Due to our location at the city end of Newtown in close proximity to Sydney University, Chedi Restaurant attracts many foreign tourists to dine. Often when these visitors are paying the bill, I hear them say to each other “in Australia you don’t have to tip”. This I find surprising as in countries like America, a mandatory tip of 15% or more is added to your bill in most restaurants. And if you are in a place like New York and leave a restaurant without tipping, angry waiters will confront you in the street to extract their tip by force.
As every Australian knows, a small tip is normal in hospitality: if the service was satisfactory and appreciated. So where did our foreign visitors get this information? Yes, you are right, the World Wide Web.
The piece below has been lifted from a very helpful site called Trip Advisor and begins.
“Tipping is not generally considered to be a part of Australian culture.
It is not usual to tip for food service in Australia, although there are subtle exceptions.
Waiters get paid (by law) ~$15+ an hour. Any tips are usually pooled so tips are not important except as way of getting self satisfaction from having pleased a customer to the point where they are willing to hand over money.
Some people tip (~10%) in mid to high-end restaurants when part of a large group, they have spent hours dining or they have a large bill. Many Australians do not agree with this practice and it isn’t required. Comments and compliments on both good and bad service can be made in writing or verbally, however arguing, yelling or rude behaviour towards serving staff is considered inappropriate.
Australian service is often more casual than in many countries, even in expensive restaurants and hotels. You will very rarely get fawning service in Australia – in keeping with Australia’s relaxed national character that usually seeks to treat everyone as equals. Australians also don’t generally complain about service in restaurants. However, if you have received rude or incompetent service, you should complain, politely, or do what Australians tend to do and just never go back to that establishment again.
You can take this tip and ....
It is blatantly obvious from the article that the author has never worked in hospitality and thinks service Down Under is mediocre; but don’t complain, as we are all equals in this Great Southern Land. Maybe he should visit Eatability to reconsider his notion that Aussies don’t complain about bad service: but they are big on revenge.
A last word: tipping in restaurants is considered universal and should be earned by good, friendly and attentive service whether in Australia or abroad.
Thanks Mate, I enjoyed the meal.
Enjoy Good Service