recipients “Do you always tip?” 90 per cent of the 534 Scottish diners who replied said yes with just 10 per cent answering no.

Those who answered the survey were then asked how much they tip.

The vast majority said they tip 10 per cent of the bill, with 79 per cent of recipients selecting that option.

The next most popular answer was 15 per cent of the bill with 12 per cent of recipients saying they tip that amount.

Four percent of those surveyed said choose to tip 20 per cent of the bill and 3 per cent said they round up to the nearest pound.

Reasons for tipping

Kind Scots cited consideration for the waiting staff as their reason for tipping, with comments on the survey including “It’s not the waiter’s fault if the food is poor. Also, they are not well paid,” and “Even if the service is bad, I feel a tip is necessary.”

Many of those surveyed were concerned by revelations in recent years that tips don’t always go to the waiting staff.

“I don’t tip on my card, always at the table to the restaurant staff, not the company,” said one recipient. “I always ask if tips are shared and pay cash, not on card,” said another.

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“I prefer to tip in cash rather than service charge on bill,” said one.

In the comments section, many of those surveyed said how much they tipped depended on how good the service was.

Comments included: “Amount would depend on service and food. Always at least 10 per cent.”

“I tip more than 10 per cent if the service has been excellent” and “I tip minimum 10 per cent, more if service is better than average.”

Tipping etiquette

How much to tip restaurant waiting staff remains one of the most confounding issues of dining etiquette, with each country having its own rules and expectations of whether to tip and how much to tip.

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Influential New York restaurateur Danny Meyer recently banned tipping in his 14 restaurants instead raising the salaries of his staff along with menu prices. The bold move left many commenters wondering if this signalled the end of tipping.

In recent years, the news that some restaurant groups were keeping 100 per cent of tips caused an outcry from diners, resulting in a UK government consultation into changing the law to ensure restaurant tips went to waiting staff (at present, there is no law to implement this).

Generous Scots

Ronnie Somerville, founder of 5pm.co.uk, said the high percentage of Scottish diners who always tip was a “revelation.”

He said: “We’ve always known our 5pm Dining customers are kind and generous folk but the discovery that 90% of those we surveyed always tip is a revelation.

“Even though restaurant tipping in Scotland is not required, the comments left on the survey showed Scottish diners firmly believe in the practice of tipping and their incentive for doing so is to reward waiting staff.”

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