Will you tip your waiter this Mother’s Day lunch?

Alison Banney 12 May 2017 NEWS

waiter with bill 738

For most Australians, the answer is "probably not".

Australians love to wine and dine, but when it comes to tipping to show our appreciation, not so much.

New research by OpenTable has revealed only one in five (21%) of us frequently leave a tip when eating out at restaurants or cafes.

A third of Aussies (30%) very rarely tip their wait staff, while a further 21% admit to never tipping at all.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, money-conscious Gen Ys are the least likely to leave a tip, no matter how happy they are with their smashed avo on sourdough.

It’s their predecessors Gen X who are doing the heavy lifting, and are the most likely to tip out of any generation.

But instead of jumping to the conclusion that we as a nation are a bit stingy when it comes to leaving a few extra dollars with the bill, the research reveals we could simply be confused, with four in five of us (80%) saying this is the case.

We may be a nation against tipping, but there are some circumstances where we are likely to make an exception. A quarter of us say we're likely to tip wait staff when we are dining out with a group of people, and almost one in five of us might be tempted to tip at a "posh" restaurant.

A possible reason for our tipping culture, or lack thereof, could be that our casual wait staff and hospitality workers are quite well paid compared to those around the world.

“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,” FINK Group creative director John Fink said, whose portfolio of restaurants includes Quay, Bennelong and OTTO.

However, the Fair Work Commission recently slashed penalty rates for hospitality workers, to bring Sunday penalty rates down in line with Saturday rates and to reduce public holiday penalty rates.

It'll be interesting to see if this change has any affect on our likeliness to leave a tip. My guess is, it won't.

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