It’s a topic that has long divided Australians: to tip, or not to tip – and then, how much?


The rule of thumb from our friends abroad is anywhere from 12.5 per cent in the UK to 15-20 per cent in the US.  Now, almost 60 per cent of Australians are on the tipping bandwagon, according to a survey of 2,024 pub- and restaurant-going Australians by local start-up app, Clipp.

Contrary to popular belief, attractive wait staff aren’t receiving copious tips – a mere 1.5% of Australians claim they are motivated to tip based on looks.  Neither do great meals (12.5%) nor special privileges (3.1%) such as a nice table inspire patrons to tip.

The number one motivation for rewarding wait staff is fast and attentive service – ‘tip’, after all, means ‘to insure promptness’ – with more than half (56%) of survey respondents agreeing, significantly higher than any other motivation (great meals, special privileges or attractive wait staff).

Furthermore, older customers appear to value service more, with 71 per cent of Australians in their 50s tipping at restaurants, the highest of any age group.  This is followed by people in their 40s (63%), then 30s (60%), 60s (59%), 20s (48%), and under 20s (29%).  High income earners (over $150,000) are most likely to tip (74%), but surprisingly they don’t go overboard, only tipping 5-10 per cent of the bill.

“While Australians aren’t obliged to tip, our survey suggests we are happy to as a reward for wait staff for great customer service,” said Greg Taylor, co-founder of Clipp, which is used by more than 50,000 restaurant and pub patrons.

“Generally, most Australians believe tipping between 5-10% is considered reasonable, with the survey identifying one in three (37%) tipping this much.”

Greg Taylor, co-founder of Clipp

Clipp disrupted the payment process at venues when it launched in 2013, and when the phasing out of credit card signatures had many in the hospitality industry concerned about pin-only transactions affecting tips.  “This recent survey puts these qualms to rest because it revealed the surprising figure that almost 60 per cent of patrons now tip,” Greg says.

How much do you tip?