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To tip or not to tip? Only one in five Australians leave gratuities when dining out at restaurants

May 15, 2017 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

While Australians love forking out for food, only a portion are willing to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to gratuities. According to new research from OpenTable – the world’s leading online restaurant reservation platform – only one in five (21%) Australians always or frequently leave a tip when dining out, while others either occasionally (28%) or rarely (30%) consider passing on a gratuity.

When it comes to showing their appreciation for great service, food and overall experience, almost half (47%) of Aussie diners would tip 10% on the total bill, while almost a fifth (17%) would leave up to 20%. However, a considerable one in five (21%) Australians say they never tip at all

Tipping habits also seem to vary from generation to generation. Gen X are most likely to offer a gratuity with 24% admitting to leaving a tip. In comparison, money-conscious Gen Ys are the least likely to leave a gratuity, with one in four admitting they never tip.

It turns out, knowing when and how much one should tip can be a puzzling scenario for Australian diners, with the majority of respondents (80%) acknowledging they feel confused about tipping etiquette.

Lisa Hasen, Vice President of OpenTable, APAC, said: “Unlike in other international destinations, tipping in Australia isn’t compulsory, and with no set benchmark, Australian diners are often left feeling confused and apprehensive about tipping. Despite this, our research shows that Australians are willing to leave a tip when the experience exceeds expectations in a big way, be it outstanding service or incredible food.”

The report also showed that Australians’ tipping habits changed when travelling overseas. Likely influenced by the prevalence of tipping culture in other countries such as America, half of Australians admit to tipping more when travelling internationally than they do at home. By contrast, just one in four (24%) said they tip just as much whether they’re travelling or at home.

Hasen added: “While etiquette surrounding gratuities is at times tricky to navigate domestically, the beauty of this informal structure is that it empowers Australian diners to make the decision themselves, based on the experience they have had. When overseas, information on customary tipping is readily available for travellers wishing to participate in the local tipping culture.”

When it comes to what motivates diners to tip, almost one million Australian diners say they are most likely to tip when they are dining with someone they want to impress. Other occasions when Australians are likely to leave a tip, include:

1. When they have had a great experience with wait staff (69%)

2. When they are dining with a group of people (24%)

3. When they are dining at a ‘posh’ restaurant (17%)

John Fink, Creative Director at FINK Group, whose portfolio of restaurants includes Quay, Bennelong and OTTO, said: “Australia is far more relaxed about tipping than many other countries, and although the hospitality minimum wage is significantly higher than many overseas destinations, our culture celebrates hard work with a gratuity seen as a gift of thanks.

“Creating beautiful food and a memorable dining experience is a restauranteurs’ top priority, with a tip being a nice way for diners to show their appreciation. It’s also great to receive feedback as these invaluable insights can often help shape and enhance the dining experience for future guests. In our case, feedback is usually about the person serving your table, with an idyllic balance of charm, wit, and timeless service tending to reap the most rewards when it comes to gratuities.”

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