Tipping Australians in port
Could someone help me understand the system down under?
This much I do know, Australia is mostly a non-tipping society.
Bartending was an occupation of mine for many years, it is important to me to tip accordingly. Of course, superb service should and will be acknowledged while I visit.
My plan is to tip as I usually do on the ship, but what about waiters and waitresses on land? Bartenders? Tour bus drivers? Luggage handlers?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
As an Aussie who currently resides in the USA and am an experienced cruiser (80 plus cruises), let me give you an insight to tipping in Australia.
Many people notice that America is the land of the tips – there is good reason for this beyond just a tradition. American employees do not have a minimum wage like we do in Australia, this means that a waiter or a waitress could be working for well below what any of us would even get out of bed for (this may not be the case in all American states, but most). In turn, a tip is a necessity for most of these employees as it is the tips that they are actually living off – not the minimum wage. In Australia however, we do have a minimum wage, but sometimes it can be very good to leave a tip as the person might be working for quite a low wage depending upon age.
It is totally up to you. Some restaurants include a tip in the bill before you even add your own, this tends to really annoy me as they include it as a given service charge. Check whether or not that is included on the bill before leaving a tip. I tend to leave a tip of 10% or less if the service was good but I feel that I am feeding a tradition that is really not relevant to Australia’s culture.
Travel guides all seem to differ in their opinions on when to tip and when not to tip in Australia, and rightly so, it's a complicated matter. Again, Australian service industry workers are paid better than their American counterparts, so they aren't relying on tips to pay their bills, however if you went to a city restaurant, enjoyed excellent service from a friendly waiter, thought the food was wonderful, gave a $100 note to cover a $96 bill and then asked for change, you'd be committing a serious cultural sin. At the same time, if you ordered a meat pie from a roadside café in a rural town and gave a large tip, you'd probably get a few sideways glances (unless you had an American accent, in which case they'd be more than happy to take advantage of your generosity).
The best rule to follow is that it's polite to tip someone (10%) if they've given you good service, but in most cases - it's not expected!
I hope this assists!
About 80% of those people refused to tip the staff, claiming that "we don't tip in Australia - or anywhere else, and why don't you pay your staff a proper living wage".
As a result, my service staff earned next to nothing for those 2 months.
But strangely, as we had the opportunity to dine ashore in many of the cities we visited, we found the tipping practices in Australia to be generally in conflict with the stories told us by our Aussie passengers.
In Darwin, Cairns, Exmouth, Fremantle, Adelaide, and Melbourne, the restaurant staff added a "service charge" to our bills. This service charge varied quite widely, but was always between 15% and 30% on top of the total bill. When we asked about it, we were told that this money was to pay the salaries of the service staff - and it was not negotiable.
We were not charged this "service charge" in Sydney, Brisbane, or Hamilton Island.
Does Australia have a double standard on this tipping thing?
Or are they just being cheap and using this no tipping story to save a dollar?
Firstly I must apologise for my fellow Australians, I have tried and tried and tried to explain to some Aussies about tipping on cruise ships but the message doesn't seem to get in. I rarely tip when I am at home but I always tip on the ship.
Your comment about the restaurant puzzles me, I am from Melbourne and the only thing I can think of is a service charge if it were a Sunday or public holiday. Our penalty wages are really high on those days and some restaurants charge a service fee to help cover the wages otherwise it would not be worth them opening the doors.
As for the original poster, tipping is not expected here in Australia but unfortunately it is creeping in especially if they hear an American accent. I am not saying it is right but I have seen in happen.
We do not tip doormen, concierge or even the person bringing ice or your bags. I usually round up a taxi fare eg $26 I would probably give $30 just for the convenience of not asking for change. If I went out for dinner, again the bill is usually rounded up for convenience.
Eg $88 we would pay 90 or 100. You will not be chased down the street or made to feel bad.
Remember our wages are reasonable here but if a tip was offered it will probably not be refused.
PS if your are embarking in an Australian port you do NOT need to tip the guys taking your bags, they will not wait around with there hand out or subtly threaten that your bags will not make it on the ship.
My ship is back in Australia again.
Most of the restaurants we visit are again charging us a non-negotiable "Service Charge" when we eat there. It is NOT on a Sunday or public holiday. It is every day.
My service staff are asking me why it is that most of our Australian passengers refuse to tip them onboard, but then those same untipped employees are forced to tip Australians when we go into your country.
Seems a bit unfair, don't you think? My staff is boycotting spending any money in Australia at this point.
Maybe the ship should charge a non negotiable service charge when sailing Downunder:confused:
Seems only fair ..why should the staff be stiffed they work very hard
Where else are we forcing your staff to tip? Do all service staff spend there precious few hours of free time just eating in restaurants? I would like to think they would rather see a little bit of our beautiful country where a smile and a thank you is all that is required.
I'm sorry that your staff are boycotting spending any money, that is their choice of course.
To the poster that said maybe the service charge should be mandatory for Aussies, I say yes, go for it, do it. What's taking the cruise companies so long? Then maybe we can stop this nonsense and the service staff can stop boycotting spending and enjoy their time in Australia.
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