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Tipping Statistics

Report Highlights:
  • The average tipping percentage is 10%.
  • Tipping typically takes place within restaurants, particularly high-end establishments.
  • Tipping cultures varies throughout Australia.
  • Globalisation and immigration is resulting in a resurgence of tipping in the country.

Tipping in Australia can be considered a rather controversial topic. This stems from the fact that, unlike in some other countries, there aren’t set rules to follow. As a result, a uniform tipping culture doesn’t exist.

In Australia, there is quite a bit of variation when it comes to tipping. Some individuals choose not to do it at all, while others will tip only under specific circumstances. There is a great deal of discrepancy in how much people tip as well.

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Restaurant Tipping Statistics

Tipping is most common in the restaurant industry. Most people feel obligated to leave their servers a tip at the end of the meal. The tip can depend on the quality of the restaurant, quality of the service, service charge, and cost of the meal.

  • The rule of thumb to follow for tipping wait staff is 10% of the bill.
  • For smaller restaurants or cafés, the tip is calculated by rounding up to the nearest $5 or $10.
  • Café wait staff may be tipped up to 5% of the bill.
  • For tip jars, most people leave a few coins per register.
  • For higher end restaurants or for excellent service, the tip can be increased to 20% of the total bill.
  • Although less common, tipping individual waiters is done, particularly for larger groups.
  • Cash tips are preferable to electronic ones. Tips charged to credit cards aren’t always transferred to the wait staff.
  • Tipping is decreasing – most people tend to tip around 5% to 10% rather than the traditional 10%.

Tipping Norms for Restaurant Workers

Wait Staff Position Percentage/Amount
Restaurant waiters 10%
Café wait staff 5% or rounding up to nearest $5 or $10
Higher end restaurant staff 20%

Other Service Industry Tipping Statistics

Tipping isn’t as widespread with other hospitality sectors. While hotel staff and taxi drivers can receive additional payment, it isn’t seen as being compulsory. The amount being tipped tends to vary more for these professions as well.

  • Bartenders are rarely tipped – in some cases, the bartender will refuse the tip unless serving a large group.
  • Doormen are traditionally not tipped, but may receive around $1.
  • Bellhops may be tipped around $1 to $2 per bag.
  • Housekeeping staff may be tipped for good service at the end of the stay, usually around $5 per room.
  • Taxi drivers may be tipped up to 10%. It is more common to round the fare up to the nearest $5 or $10, depending on the total.
  • Spa service providers may be tipped up to 10%.
  • Stylists are often tipped, usually about 10%.
  • Tour guides may be receive up to $10 per person or couple.
  • Airport shuttle drivers rarely receive tips, but may be given $1 per bag.

Tipping Staff for Service Industry Staff

Service Industry Position Tipping Percentage/Amount
Bartenders No tip
Doormen $1
Bellhops $1 to $2 per bag
Taxi drivers $10% or round up to nearest $5 or $10
Spa service providers 10%
Stylists 10%
Tour guides $10 per person or couple
Airport shuttle drivers $1 per bag

Tipper Demographics

Not all individuals leave tips. There are variations in tipping traditions from one demographic to another. Thus, one age or socioeconomic group will often be expected to tip over others.

  • Tourists are most likely to tip at restaurants and other businesses.
  • Students will either leave a big tip or no tip at all.
  • Young families are the least likely to leave a tip.
  • Affluent individuals aren’t guaranteed to leave a tip.

Factors and Patterns Impacting Tipping Culture in Australia

There are several elements that determine why Australians do or don’t tip. These range from wages and migration patterns to sentiments towards other cultures. As a result, tipping culture in Australia tends to remain in a near constant state of flux.

  • Tipping in Australia was introduced by the English, but was marginalised within the country.
  • The Second World War created anti-American sentiment which reduced tipping favourability even more.
  • Higher minimum wage in Australia reduces the need for tips unlike in countries like the US.
  • Additional costs such as service charges and bank holiday surge prices can reduce chances of tipping.
  • Tips are largely determined by status of restaurant as well as server service.
  • Tipping is most likely to occur if service exceeds expectations.
  • As tourists are more likely to leave tips, tourist destinations like Sydney and Melbourne experience higher tipping rates.
  • Globalisation and immigration transfer international tipping tendencies to Australia, increasing in the number of people who tip.
  • As the fine dining experience gives way to casual dining options, tipping amounts have lowered.
  • Electronic means of payment have also reduced tips.
  • Distrust in how tips are divided can prevent customers or consumers from tipping.

US Tipping Statistics

Tipping is far more widespread in the US than in other countries. The percentage of tipping is also far higher than in most other nations, especially Australia. Unlike in other regions, it is quite common to tip workers across the board, regardless of which industry that they belong to.

  • Around 64% of the American population tip servers.
  • The expected tipping rate for restaurant servers is 20% of the total bill.
  • Most diners leave between 17% and 20%.
  • Between 60% to 100% of customers will tip someone in the service industry.
  • 8% of all restaurant goers will tip their waiter.
  • Restaurant takeout servers and baristas are least likely to be tipped, 35% and 60% respectively.
  • Bartenders may be tipped by up to 98% of patrons, receiving between $1 and $3 per drink.
  • 90% of all cab drivers are tipped, with the tips ranging from 10% to 18%.
  • Valets and hotel bellman may be tipped 85% to 95% of the time, with tips resulting in $4 to $5.
  • Stylists can expect to receive tips 90% of the time, with tips up to 15% to 25%.

Elements of Tipping in the US

Wages have been a driving force behind tipping in the US. For many, tipping makes up a significant portion of their wages. As a result, many rely on tips to help make ends meet.

  • The average server is paid well below the minimum wage in the US.
  • Tips can make up between 85% and 100% of servers’ salaries.
  • Bartenders rely on tips to make up around 70% to 100% of their wages.
  • Cab drivers are least likely to require tips – tips make up 15% to 30% of their wages.

Tipping Demographics in the US

The tipping culture in the US has always been varied. Over the last few years, though, there has been a change in views regarding tipping. There is a discrepancy in tipping tendencies among gender, age, region, and more.

  • 29% of women tip over 18%, making them better tippers than men.
  • Millennials tip less than older generations.
  • Those with higher incomes are more likely to top more, particularly at high-end establishments.
  • Midwesterners and Southerners are the best tippers, with 66% and 64% respectively always leaving tips.
  • 9% of people living in the Northeast don’t leave any tips.
  • Northeasterners are more likely to tip over 20% if they do decide to tip when dining out.
  • Millennials and younger generations would like to do away with the tip system.
  • There is increased interest in raising the minimum wage and getting rid of tips.
  • A rise in quick food service has resulted in a reduction in tipping.
  • An increase in casual dining experiences has also lowered tipping expectations.

Tipping in Australia isn’t clear-cut at all. Rather, discrepancies exist within regions, service industries, socioeconomic classes, and more. Although tipping is becoming more widespread in the country, people are tipping lower amounts. This is largely due to the electronic payment options.

Conversely, in the US, tipping is at an all-time high. Patrons of various establishments – restaurants, bars, hotels, beauty salons, etc. – are expected to leave significant tips. 20% in tips is a rather normal route, while in Australia, most people would be hard-pressed to tip over 10%.

This discrepancy stems from the fact that Australia has a much higher minimum wage requirement than America. Furthermore, unlike in the states, wait staff and other individuals are actually paid this rate. This makes them much less likely to rely on tips to make ends meet.


[1] News.com.au, Why You Should Tip Exceptional Service in Hospitality
[2] Smarter Travel, Tipping in Australia: The Tipping Guide
[3] Traveller, Tipping in Australia: Who Should You Tip and How Much?
[4] The Sydney Morning Herald, Spotlight: When Do You Need to Leave a Tip in Australia
[5] The Guardian, Tipping in Australia: What Are the Rules for Rewarding Waiters?
[6] Fair Work, Minimum Wages
[7] Good Food, Tipping the Australian Way
[8] Journal of Australian Studies, Tipping in Australia: The Result of American Influence?
[9] Business Insider, Here’s How Much You Should Tip in Every Situation
[10] NBC News, Dollars and Sense: Why are Millennials Tipping Less Than Older Generations