Tipping has always been a grey area in the UK, and the “unwritten rules” that many people follow are very much open to interpretation.
Simon Jersey’s research shows that the way in which a person dresses can have a major bearing on whether or not they receive a tip from a customer.
As our infographic shows, one in five Brits admitted that they would not leave a gratuity if they felt the person who was providing them with a service looked scruffy. On the flipside, a further 21% said they would leave a bigger tip if the worker looked “smart and tidy”.
It goes to show that an employee’s workwear choices are still hugely important…
Why your workwear decisions take on greater significance at Christmas
The lack of any formally agreed guidelines means that British workers simply cannot predict how much money they will make from tips.
While some customers habitually leave 10% of the total value of the bill as a token of their appreciation, others take a different approach. In fact, our research confirmed that the average Brit only leaves a 7% tip, and one in ten of us never leave any form of tip at all.
In addition to this, one in five people admitted that they have been told that they don’t leave big enough tips – either by their friends, relatives, work colleagues or even the person they were tipping!
Of course, a lot of Britons feel a little more generous during the festive period – our findings confirmed as much.
Almost one in four of our survey respondents (23%) said that they increased their gratuity by an average of £3.54 at Christmas and one in 10 said they would leave a tip during the festive season even though they rarely do so throughout the rest of the year.
“Staff working harder” and “more anti-social hours” at this time of year are among the top reasons for the larger tips, as well as people generally being in a better mood – it is the season of goodwill after all!
Which professions receive the highest tips?
Naturally, workers in certain professions are more likely to receive tips than others.
Our survey results revealed that waiters and waitresses are the most likely to receive extra money for their services (at any time of year), followed by taxi drivers.
Hairdressers, hotel staff and coffee shop workers also featured on the list. As we’ve already alluded to, there seems to be a direct correlation between the way employees are dressed and the value of tips that they receive.
Indeed, we discovered that one in 10 people have chosen not to tip somebody because they weren’t wearing a uniform.
Although being polite, friendly and helpful all count for a lot, your appearance can make a big difference too!
Which regions of the UK are the most generous (and who are the least likely to give extra)?
In general, 62% of Brits said they would leave a bigger tip if the person who served them was polite, while another 61% would reward someone for putting in more effort than they really needed.
More than half would also offer a larger tip if they had a friendly and chatty member of staff, with others being generous with the gratuity if they smiled, appeared busy but still served them well, or completed work earlier than expected. More than one in 20 admitted to leaving a bigger tip than usual simply because they thought the person providing the service was attractive.
But does geography play a part in how likely you are to receive a tip?
According to our findings, Londoners are the most generous, leaving £23 on average.
This is understandable given that wages and the cost of living are notoriously higher in the capital, but it’s still interesting to note that workers in London can expect to receive more than twice as much as their counterparts in the East Midlands (£11).
Helen Harker, Design Manager at Simon Jersey, said the research should act as a reminder that in an era when many companies are introducing more relaxed dress codes for their staff, it still pays to look smart when you have a customer-facing job.
“Britons tend to have an unorthodox approach to tipping, so it’s important that workers who rely on gratuity to top up their income take every measure possible to increase their chances of getting a tip,” she commented.
“Being polite and attentive are a minimum requirement. As our research showed, a person’s appearance can make all the difference, with one in five people admitting that they would give more if they felt the person serving them had made an effort to look presentable. Whether you’re a hairdresser, hotel worker or waiter, having a smart uniform could prove to be profitable, particularly in the run up to Christmas when customers are feeling a little more generous.”
To view the infographic in full, click on the image below:
If you would like to use the infographic for your own website, simply copy and paste the embed code below onto your web page: