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Generous Brits leave £34.7 million a week in tips

American Express launches research in conjunction with today’s Young Chef Young Waiter Finals

LONDON, October 3rd - We always knew that British people are a generous bunch, and an American Express survey today confirms this to be true by revealing that Brits are leaving an incredible £34.7 million* in tips a week to show our appreciation for good service in UK restaurants. The survey, launched in conjunction with the national finals of the Young Chef Young Waiter 2005 Competition, also revealed that Brits are becoming more “discerning diners” with 72% reporting that they are more critical of restaurant service compared to five years ago.

With Brits becoming more critical about their dining experiences, the survey also reveals good news for waiters and waitresses as 62% of people said that restaurant service has improved over the last five years. However, a massive 96% believe that poor service can ruin an otherwise perfect meal.

A divide in attitudes towards service between men and women was also uncovered by the survey, with men appreciating an informative waiter above all others, whilst women prefer a more courteous level of service. Women are also more likely to dip into their purses to reward good service than men - 81% compared to 78%.

Other findings from the survey include:
· When asked what makes the perfect waiter 52% of respondents overall cited politeness as the most important trait, followed by efficient (16%), informed (15%) and attentive (15%) waiters
· As a nation we show our gratitude to restaurant staff by leaving a tip 78% of the time
“UK consumers clearly have high expectations about the service they receive during dining experiences, and the survey shows that waiters and waitresses - and the industry in general - are raising the bar in meeting their more discerning needs,” said Kathryn Pretzel-Shiels, Hotel and Restaurant Director for American Express. “The Young Chef Young Waiter Competition reinforces the importance of providing outstanding service to restaurant patrons, and reinforces the industry’s commitment to meeting the increasing expectations of their customers.”

Young Chef Young Waiter is a national competition for chefs and waiters under 25 who are working full time in the UK. Organised by The Restaurant Association and Springboard, the awards are in their 21st year and include regional finals where chefs are tested on their cooking skills including butchery, theoretical knowledge and ability to create a dish from surprise ingredients. Waiters will be tested on their service and interpersonal skills as well as undertaking a written paper to assess their underpinning knowledge. The National Final will be held in Westminster Kingsway College, and the winners will be announced at a presentation dinner to be held on the evening of Monday 3rd October in the House of Commons.

“We are delighted that the rising standards we are seeing every year from chefs and waiters entering the Young Chef Young Waiter Competition are reflected in the appreciation by the general public of greater satisfaction in their restaurant dining out experiences,” commented Bob Cotton, Chef Executive of the British Hospitality Association.

The American Express survey asked a sample of 736 respondents, all of whom dine out at least 1-4 times a month or more, a variety of questions regarding service and tipping habits. A full break down of respondents answers is available on request.


Methodology: The American Express Survey asked a nationally representative sample of UK consumers the percentage of the bill they typically left as a tip. The national average was 8.04%. Therefore for every £100 spent on eating out, £8.04p is the average tip. The 2004 DEFRA (Spelled out acronym to come) study: “UK Quantities of purchases & expenditure on food & drink eaten out” shows that the average person in the UK spends n £7.33 on dining out each week. The £34.7 million figure is 8.04% (average tip) of £7.33 (average weekly dining out spend) x 59,000,000 UK population.

Note* DEFRA figures provide a weekly average of spend averaged out across entire UK population; man, woman and child.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Octopus Communications in the following categories: Men's Interest, Leisure & Hobbies, Women's Interest & Beauty, Food & Drink, Personal Finance, for more information visit