To tip or not to tip – that’s a good question.


When you go for dinner at a nice restaurant do you feel pressured to tip? It might be the norm in the U.S but here down under tipping is a metaphorical grey area.

No one wants to be labelled as ‘tight’ because you haven’t thrown in a tip at the end of a meal but at the same time doesn’t tipping only exist in other countries due to low national minimum wages?

Should we tip?

At almost every café or restaurant there’s a jar near the till with a sign encouraging you to tip. Even when you pay by card the tip screen appears before you can enter your pin.

But in a country where we’re paid the highest national minimum wage, should we really be shelling out extra coin?

There’s a pretty big divide world-wide when it comes to this topic. Some believe tipping is an all-important part of the service industry, especially for those working in it.

Even in the U.S. there are those who believe it isn’t necessary. Manhattan restaurant owner Danny Meyer has banned tipping at Gramercy Tavern as he says good service should be a given, not rewarded.

In most countries, the custom of tipping has come about due to low minimum wages – but this isn’t always the case.

Japan and China have some of the worst award rates but, despite this, tipping isn’t customary and is actually discouraged!

In Australia tipping has never been compulsory but it’s becoming more and more common, as a reflection of a customer’s experience.

So, should we tip or not? To put things in context, let’s look at where we stand in comparison to the rest of the world.

How do we stack up against the rest of the world?

Here is a list of the top 13 countries ranked from best to worst worldwide according to the national minimum wage.

Worst to best (minimum wage)


National minimum wage (AUD)


THE WORST India $3.09 – 7.44 per day Yes
TERRIBLE Brazil $341.16 per month Yes
BAD China $1.68 – 3.93 per hour No
NOT GOOD Czech Republic $AU3.37 per hour Yes
POOR Mexico $10.01 per hour Yes
STILL POOR Japan $10.01 per hour No
STRUGGLING United States $10.08 per hour Yes
IN NEED OF A TIP Canada $10.45 – 13.81 per hour Yes
GETTING BETTER Germany $13.17 per hour Yes
NOW WE’RE TALKING France $14.98 per hour Don’t have to but can
HAPPY WORKERS New Zealand $14.22 per hour Don’t have to but can
VERY GOOD United Kingdom $14.66 per hour Yes
THE BEST Australia $17.70 per hour Don’t have to but can

The winners and losers

The best
Workers in the UK have come out on top of the list with the tipping as the norm and the second highest minimum wage, after a 4% increase was introduced earlier this year.

The worst
Even though it’s not rock-bottom on the list, Japan has one the lowest minimum wages, no tipping culture and the cost of living is 12.15% higher than in Australia! It’s not surprising that it’s home to some of the world’s tiniest homes.

So, what if the service is outstanding?

Anyone reading this will probably agree, at this point, that we have it pretty good in Australia. Not only are we spoilt with beautiful beaches and all-year sun, but our wages aren’t too shabby either.

Despite this, there are times when the service you receive is simply outstanding and, naturally, you want to acknowledge this.  But there are more ways than one to do this.

Instead of just coughing up cold hard cash – if the service is really great, go the extra mile and give an online review. That’s much more powerful!

If you rave about a particular waiter – you might land them a pay rise or promotion, which will put way more dollars in their pocket in the long run.

Where can you leave reviews?

  1. Zomato/Urban Spoon – lets you rate a restaurant, bar or café you have been to and leave reviews. It’s one of the most popular hospitality review sites in Australia and a definite barometer for the best places to eat.
  1. Trip Advisor– is the world’s largest travel site with more than 385 million+ reviews, you can search any restaurant, café, hotel or hostel in the world and find out what others think.
  1. Yelp – has had over 25 million visitors to the site and over 115 million reviews. You can search events, lists, restaurants and cafes – as well as chatting to other Yelpers about their experiences.

You may not have made up your mind just yet, but hopefully I’ve given you some facts and figures that’ll help make your decision that little bit easier next time you’re faced with the question- to tip or not to tip?

Are you looking for ways to save money? Read ‘How to live like a hipster and save $$’

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