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the ten percent

Here’s how much you should tip in Ireland

The BIG question everyone asks themselves when the bill arrives.

I take the fifth Lars Plougmann Lars Plougmann

WE’VE COVERED THE thorny topic of who in Ireland should be tipped and when – but what about how much?

When you’re in a restaurant and the bill comes it’s hard to know exactly how much extra to leave.

It’s a minefield

Some people have very strong views on the matter

Unlike America, Ireland doesn’t have a defined tipping culture – which makes it so much more confusing for people eating and drinking out.

But what do real Irish waiters think about it? talked to one who has worked in countless restaurants in Dublin over the last ten years:

There are different factors that determine what the tip will be. If it’s a quick lunch they will just round up the bill to the nearest figure. If you’re sitting down and having starters then it usually works out at between 10-15 per cent – which is a good guide in my experience.

split checkSource: Dan4th

So, is rounding up acceptable for dinners too?

Yes, I would round up. If it was €53 then leaving €60 tends to happen in Ireland.

It's easier than working out certain percentages - and seems to be the norm for Irish people.

The up and down nature of tips leaves many waiting staff exasperated - it's just so unpredictable:

It is frustrating, most waiters I know are in college or doing something else as well as waiting tables. Getting good tips makes it all that easier for waiters. Some nights you would end up with €40 and other nights it would be €100.
I do think tips are a good thing because they incentivise good service in restaurants. The nature of the work means you are on your feet for so long that having the tips keeps standards up.

tippers Twitter Twitter

Adam Kilbane, manager of Dublin restaurant and bar L Mulligan Grocer told that it is a controversial subject, but it should ultimately come down to service:

If the service is good tip away but if it’s not then it’s not necessary. It’s all based on the quality.

What about the 10 per cent figure that is often used as a benchmark by people?

In Ireland it’s more rounding up - so if something is around €55 then people would leave €60 and we like it that way. The set percentages used in the American system just don’t translate here.

Tip on food but not on drinks. There are exceptions like if it is a cocktail that took over five minutes preparing - but it's a good general rule.

restaurant hitsnooze hitsnooze

For tourists coming into Ireland - especially from places that have a tipping culture - it can be a confusing situation. Our experienced waiter said that the lack of a tipping culture in Europe sometimes has an impact on American tourists doing tours of the continent - as they think Ireland is the same and then don't tip at all.

The GoIreland website has a handy guide for tipping which rings true with what staff say:

Personnel will usually expect a tip of around ten to fifteen per cent. Or a round-up to the nearest (sensible) amount payable in "the folding stuff" (starting with the €5 note).

So the general consensus runs that you should round the bill up to the nearest reasonable amount - and it seems that if you want to work out the 10-15 per cent then that's grand too.

So now, where do you stand? How much of a tip should you give when a bill is presented to you in a restaurant after good service? 

Poll Results:

10-15 per cent (5960)
I just round up to the nearest figure (3939)
No tip at all (2093)

Written by David Elkin and posted on

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More: So, who exactly should you be tipping in Ireland?>

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