tipping overseas...

Old Aug 27th, 2002, 04:07 AM
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tipping overseas...

Okay, so I'm from the US, and I dont know these rules/regulations and customs. I have heard that in Australia, it is not welcomed to leave a gratuity tip say, after dinner in a restaurant, or in similar situations. Why is that? True? Not true? If so, what IS the gratuity percent-wise? Here in the US, it is about 15%. Are there any other little tidbits I ought to know about? Thanks!!

North of Boston, Massachusetts - USA
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 04:34 AM
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Hi, Lindsay!
I don't frequent many of the places where tipping is customary, so I will just give a few general thoughts here and let more experienced travellers fill in ith the specifics. Tipping does not carry the importance in Australia that it does in the US, because our waiters, etc, are really paid very well.... generously, by your standards. In the past the very idea of tipping was considered a bit outrageous, like flaunting your wealth or position. However, in recent years this has changed somewhat, fuelled mainly, I expect, by the influx of large numbers of tourists from countries where tipping is the expected thing. So at this point in time, no one will be surprised if you tip; the taxi driver will, in fact, expect it, especially if you stash luggage in his boot. Family-type restaurants don't expect it, but in many of the more cosmopolitan eateries it will actually be built into the bill, so look to see if it has already been added before you add more. If it hasn't, and you are paying by card, the custom is for the order to be itemised and totalled, but the final total on the authority slip is left blank, so that you can add a tip and write in a new total, should you choose. The rate is about the same as in the USA.
The important thing about all this, however, is the first point: as the servers are well-paid, you don't need to tip, and you shouldn't feel that you absolutely have to. No one will chase you down the street and abuse you if you don't.
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 08:43 AM
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thank you!!
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 01:12 PM
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Well I feel a bit differently about tipping from Alan. I know that in the USA it is deemed "essential" to tip because otherwise you are regarded as having "shafted" the waiter if you do not tip.
I have had many an arguement about tipping with Americans and they assure me that I am in the wrong and it is a "must" to tip. Therefore I bow to their superior knowledge and say that when you are in Australia it too is essential to tip so as not to upset the waiter - especially when the waiter knows how Americans feel about tipping in the first place.
When I was in the accommodation industry I was absolutely horrified when a Canadian or American did not tip my staff because they certainly went that extra mile and were smited in the end because they too had feelings!
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 02:27 PM
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I tipped always. But I was told by quite a few Australians that there was no need to tip as I normally did (about 20%). I scaled it down based on their suggestion and tipped 10%. 15% for really good service.
Old Aug 27th, 2002, 09:45 PM
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I think tipping will be more expected in Australia if you are American. Most Australians know that tipping is big in America and I've heard of waiters who can't wait to serve that big table of Americans, in view of the big tip they expect. A lot of Australians don't tip at all, except when overseas in countries where it is expected. I've heard we have a reputation for being lousy tippers overseas, but it's not a custom we're used to.
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