To tip or not to tip?

Team MC reveal their tipp-iquette – when, where and how much should you really tip?

We all know that feeling at the end of a meal – and no, we’re not talking about overeating guilt or one too many glasses of Sancerre – we’re talking about tipping.

David Cameron famously failed to tip his waitress during a recent holiday in Italy. He was, apparently, so wracked with guilt that he later made amends and went all the way back to Tuscany to apologise and leave a generous tip for waitress Francesca Ariani.

His extraordinary about-turn (or ‘PR stunt’…) got the Marie Claire team talking. Should tipping be mandatory? Shouldn’t it be based on how good the service is? And if we decide to tip, is there a set amount?

A service charge of 12.5% to 15% is added to your bill in most restaurants but leaving a tip is not obligatory in the UK.

‘If they’ve added a service charge automatically and the service was bad, I make a point of circling it and not paying it,’ says MC’s entertainment assistant and Girl About Town, Martha Hayes. ‘But it depends on the country. I always consult a handbook if I’m abroad.’

‘I’m a definite tipper,’ says Marie Claire features editor Kasie Davies. ‘Hairdressers (£5), cabs (£1) and restaurants (12%) are my staples. I hate to say it, but I even tip when I haven’t been particularly pleased with the service. What’s that about?!’

But MC’s beauty writer Jessica Hough believes in tough love. ‘I tip entirely reflective of service. If it’s good, I’ll tip way over the odds but if it’s poor I’ll leave nothing.’

What’s your view on leaving a tip? Do you quibble over £1? Let Marie Claire know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

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