Tipping Etiquette (from the customer’s point of view)

One of the perks of working in a front-of-house position is the opportunity to supplement your income with (sometimes extremely generous) tips. How it’s given and how much often depends on the type of place that you’re in and varies from country to country. I was surprised to learn recently that in parts of Austria and Germany, it is customary to announce to the waiter the amount to which you would like to round up the bill when paying.
Being very British in my attitude to money, this struck me as rife with problems and possible embarrassment. It seemed tantamount to broadcasting how good you thought the service was which caused me to over tip wildly to try to make up for the awkwardness I caused when my maths deserted me and I ended up tipping ten cents for a fifteen euro bill. This experience made me more appreciative of the system we have in the UK, where the amount we choose to give is either a closely guarded secret between us and the card machine or left on the table as we leave. That said, neither method absolves you from being a poor tipper- coppers are never ok. Are there any other hard and fast tipping rules?

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