Tipping culture in Australia

I don’t tip anyone - in this country. In Australia, the cost of goods and services is a one fee payment, and it’s easy to know how much your outlay is. Overseas there are added taxes and tips which make that calculation more difficult.

I tip overseas because that is often the “norm”, and so I comply with whatever their “norm” is. However, I am not keen on importing American cultural “norms” given that their society permeates ours at an increasingly irritating level.

Before we start adopting the characteristics of other nations, let’s firstly decide whether they are preferable to what we already have - and selectively adopt only those which are better than what we already have.

11 Likes

I certainly hope not. I don’t leave tips. It is ridiculously expensive to eat in restaurants, cafes and even takeaways now.
@boblorel - well stated and I absolutely agree. There are many things American that are just the worst and we definitely don’t want them here.

6 Likes

Totally opposed to tipping at all. It isn’t just the USA, UK also have it and it always creates stress at the end of every meal, taxi ride etc.

I think it is demeaning to the employee to have to survive on such an employment system.

Choice should campaign to not just stop the practice, but also to make sure all tourist guidebooks, Hotels, taxis, restaurants advertise that Australia culture doesn’t include this, doesn’t like it, doesn’t need it - don’t do it!

6 Likes

Absolutely right. Obviously employers want to introduce tipping in order to then reduce wages.

2 Likes

Tipping is a US traditional mainly because wages are obscenely inadequate. Today nothing has changed and the US does not have strong Unions to stand up for the low paid worker, as in Australia. There is no way tipping has any place in Australia. It is simply not necessary and should not be encouraged

3 Likes

I disagree with your reasoning. In Australia the award system controlled by the unions gives workers fair wages, unlike in the US. There is no reason to tip in Australia

3 Likes

I will leave a tip when I believe that I have received good service. I do this for table service in a restaurant and the likes of taxis, I do not see it as topping up wages but it is my way of saying “thank you”. As a rule, my tip is cash and not an addition to the bill.
When I travel overseas I am more likely to tip, as countries other than Australia do have less fair wage systems. In particular I always include a tip with my bill when I go on a ship on a cruise, this is purely voluntary. The staff on these ships are generally picked because they can be paid very low wages, which is why the cost of cruising is cheap!! I do get annoyed when I hear Australians say they do not tip because they “should” be paid properly, they are not and they are not employed under Australian work conditions.
As far as tips becoming an expectation is Australia, my reaction is a definite ‘no’! I have been on a couple of guided tours where there is an announcement requesting tips to be given as ‘you leave’ - I do not give a tip then, I have paid good money for the tour and the company should pay proper wages.

5 Likes

I’ve been tipping for years.
When eating at a fine dining restaurant, the service is fantastic…

2 Likes

When reading the responses, the following thoughts passed through my mind: •I wonder whether this person is an employer or an employee? •What sort of income do they receive on a regular basis? •Is their work covered by an award or a contract? •Have they ever worked in a job that was covered by an award? •What age are they? •What sort of savings do they have? •What is their debt level?
There are so many unexplored values lurking beneath many of the published comments.

2 Likes

Good point about the USA. When I first started visiting there around 30 years ago for work, the standard tip was 10%. Then it crept up to 15% and now it is apparently 20%! That is utterly ridiculous, as prices have risen significantly in that time, but not necessarily the relative cost of living.
I am quite happy to tip for excellent service anywhere, but I hate having to make up for employers paying only a pittance; that is just a ripoff and an example of “hidden” pricing.

3 Likes

As are the prices! THEN you have to add a 20% tip on top. AARRGGHH!

1 Like

This is where it gets beyond ridiculous. You need a torch and a magnifying glass to read the bill when it is presented, so you can easily add a tip when it has already been included! Plus, how do you know that anything paid on the bill will go to the people who deserve it? In many cases the owner keeps it all. The only way to ensure the workers get anything is to leave cash under your plate.
Also, a restaurant may LOOK affordable based on the menu prices, but when you have added state tax of up to 10% or more, plus a 20% tip, the final price always ends up being far more than it seemed.

4 Likes

Just a note, in the USA it is illegal in most places to post tax-inclusive prices. Although ‘price+tax=total’ can be shown it rarely is. Those pesky odd amounts that result from tax added are one reason the ‘precious $USD0.01 coin’ is held in such high esteem for use with cash purchases. It also reflects US culture where ‘every penny in my pocket is precious’.

The rationale is consumers need to know how much tax they are paying so it cannot be hidden. Except in special circumstances where government might be sensitive such as fuel where federal excise is $0.184/US gallon plus an average of $0.2862 per gallon from additional state taxes. It is not exactly hidden, but neither is it front and centre.

As regards the thread, in the US tips are, in theory, on the price of the meal or service, but most compute it on the final amount including tax. Funny that most do not seem to care and consider any difference disappears from mental rounding or the use of currency/coin, and cultural norms are what they are.

2 Likes

I also despise tipping as a culture/habit, although I’d say it seems to be being pushed less by restaurants these days with electronic payments. I’d say my USA experiences have made me less likely to tip elsewhere.

I generally travel to the USA a couple of times a year for work, and with their system you really have to, and I do, tip. I do think it is a soft step into institutionalized corruption though as it encourages passing money to get people to do the job they are paid for.

3 Likes

In the USA therein lies the rub. They are not paid much. Servers can be paid a whole $2.13 hr. It is presented as $2.13 hr + tips when hiring :roll_eyes: Re comments above about paying income tax on it, by definition those tips, received or not, will at least equal the minimum wage for taxation.

My point and the point of US tipping culture in the US is that some workers are not really paid by the employer, by any reasonable definition, but yet that $2.13 is contentious for the ‘employers’ unwillingness to pay more because the servers get tips. Catch 22. American tipping is an insidious system in an ‘I got mine get your own and low price is everything’ culture as I see it.

4 Likes

During the couple of trips we made to the US some years ago, we were told that some of the persons who worked at the front of the hotels such as the porters and the doormen were not paid at all, relying solely on tips received, and that the concieges actually paid to work at the hotels and derived their income from selling tickets for tours, concerts, plays, sporting matches and such like.

On one occassion in Atlanta, we witnessed the taxi driver the doorman had called for us slip the doorman a payment as we were getting into the taxi.

What a dog-eat-dog society.

6 Likes

I do not support tipping. It is customary in the USA because staff wages, especially in the hospitality industry, are exceptionally low! That is not the case here. I will tip myself if I believe the service given is over and above that expected for the job but never as a matter of course! So for me tipping is exceptional not customary!

5 Likes

The article begins with references to a Michelin starred restaurant but at paragraph 5 explains how tipping began in the US.

Since this topic began in Feb 2019 I have noticed a significant increase in hospitality terminals that ‘encourage’ tipping by showing a screen to enter the amount or selecting a percent, all subject to the prevailing surcharge.

2 Likes

Joining the US led tipping culture, are we?

Looks that way, whether we ‘cooperate’ or not it is increasingly in our faces.

5 Likes

No. Just a QR code initiated application designed to pander to the gullible.

If people want to pay an automatically generated tip for no service, then I say let them go for it.

1 Like