Millions of us are being guilt-tripped into leaving a tip — and Eftpos machines are servers’ weapon of choice. Picture: iStock
Millions of us are being guilt-tripped into leaving a tip — and Eftpos machines are servers’ weapon of choice. Picture: iStock

Sneaky way you’re being forced to tip

AUSTRALIANS are notorious anti-tippers - but these days, it seems we are being guilt-tripped into leaving a tip in record numbers.

A new analysis by comparison site finder.com.au has revealed 1.8 million diners have been pressured into tipping - and the humble Eftpos machine is often to blame for parting millions of reluctant Aussies with their cash.

According to the research, one in nine - or 11 per cent of us - have felt pressured to tip after being presented with an Eftpos machine showing '$0.00' after our meal.

And half of these customers have then folded and left a tip due to that subtle pressure.

However, a slight majority of 51 per cent of diners refuse to tip altogether, with 28 per cent insisting they are already paying a fair price for their dining experience.

A further 14 per cent say they don't tip because they believe servers get paid well enough without it, while 10 per cent of respondents said they don't tip for a variety of different reasons.

Some Australians went as far as to say, "We're not the USA," while others stated that tipping just wasn't part of our culture.

Finder.com.au's money expert Bessie Hassan said there were many reasons why Australians may not feel it's necessary to leave a tip.

"Whether it's not embedded in our culture, a belief that hospitality workers receive a fair wage, or simply that Australians may not have the surplus cash if they're already struggling to pay off personal debt, there are multiple reasons why Aussies don't tip," she said.

She added that 22 per cent of restaurant-goers would tip only if the service was exceptional.

Ms Hassan said with a minimum wage of $18.29, Australians may not feel inclined to leave a bonus to hospitality staff.

A finder.com.au analysis of 1845 Australian diners found 1.8 million people have been pressured into tipping.
A finder.com.au analysis of 1845 Australian diners found 1.8 million people have been pressured into tipping.

"Most people dine out in the evening or on the weekends, time periods dominated by casual workers who receive a 25 per cent loading, boosting the minimum wage to over $22 per hour," she said.

"Rather than tipping, Aussies may be more likely to thank the staff or venue on social media if they have a great experience - perhaps even leave a glowing review.

"Social praise and reviews speak volumes of the venue and their staff, and could be more valuable to the business in the long-term."

When Australia switched to PIN-only credit card payments in 2014, waiters complained it affected the delicate social ritual of tipping, with some full-time workers noticing their take-home pay dropped by hundreds of dollars a week since the change was introduced, which caused tips to dry up.

"When customers could sign, it gave them the chance in their own time to think about the service they received and whether they wanted to tip," Nick Powell, floor manager at Sydney's Searock Grill, said at the time.

"With the PIN it removes that buffer zone, the comfort for the guest to decide. They don't want to feel pressured while you're standing there. And a lot of the time when the tip section comes up [on the Eftpos machine] they start to enter their PIN and have to start again."


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