Tipping in Australia

Bearman Cartoons Tipping in Australia

To commemorate my trip to Australia (yes that is where I have been) I am going to do a series of cartoons that give you and idea of what it is like to experience the great Down Under.   The Series is “Ken Groo with the Low Down on the Down Under”


Ken Groo's Low Down on the Down Under

Obviously the first in the series has to do with tipping and what is customary in Australia.   You read the guides and ask people that have been there and you find out that tipping is NOT customary in Australia like it is elsewhere in the world.  That is because they charge more and therefore pay a higher salary to waiters, clerks, etc.  Well that is what they tell you.

What actually happens is that you are bombarded by Tip Jars everywhere.   As an American we are accustomed to tipping for any service such as throwing in your change to the coffee shop clerk or putting in a percentage of the check for a meal as a tip.  So it becomes confusing Down Under.  Am I looked at as a cheapskate if I don’t throw in a tip?  Or am I looked at as a sucker if I do because I don’t know any better.   Luckily for me I don’t have a conscience so I went with the guides and screwed everyone out of extra money.


I thought it was the end of the world already as my site crashed for about 6 hours.  Something over my head with a php something so I updated it to the most recent version and then I could see the site but not get to the admin page.  So I dropped it back to 5.2 and finally got back online.  So sorry if anyone had trouble getting in.   All that to say that just in case the world really comes to an end before my update on Sunday, remember when you see all the memes/cartoons about the end of the world, back in 2009, I was the first.

End of the World Again Mayan Calendar 2012 Cartoon by Bearman Cartoons

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75 Responses to “Tipping in Australia”

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  1. So… did you try watching a toilet flush? Did it spin the other way ’round? 🙂

  2. Red says:

    I would have a difficult time with the no tipping thing. My credit card signing hand does the math in its head.

  3. J-Dotson says:

    Hope you had fun and good weather, also wanted to know about the toilet spin thing. I have never been out of the northern Hemisphere to find out.
    Did they throw another shrimp on the barby for yay?
    G’d Day Mate

  4. Tony McGurk says:

    Like the word play on Ken Groo. Nice Roo drawing too. I see the tip jars in coffee shops, restaurants etc at times but I never put in tips. I think tipping is more for wealthy people to take care of so us lower income earners can keep our money. You got your End of the World comic posted early. I’m posting mine on the 21st. Just my luck & the Mayans will be right & my comic will have been wasted

  5. Andrew says:

    Yeah, the tip jars are for when you actually feel the food or the service was particularly good or if you’re in a generous mood or if you’re from another country and not tipping makes you feel guilty. Simple.

  6. duncanr says:

    Many restaurants in the UK incorporate a ‘tip’ as part of the bill. If you study the MENU card you’ll often see a note to say ‘Service Charge Included”. In which case, you are not expected to leave a tip since it is already included in the price of the meal

    I had mixed feelings about ‘tipping’ when I lived in Canada. I happily tip for good service but part of me felt by tipping I was enabling the restaurant owners to get away with paying crap wages to their staff

    • Bearman says:

      I am a service level tipper. Where I find it hard to swallow is that I can have better service at a place where the bill is $20 sometimes than I do at one that is $100. But because of food prices somehow the waiter at the more expensive place makes out.

  7. Comedy Plus says:

    I didn’t know that about tipping is Australia. I do now. It means I better tip. We do anyway when the service is good.

    I’m sure we’ll have lots more posts about your trip. A couple of friends are leaving for Australia shortly. Should be fun to compare your notes with theirs.

    Have a terrific day. 🙂

    • Bearman says:

      Let me know if they have any questions. Yes so far the general consensus is not to give into the American Guilt and pay unless you really really really feel the service was exceptional.

  8. Jim says:

    No tipping huh?

    I think it was sorta the same thing for me, when stationed in Germany.

  9. Bo Lumpkin says:

    I resent that some people feel like tips are required. I should no more be required to subsidize the waiter or waitress salary than I should to subsidize the clerk at the convenience store. I do however have sympathy for servers because it is hard work and not at all lucrative so I am usually a generous tipper…it is because I want to though. Thinking of it as an obligation causes me resentment though. We often eat at places with a buffet where we serve ourselves. If the waitress is nice and checks to see if we need refills we tip even though we mostly serve our self. If on the other hand they never acknowlege we are there we don’t leave one.

    I just have a problem of turning anything into an entitlement that had it’s origins from generosity.

    • Bearman says:

      TIPS To Insure Prompt Service. I judge each server independently. If I can tell the issue is with the kitchen and not the server I don’t take it out on their tip. If they are just a bad server, I do. But I am typically pretty generous with tipping.

      I remember one time we were at a restaurant and literally the waiter took our order and brought us our check and was rude in the process. The busboy refilled out glasses, brought our food out etc. I left the waiter a 10 cent tip and then walked up to the bus boy in front of the waiter, handed him $10 and said “Thank You”

  10. Bo Lumpkin says:

    BTW I’m an old man and I have seen so many of thes last day predicitons that I don’t pay much attention to them. I know that any day could be the last day for any one of us.

  11. Binky says:

    That Ken Roo design is really nice. Not as nice as it could of been if he was a wombat, but still pretty good.

  12. Binky says:

    I leave myself a big tip for every meal I make. I’m making a lot of money off myself.

  13. Colleen says:

    Did you get down to Tassie to see Tony? What part of Oz have U hit? Isn’t it an amazing place!!!

  14. The problem is they tip in Kangaroo pellets.

  15. Mark Stokes says:

    Looks like that trip Down Under charged you up, Bearman! Great stuff!

  16. Christina says:

    Did you post pictures anywhere? I so want to go there. I will have to settle for Italy in March…

  17. frigginloon says:

    Sheez, locals don’t tip. Staff get paid good wages and they get double pay on weekends and public holidays. You only tip if service is really good or you want to get rid of loose change.

  18. frigginloon says:

    Did you enjoy our flies?

  19. George says:

    I always have a tendency of ignoring any tip jars I come across, but when I’m in a foreign country, I’ve learned that you’re gonna be tipping for everything from gum to urinal use.

    Even though the prices of most products are already exorbitantly expensive, the natives still expect a lil’ gratuity. It’s the price of being a tourist, I suppose. I don’t knock it.

    I’m glad you had a good time during your journey. Can’t wait to see the scores of photographs.

  20. Is Ken Groo’s middle name Tyler?!

  21. James says:

    Be prepared!

  22. Androgoth says:

    This is an awesome cartoon Bearman
    and while I am here I thought that
    I would wish you a wicked Christmas
    and a Happy New Year in 2013 🙂



    Did you bump into our
    Loon on any of your travels 😉

  23. Likety Like Like Like! One more northern hemisphere doomsday and I’ll have to move down under!

  24. Awww Ken Groo’s super cute.

  25. drFaust says:

    where did you go when you were in my fair country? Did you come to Melbourne at all?

    I must say the only time I tip is when I’m out for a nice meal and the service was good or when on holiday in another country.

    In the US if you recieved poor service or crap food would you still be expected to tip?

  26. Androgoth says:

    I am just calling by to wish you a wicked weekend of naughtiness and wanton debauchery… Noooooooo I mean a happy weekend, wicked is good too but it depends on how daring you are 🙂 Have a ghoulishly excellent Christmas with lashings of everything that you enjoy the most 🙂 lol


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