Australian Tipping Protocol, Australian Gratuities, & Australian Culture
- DO wear casual clothing if you're not going to a business function.
- DO wear the following attire for business functions: a dark business suit and tie for men or a skirt and blouse or a dress if you are a woman.
- DO expect more casual attire to be worn even for business meetings in cities like Brisbane or other tropical areas. You will see that in some of those areas, men will wear shirts, ties, and a pair of Bermuda shorts.
- DON'T put your elbows on the table when eating.
- DO indicate that you are full by putting your knife and fork parallel on your plate with the utensil handles facing right.
- DO bring your own beer at a restaurant. This is often shorted to BYOG, or bring your own grog. Except for more upscale restaurants, bringing your own beer is acceptable and cheaper. You will likely just have to pay a corking fee of a couple of dollars.
- DO greet with a smile and a handshake.
- DO feel comfortable being addressed by your first name, even right after meeting someone.
- DO expect a greeting such as "G'day" or "G'day mate!"
- DO expect a barbecue ("barbie") if invited to someone's home for a meal.
- DO bring your own wine or beer for yourself if going to a barbecue. Also, at more informal barbecues, you might be told to bring your own meat.
- DON'T be late if invited to dinner, and don't be more than fifteen minutes late if invited to a barbecue or a big party.
- DO call your host ahead to see if you should bring any food.
- DO offer to help with setting up or cleaning up.
Australian Tipping Customs
In Australia, tipping is relatively uncommon and traditionally not encouraged (similar to the UK), however it is becoming more prevalent in the hospitality industry. When using credit cards, a line is usually included for a tip to be offered if desired, but the practice remains entirely discretionary. It is common to round restaurant bills and taxi fares up to the nearest dollar, five- or ten-dollar multiple, with the additional amount forming the tip. Service providers in other industries do not expect a tip, though it is always appreciated.
The tipping practice of American tourists is increasingly common at some hospitality establishments in larger cities for exceptional service. In recent decades, tip jars have become more widespread in some urban areas although it is still regarded by locals as a personal and optional choice. Casinos in Australia generally prohibit tipping of gaming staff, as it is considered bribery. (For example, in the state of Tasmania, the Gaming Control Act 1993 states in section 56 (4): "it is a condition of every special employee's licence that the special employee must not solicit or accept any gratuity, consideration or other benefit from a patron in a gaming area.") Similarly, tipping government officials is not customary and will usually be interpreted as bribery (although a non-monetary gift such as flowers or a card is acceptable if one wishes to acknowledge exceptional service).
Our Australian Tipping Recommendations
- Taxis and Limos: Tipping optional, Round up to next bill/large coin
- Airport Shuttles: Not required
- Hotel Shuttles and Carpark Shuttles: Not required