The British are known for being less than complimentary tippers, but with COVID-19 forcing many small businesses to close, it begs the question of whether the UK is now becoming more generous in an effort to save local businesses.
The 2021 Tipping Index commissioned by card payment specialist takepayments Limited, surveyed circa. 2,000 consumers  to compare their tipping attitudes from before the pandemic and now.
The annual index reveals how much consumers tip across different industries, whether people are more willing to tip when using card machines, what are the factors driving people to tip, and if they have encountered the controversial “Covid Fee”.
Three in five Brits only leave a tip if they are impressed with the service
The findings reveal that despite the stereotype of Brits being terrible tippers, less than one in ten (7%) choose to never leave a tip. Over a third (34%) of Brits always leave a tip and three in five (59%) tip if they are impressed with the level of service.
Of those who don’t leave a tip, over a third (34%) said they have already paid for the service and a further third (33%) said they don’t tip because they can’t afford to.
For those that do, when asked what the main reason for leaving a tip is, nearly two thirds (63%) said they tip to show they are satisfied with the service provided, one in two (50%) said they tip if they like the person providing the service and one in three (33%) state they tip out of common courtesy.
More than a third (37%) of Brits even said they would leave a tip if they were unhappy with the service and one in ten (11%) would tip if they “fancy” the person serving them!
Takeaway delivery drivers more likely to receive a tip thanks to the pandemic
When it comes to the professions most favoured when tipping, respondents were asked to rank twelve professions that usually receive tips in order of who they tip most frequently before the pandemic vs. now.
The findings reveal waiters/waitresses as the profession who are most likely to receive tips now as well as before the pandemic, followed by hairdressers/barbers.
However, since the pandemic, takeaway drivers have seen their role in society become more valued which has been reciprocated in their tipping ranking position. Pre-pandemic takeaway delivery drivers ranked in fifth position, where as now they are the third most frequently tipped profession.
While waiters/waitresses rank in first position across all key cities, Newcastle is the only city in the UK to rank hairdressers/barbers above waiters/waitresses.