If you’re a first time traveller to America, chances are you will not be prepared for the tipping culture. Thanks to a lack of a standard minimum wage, tipping for many employees is the bulk portion of their wages. As a result, a wad of $1 bills is almost a necessity, no doubt also helping to keep the money changers in business. But what is the etiquette in countries that do have a mandated minimum wage, where a tip is often a bonus for good service?

Ok, a bit of a cheap question but what’s the general consensus on tipping in Australia? Tipping bellboys, bar staff, taxis, waiters, room service? When do you tip and how much? Spending a lot of time in the US I’ve gotten used to tipping 10-20%, but find that hard to swallow at times in Oz.

Opinion certainly seems to differ when it comes to our members and tipping at home. Some feel that good service deserves a reward, although it’s often limited to certain industries or occupations.

There is no consensus! We don’t tip as a matter of “right” and you don’t have to tip anything, unlike US where they are paid rubbish wages and rely on tips. If they are just doing their job I think many won’t tip (e.g. Bellboys, taxis, room service). Some won’t even tip for good service but I personally will round up 5-10% ( more likely the latter) and occasionally more but it’s all about whether they really have provided great service rather than a “consensus”.

Others feel that people are paid well enough, and aside from rounding up to prevent loose change, tipping is unnecessary.

I don’t believe in tipping in general and I certainly do not believe in forced tipping. I will leave some leftover loose change around if I end up going to a restaurant which isn’t too often as I find restaurants overpriced. I will round up taxi fares to nearest dollar. I cannot think of anywhere else I need to tip.

Another consideration with tipping may often be who actually gets rewarded. Some stores or restaurants share tips. Often, the owner will pool the tips at close of business, taking a share and then distributing the balance amongst the staff. In that situation, is good service getting the reward it deserves, or is it recognition that often a team effort is required when it comes to great service?

Paying for good service is part of the bill already in Australia, and opinion varies greatly whether a tip may be required. We are lucky to live in a country where employment does result in a minimum wage you can live on. Do you tip when not travelling, and if so is it restricted to certain industries that are service centric, join the conversation HERE.


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