As a nation that prides itself on having one of the best wages for hospitality staff, Australia falls short when it comes to the culture of travelling and tipping. In fact, new research revealed by OpenTable, the world's leading online restaurant reservation platform, shows that 50% of Australians are confused about when and how much to tip when visiting overseas.
This research also exposed a gap in Aussie tipping: apparently, an international average of only 13% leave a tip no matter what the service was like, whereas the global average is 28%. However, research also showed a compassionate side of Aussie diners: 21% of Australian diners claim that they would never leave without a tip.
Suffice it to say that tipping is viewed as subjective. And the confusion around it doesn't come without reason - the customs change country to country, culture to culture. In the USA and Canada, waitstaff depend on tips as part of their salary and it's customary to pay 15-20% for a gratuity. But in many Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Finland, the staff are compensated similarly to how they are in Australia.
Luckily, OpenTable has compiled a tipping tips guide for Australia's most-searched holiday destinations to help you before you book your meal at a restaurant abroad:
- Indonesia: a gratuity is not expected but leaving loose change is welcomed and appropriate
- Singapore: there is no obligation to tip but some restaurants will add a non-optional service change
- France: bills might show the phrase 'service compris' to indicate that the included 15% service charge is required by French law. Otherwise, it is considered flashy to tip for no good reason.
- Great Britain: 10-15% gratuity is appreciated if the service was good and a service charge is not included. However, it is not compulsory.