We don’t have a culture of tipping in London bars. It’s just not the done thing. Not because we are a tight fisted people more because drinks are already ludicrously expensive in most places and because, unlike other countries, being a barman isn’t seen as a legitimate vocation here, more of a stop gap on the way to something else. This is shame as other countries can do it so well. In the U.S the barman takes your drinking very seriously as you tip him after each drink. He’ll make sure your drink is refreshed before you even ask him to, he’ll give you some bar snacks and after you’ve had a few drinks he’ll give you a couple of free ones. There are no such things as measures either.
Here every single last drop of booze is strictly measured to make sure that you don’t have accidentally enjoy even one tiny drop, one wayward bit of booze vapour more than you’ve paid for. Bar staff will sell you a drink only to bark less than 20 seconds later “Ladies and gentleman can you finish up your drinks PUH-leese” and threaten to take it off you unless they see you gulping it down in the manner of someone who has just emerged from a terrifying, thirsty ordeal in the Sahara desert.
Maybe if drink prices were lowered just a smidgen and bar staff became a little more attentive then we could start a culture of tipping here. It’d take a while to get used to at first but as the smoking ban proved seasoned drinkers are a versatile bunch who can adapt to change easily. Incentives like the one displayed above could only help things along.
Spotted by Tom Cullen