Is the tipping culture prevalent in Australia ? Especially at restaurants ? How much should I tip after a meal costing $50 (incl taxes) at a restaurant ? (The food is horribly expensive and the portions are small compared to the US) Also, do I have to tip at barber shop ?

  • I've lived in Melbourne, Townsville, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth, and Sydney. Tipping culture doesn't vary in Australia from city to city so we can safely close this as a dupe of the older question. – hippietrail Mar 26 '14 at 12:33
  • No need to tip. I'm used to tipping being from the USA but when I tipped my bartender in Melbourne he was shocked and tried giving it back to me. So I would think no. – St3 Mar 26 '14 at 18:05

While it's occasionally being seen a bit more, tipping is NOT expected in Australia. Wages are expected to cover the employees, and everything is included in your bill.

Indeed, in some places, tipping is forbidden - for example you might not be able to tip a security guard or dealer in a casino.

It's occasionally common to tell taxi drivers or waiters to "keep the change" if it's just a little bit left in change.

More often, cafes might have a tip jar on the counter by the cash register, and while it will usually get some cash going in there (people's left over change), once again it's not expected.

Short version: if you really want to tip for amazing service, go ahead, and it'll certainly be appreciated, but by no means is it expected.

  • 2
    As mentioned in the answer, tipping is often done to avoid change but if you're someone that's used to tipping a certain percentage, a 10% tip would be much appreciated by the staff. There is no minimum amount/percentage to tipping, although I wouldn't deliberately tip a few silver coins unless it is change (particularly the smaller denominations). – Sam Mar 26 '14 at 0:10
  • Some places will even have a charity donation box instead of a tip jar. We did this in my current job for years. – hippietrail Mar 26 '14 at 12:35
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    That's awesome. We should do same in US. – qbantek Mar 26 '14 at 16:02
  • @hippietrail that always bugged me - presumably they can donate it (your money) and use it as a tax write-off. It's nice that it goes to charity, but it's a way of you helping their bottom line further :/ – Mark Mayo Mar 27 '14 at 3:54
  • @MarkMayo: Really? I thought the gesture was "We don't need your tips but needy causes would appreciate that money." Just as we don't need their tips we don't need to penny pinch the donations for tax reasons either. We call the charity guy to come pick it up when it's full and hope they got a lot. – hippietrail Mar 27 '14 at 3:59

There is generally no cultural expectation of tipping in Australia. Restaurant staff do not rely on tips to supplement their wage (their minimum wage is the same as everybody else). This is one reason why the food seems so expensive.


Tipping is not necessary in Australia. If you choose to do so, it is generally very much appreciated but not viewed as compulsory. The percentage would be up to you.

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