Adults|Spoken|Intermediate|8. To tip or not to tip

Why is there some money under the cup? What is the name for «leaving some money» in the restaurant? What does TIP stand for?


Answer the question

What does «TIP» mean? What does it stand for?

Did you know?

In the 18th century, coffee houses in Britain had a box on each table. A notice on each box read: To Insure Promptness. Customers were encouraged to put money in the box for better service. Soon the money became known by its initials: TIP.


Discuss these questions

  1. Is it normal to tip in your country?
  2. When? How much should you give?
  3. Do you always tip?
  4. How much do you give?
  5. Have you had any good or bad experiences when tipping?


Read the statements below. Decide if you agree or disagree with each one

Match the expressions to the definitions


  • If I’ve just had a very expensive meal, I never leave a tip. I don’t see why I should pay through the nose twice!
  • I never tip. Employers should pay their staff a decent wage. If they don’t, the staff should leave.
  • I eat out a lot on business. I’ve had excellent service and truly awful service. I don’t want trouble. I leave a 10% tip, no matter what the service was like. Just to be on the safe side.
  • Where I come from, everyone thinks we‘re tight with money. That’s nonsense! I tip everyone everywhere — just to try and break down people’s prejudices about us.

Complete the following expressions from the quotes

Would you tip the people from the list? Tick the appropriate boxes


A person to tip

Talk about how much (if at all) you would tip in each of these situations

In Britain it is customary to tip taxi drivers and waiters. Occasionally one may tip hairdressers, hotel porters and chambermaids. For taxi drivers and waiters the average tip is 10-12.5% of the total bill. For hairdressers and chambermaids the sum is discretionary. Often in restaurants a service charge is added to the bill, in which case it is not necessary to leave an additional sum of money.

  • at the hairdresser’s: £45 for a wash and haircut.
  • in a restaurant: £60.50 for dinner for two people (The bill says that a 10% service charge has already been included.)
  • in a taxi: The fare comes to £24 for one person and one heavy suitcase.
  • washing machine delivery: You live on the third floor; you’ve already paid the bill at the shop.
  • when leaving your hotel room: Two of you stayed in the room for a week. You often had sand on your shoes when you came back from the beach.

the maitre d’ — the person in charge of a restaurant or of the people who bring food to your table in a restaurant

to stiff — to not pay someone money that you owe them

to bribe — to try to make someone do something for you by giving them money, presents, or something else that they want

Watch the video and fill in the concept map

How to know how much to tip in restaurants and bars
Don’t get indigestion trying to figure out who to tip the next time you dine out. Rely on these guidelines from etiquette experts. You will need general tipping guidelines and your own judgment.

Step 1

Remember that tipping is voluntary. You are under no obligation to reward bad service. On the other hand, don’t forget that many workers rely on tips to supplement low hourly wages. So, don’t stiff someone for no reason.

Step 2

Tip your server 15 to 20 percent of the bill before tax – less if your service was unsatisfactory. If a sommelier helped you choose wine, tip him them 10 percent of the cost of the wine or 20 dollars, whichever is less. No need to tip it at a buffet unless a server brought you something, in which case 10 percent of the bill is sufficient. Don’t penalize your server for problems with your meal caused by the kitchen. Voice your concerns to the restaurant manager instead.

Step 3

Don’t try to bribe the maitre d’ in the hopes of getting a table without a reservation or cutting the line; it’s considered bad manners, especially if you’re obvious about it. But you can slip them a little something in hopes it will ensure good service. And it’s perfectly fine to reward the host with a 10 or 20 dollar «green handshake» on your way out The trick to greasing a palm is to pass a folded bill, with the denomination visible out of the sight of other patrons.

Step 4

Give a dollar per coat to the coat check clerk unless there’s a fee, in which case there’s no need to tip. Tip the restroom attendant at least 50 cents for each visit.

Step 5

If in a bar, tip the bartender or cocktail server one dollar per drink or 15 percent of the tab, whichever is less. Tip a bit more if the bartender had to make drinks involving blenders or shakers. And tip even if it’s an open bar.

Step 6

When traveling outside the U.S., check what is customary before dining out. Some countries automatically add a service charge to restaurant bills; others expect far less than the 15 to 20 percent that is the norm in the States. And in a few places like Japan, tipping is downright insulting.

Did you know?

One theory on the origin of tipping is that the word «tip» is an acronym for the phrase «to ensure promptness, and comes from the 18th century practice of leaving a few coins on a restaurant table before placing an order.

A colleague or friend has written asking for your advice. Write a reply answering all the questions and giving any further advice you think might be helpful

Useful language

  • promptness
  • a decent wage
  • to be on the safe side
  • to be tight with money
  • to pay through the nose — to pay too much money for something
  • to keep the change
  • there is no point
  • no matter

Read the questions

  1. What is your opinion of the custom of tipping?
  2. What are positive and negative sides?
  3. If you are in a foreign country where tipping is customary, do you believe you should tip, even if it is not customary in your home country?


Write the essay about tipping. Use the questions as a plan


  1. Read the topic and the questions carefully.
  2. Plan what you are going to write about.
  3. Write the text according to your plan.
  4. Check your writing before sending it for evaluation.
  5. Learn the rules and see the sample 🔗here.
  6. Please use 🔗Grammarly to avoid spelling and some grammar mistakes.

A gratuity, or «tip», is amount of money given to a waiter or server in a restaurant in addition to the cost of the bill. In some countries, tipping is customary. In other countries it is not. What is your opinion of the custom of tipping?

Useful language

  • a decent wage
  • to be on the safe side
  • to be tight with money
  • to pay through the nose

Урок Homework Курс
  • Warm-up
  • Tipping in your country
  • Statements about tipping
  • Quotes
  • Who would you tip?
  • How much to tip?
  • An e-mail
  • Tipping