Do people tip in Ireland? This is quite a complicated question, even for Irish people. The best way to describe the tipping culture in Ireland is that tips are a nice surprise but rarely expected. There is a minimum legal wage in Ireland of approximately €9 per hour or $10 US dollars. There are very few Irish workers who factor tips into their overall wage so they are not depending on this money to make ends meat. There are however some unscrupulous employers who might not pay the minimum wage. Luckily this is extremely rare, so you can assume that each person you encounter in the service industry is paid a reasonable wage.
The only people that might expect a tip in Ireland are waiting staff in restaurants. The tipping system in most restaurants in Ireland will be outlined on the menu. You will either see “Service Included” or “A Service Charge of X amount will apply”. Service Included, means that the restaurant management have factored the gratuity into the cost of your meal, meaning you do not have to tip. A Service Charge, means that you will be required to pay a gratuity whether you like it or not. Finally if there is nothing written on your menu the staff will usually expect a tip of approximately 10%-15% of the total cost of your bill. When you tip in Ireland the staff are normally very grateful meaning you get a nice warm fuzzy feeling like you have done something good for another person.
Bars, Pubs and Clubs
Are you expected to tip in pubs and clubs in Ireland? No! This is certainly one of the areas of Irish tipping culture where a gratuity is very welcome, but certainly not expected. Some Irish people will use tactical tipping in pubs and bars. People will tip tactically if they want to skip the queue at a busy bar or club on a Friday or Saturday night. Because tipping is not the norm the bar staff remember the faces of those who tip and are far more likely to serve you promptly the next time. The average amount to tip in a pub in Dublin is between 10% and 15%. Do not leave the tip on the bar like in the United States, hand it to the bar man or ask him to keep the amount you want to tip, like “keep two Euro for yourself my friend", thumbs up is optional.
Unlike other countries security staff are never to be offered a gratuity. If you do offer security staff gratuity to gain entry or skip a queue you are likely to encounter some hostility, so do not do it.
Taxi drivers, or cab drivers as they are known in other parts of the world, do not expect a tip. Under no circumstances should you feel obligated to tip, but if you do tip it will most likely be greeted with a smile and a “good on ya pal”. Irish people either do not tip or else they round up the fair to the nearest Euro. All taxis in Ireland use a meter which should be visible to the passengers at all times, so you should know towards the end of your journey how much if any, you intend to give as a tip.
Bus/Walking Tours and Day Excursions
This is a tricky area of tipping culture in Ireland as the vast majority of the people that take tours and excursions are obviously not Irish, so international rules apply. Some Walking Tours are free so the tour guide depends on gratuities to make a living. On the free walking tours the policy on gratuities will be made abundantly clear at the start of the tour. For all other excursions around the city it is entirely at your discretion whether you want to tip or not.
Cafés and Bistros
In small cafés and restaurants gratuities are a welcomes surprise. Sometimes you will see a small tip jar at the cash register with the word “Tips” or a funny slogan written on it and some coins inside. Feel free to add to these coins if you are happy with the service or you are in a good mood. Once again, there is no obligation to tip like almost everywhere in Ireland.