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New research reveals 50% of Australians feel confused about tipping when overseas, with one in five choosing not to leave a gratuity when dining out!

July 17, 2019 Business News No Comments Email Email

When it comes to tipping overseas, Australian holidaymakers have been named among the most confused diners and possibly the most inconsistent tippers, as revealed by OpenTable – the world’s leading online restaurant reservation platform.

The inaugural travel and tipping report surveyed diners from 22 countries around the world and found that 16% of Australians had admitted to leaving a restaurant without tipping! Despite this Australians are not alone, with two in five diners in Denmark (22%) and Finland (20%) confirming they do not regularly tip as gratuities are often included in Scandinavian restaurants’ bills and hospitality staff wages are relatively high.

As a nation that prides itself on having one of the best award wages for hospitality staff, tipping isn’t a formal part of the Australian culture and is just one of the reasons why diners are left pondering, “to tip or not to tip?”, particularly when travelling internationally.

Half of the Australian population (50%) admits to being confused by tipping when holidaying overseas, with the majority of Australians (51%) saying they would prefer tips to be included in the prices at restaurants. This sentiment is echoed globally with 45% of diners surveyed saying they would also like to see this introduced.

From countries like Japan and China where tipping can be considered rude, to markets like USA and Canada where some workers depend on gratuities as part of their salary, it’s easy to see why travellers are puzzled. OpenTable aims to clear up some of the mystery around gratuities to enable Australians to become savvy tippers while travelling whether that’s abroad or in their home country.

Tim Domelow, Senior Restaurant Relations Manager at OpenTable Australia, said: “Tipping around the world can be difficult as there isn’t a one-size fits all approach. Eating out should be about having fun and creating memories which is why OpenTable has helped clear up some of the mystery and help Australian diners navigate customary tipping etiquette when dining out locally and abroad.”

The global report also revealed that the size of the tip is a point of contention for Aussies with 21% of Australians considering a gratuity of 9-10% as a standard reward for good service when dining out locally, in their homeland, compared to 17% who would only tip between 5-6%.

Despite Australian’s novice experience with tipping, the findings revealed things aren’t all bad. When Australians are sure of the protocol, the majority (43%) will leave a tip if gratuities are expected in the country they’re visiting. Only one in five (21%) Australian diners would never leave a tip, whilst 16% would only leave a tip if the waiter showed exemplary service, meaning Aussies sit well below the international average with only 13% vs 28% globally leaving a gratuity no matter the tipping etiquette of the country they’re visiting.

It’s a similar case when dining out in Australia; a fifth (21%) of Australian diners choose to tip between 9-10% 17% between 5-6% and 16% leaving no tip. The most common places for Australians to tip is at a sit-down restaurant (39%) or at a casual cafe (21%), whilst one in three (39%) wouldn’t consider tipping anyone at all.

To ensure travellers have all the holiday tips and tricks they need to travel this winter, including being able to easily find restaurants whilst on holiday via the OpenTable app and website, OpenTable and KAYAK have compiled ‘tipping tips’ revealing Australia’s most searched holiday destinations..*
1. London, Great Britain In the UK, it isn’t compulsory to tip and sometimes a service charge is included. If not, British diners generally leave 10-15% to show their appreciation.

2. Denpasar, Indonesia A gratuity isn’t expected in Indonesia but leaving loose change is welcomed and not considered culturally inappropriate.

3. Los Angeles, United States In the US, the tips are typically generous. At restaurants, Americans would generally tip a minimum of 15-20% and $1 for every drink ordered.

4. Paris, France In France it’s considered flashy to tip for no good reason. Restaurants tend to add the phrase ‘service compris’ to the end of bills which is the 15% service charge required by French law for taxation purposes.

5. Singapore There is no obligation to tip in Singapore and some restaurants will add a non-optional service charge.

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