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Not so tip-sy: 41% of Aussies never tip their waitstaff

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Nearly half the population don't tip their waiter or waitress when eating out according to new research by Finder.

A new Finder survey of 1,000 respondents has revealed that a whopping 41% of Australians refuse to tip waitstaff after eating at a nice restaurant.

According to the survey, 39% say they'll tip if the service was exceptionally good, while just 1 in 5 (20%) always leave a tip.

Among those who tip their servers, 88% give a percentage based on the size of their bill, with the average tipping amount sitting at 8.6%.

The remaining 22% simply leave a set amount of money regardless of how much the bill was.

Kate Browne, personal finance expert at Finder, said that in Australia the decision to tip comes down to personal preference.

"Fortunately in Australia hospitality workers make an adequate minimum wage which means staff shouldn't have to rely on customer tips for income.

"For that reason, customers are not usually expected to tip, but it is a nice way to reward good service, especially at a nice restaurant.

"Depending on the type of restaurant and the quality of your experience, tipping between 5% and 20% is generally considered the norm.

"But don't feel pressured to tip if you didn't enjoy your meal or found the service to be underwhelming," Browne said.

According to the ABS, the average Australian has spent $2,085 on restaurants, cafes and takeaway food over the past year. Tipping 10% on just half of these occasions would cost the average Aussie $104 per year.

When compared to the other side of the ditch, Aussies are relatively generous with their spare change. A Finder survey in New Zealand previously found only 10% of Kiwis leave a tip at restaurants.

But Australians are still less likely to tip than those from the US, where servers typically rely on tips as part of their earnings. Only 7% of Americans don't tip, while 64% will always tip more than 18%.

Browne said that tipping can also depend on your budget.

"For some, tipping is a small price to pay for good service, but not everyone can afford the spare change.

"If that money would be better spent on household bills, buying groceries or paying off your credit card debt then that should be your priority.

"The Finder app can help you keep on top of your weekly expenses to better manage your budget," Browne said.

Do you normally tip your waiter/waitress when eating out at a nice restaurant?
Only if the service was good39%
Yes, always20%
Source: Finder survey of 1,000 Australians, May 2021
How much do you normally tip?
Less than 5%14%
More than 20%2%
I just leave a set amount of money (e.g. $10, $20)22%
Source: Finder survey of 1,000 Australians, 592 of which always or sometimes leave a tip, May 2021

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