20% of diners never leave a tip: study

12 May, 2017 by
Danielle Bowling

According to new research from OpenTable only one in five Australians always or frequently leave a tip when dining out, while others either occasionally (28 percent) or rarely (30 percent) consider passing on a gratuity.

Almost half (47 percent) of Australian diners would tip 10 percent on the total bill, while almost a fifth (17 percent) would leave up to 20 percent. However, a considerable one in five (21 percent) Australians say they never tip at all.

Advertisement

Tipping habits also seem to vary from generation to generation. Twenty-four percent of Gen X diners leave tips – making them the most generous demographic surveyed. Gen Ys are the least likely to leave a gratuity, with one in four admitting they never tip.

The study, conducted by Galaxy Research in March 2017 from a sample size of 1,014 respondents, also found that Australians are unsure of when or how much to tip, with the majority of respondents (80 percent) acknowledging they feel confused about tipping etiquette.

Advertisement

Lisa Hasen, vice president of OpenTable, APAC, said “Unlike in other international destinations, tipping in Australia isn’t compulsory, and with no set benchmark, Australian diners are often left feeling confused and apprehensive about tipping. Despite this, our research shows that Australians are willing to leave a tip when the experience exceeds expectations in a big way, be it outstanding service or incredible food.”

The report also showed that Australians’ tipping habits changed when travelling overseas. Likely influenced by the prevalence of tipping culture in other countries such as America, half of Australians admit to tipping more when travelling internationally than they do at home. By contrast, just one in four said they tip just as much whether they’re travelling or at home.

Advertisement

It’s unclear whether the tipping rates have been affected by the introduction, in 2014, of pin-only credit card payments. Previously, diners were able to nominate an amount they’d like to tip on the bill before the transaction was taken care of by staff away from the table. Now, this process is completed at the table on mobile EFTPOS machines, which some operators say confuses the diner and leaves both the guests and the staff feeling uncomfortable.

Why do they tip?

When it comes to what motivates diners to tip, almost one million Australian diners said they are most likely to tip when they are dining with someone they want to impress. Other occasions when Australians are likely to leave a tip, include:

  1. When they have had a great experience with wait staff (69 percent)
  2. When they are dining with a group of people (24 percent)
  3. When they are dining at a ‘posh’ restaurant (17 percent)

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

“Creating beautiful food and a memorable dining experience is a restaurateurs’ top priority, with a tip being a nice way for diners to show their appreciation. It’s also great to receive feedback as these invaluable insights can often help shape and enhance the dining experience for future guests.”

State-based findings from OpenTable’s Tipping Report:

  • Tipping culture is more prevalent in NSW and VIC with one in four people saying they always or frequently leave a tip when dining out (26 percent NSW and 25 percent in VIC/TAS). This compares to 16 percent in QLD, 13 percent in WA and just eight percent in SA.
  • Those living in QLD (31 percent), SA (31 percent) and WA (30 percent) are also more likely than people living in NSW (15 percent) and VIC/TAS (16 percent) to say they never leave a tip when dining out.

NSW

  • Almost one-third (32 percent) of people in NSW say they always or frequently feel confused about when to tip and how much
  • One in four (26 percent) people in NSW always or frequently leave a tip, whilst 32 percent say they do so occasionally, 27 percent do so rarely and 15 percent never leave a tip
  • 68 percent of people in NSW will tip up to $10 when spending $50 on a meal, with just five percent tipping $11 or more. Almost one in ten (nine percent) will tip whatever coins they have in their pocket
  • The top two reasons people in NSW leave are tip are: service (45 percent) and overall experience (35 percent).
  • People in NSW value their wait staff, with 68 percent likely to tip as the result of a great experience they’ve had with waiters

VIC/TAS

  • 29 percent of Victorians say they always or frequently feel confused about when to tip and how much
  • One in four (25 percent) people in VIC/TAS always or frequently leave a tip, whilst 29 percent say they do so occasionally, 30 percent do so rarely and 16 percent never leave a tip
  • 71 percent of people in VIC will tip up to $10 when spending $50 on a meal, with just six percent tipping $11 or more, meanwhile seven percent of Victorians will tip whatever coins they have in their pocket
  • The top two reasons people in VIC leave are tip are: service (48 percent) and overall experience (33 percent)
  • People in VIC value their wait staff, with 75 percent likely to tip as the result of a great experience they’ve had with waiters

QLD

  • Over a third (35 percent) of Queenslanders say they always or frequently feel confused about when to tip and how much
  • Just 16 percent of people in QLD always or frequently leave a tip, whilst 24 percent say they do so occasionally, 29 percent do so rarely and almost a third (31 percent) never leave a tip
  • Over half (55 percent) of people in QLD will tip up to $10 when spending $50 on a meal, with just six percent tipping $11 or more, meanwhile seven percent of Queenslanders will tip whatever coins they have in their pocket
  • The top two reasons people in QLD leave are tip are: service (40 percent) and overall experience (26 percent)
  • People in QLD value their wait staff, with 65 percent likely to tip as the result of a great experience they’ve had with waiters

SA/WA

  • 28 percent of South Australians say they always or frequently feel confused about when to tip and by how much
  • Just eight percent of people in SA always or frequently leave a tip, whilst 23 percent do so occasionally, 39 percent do so rarely and almost a third (31 percent) never leave a tip
  • Over half (53 percent) of people in SA will tip up to $10 when spending $50 on a meal, with just five percent tipping $11 or more, meanwhile 12 percent of South Australians will tip whatever coins they have in their pocket
  • The top two reasons people in SA leave are tip are: service (37 percent) and overall experience (32 percent)
  • People in SA value their wait staff, with 60 percent likely to tip as the result of a great experience they’ve had with waiters
  • Almost a third (32 percent) of West Australians say they always or frequently feel confused about when to tip and how much
  • Just 13 percent of people in WA always or frequently leave a tip, whilst 25 percent do so occasionally, 31% do so rarely and almost a third (30%) never leave a tip
  • Almost three in five (59 percent) West Australians will tip up to $10 when spending $50 on a meal, with just four percent tipping $11 or more, meanwhile seven percent of West Australians will tip whatever coins they have in their pocket
  • The top two reasons people in WA leave are tip are: service (45 percent) and overall experience (26 percent)
  • People in WA value their wait staff, with 68 percent likely to tip as the result of a great experience they’ve had with waiters

Image: Daily Telegraph