41% of Australians never tip waitstaff

5th July 2021 | Eativity editors

A new Finder survey has revealed that 41 percent of Australians refuse to tip waitstaff after eating at a nice restaurant. According to the survey, 39 percent say they’ll tip if the service was exceptionally good, while just one in five will always leave a tip.

Among those who tip their servers, 88 percent give a percentage based on the size of their bill, with the average tipping amount sitting at 8.6 percent. The remaining 22 percent simply leave a set amount of money regardless of how much the bill was.

In countries like the US, where waitstaff are paid very low wages, tipping is not just the norm, it’s expected, as staff rely on tips as part of their earnings. Here, in Australia, hospitality workers generally make a relatively adequate minimum wage, which means that staff don’t have to rely on customer tips to make a liveable income.

Hospitality workers have had a tough year, so if they deserve a tip, show your thanks.

“For that reason, customers are not usually expected to tip, but it is a nice way to reward good service, especially at a nice restaurant,” says Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder. “Depending on the type of restaurant and the quality of your experience, tipping between five percent and 20 percent is generally considered the norm. But don’t feel pressured to tip if you didn’t enjoy your meal or found the service to be underwhelming.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Australian has spent $2085 on restaurants, cafes and takeaway food over the past year. Tipping 10 percent on just half of these occasions would cost the average Aussie $104 per year.

When compared to the other side of the ditch, Aussies are relatively generous with their spare change. A survey in New Zealand found only 10 percent of Kiwis leave a tip at restaurants. But Australians are still less likely to tip than those from the US. Only seven percent of Americans don’t tip, while 64 percent will always tip more than 18 percent.