Tipping in Australia


Tipping in Australia has never been a big thing like it is in the 'States, mostly I gather because our government has set a “reasonable” minimum wage, which (in theory at least) means that the friendly hospitality worker that looked after you when you dined out should not need to be supported by tips, unlike the folk in America whose income is dependent on them.

(This has not stopped me putting a small gratuity in the tip jar if I’ve really felt it was deserved, btw.)

And yet… we now have this new, not-Australian-born fast food delivery industry, serviced by the likes of MenuLog, Uber Eats etc, which we now know pay their drivers very poorly, and get around our minimum wage policies. They do however offer an option to tip the driver when you are making payment… (And I would add - payment that hides their own profit, as their prices are typically higher than the prices if you went to the restaurant yourself.)

I don’t use these kinds of services frequently enough to really tell if tipping makes any difference… but after one experience ordering in Maccas, despite including in “Notes to Driver” that our local Maccas ALWAYS shorts us 1 chips, and to please check… when our meal arrived, sure enough - there was 1 chips missing. The next time… we offered the driver a small tip… again asked to check the # of chips… and all 5 arrived.

Coincidence? Probably, Possibly?

Tonight we ordered our last ever Dominos pizzas (based on the dismal excuse for pizzas that arrived; tiny, and with such spares toppings!) When I got to the payment section, there was an option to tip the driver. Now - I know this is different to MenuLog… but I also remember hearing that Dominos drivers were treated quite poorly by the company, so I figured I’d give them a small tip… however felt very much that - for us here in Australia - this shouldn’t be how it works. Dominos should be paying their drivers a proper income, such that tips are not required.

I understand the idea that having to “earn” your tips can make you a better waiter/etc, but equally, life doesn’t always grant you the luxury of picking and choosing your jobs, and you should be afforded a reasonable income without needing to rely on tips to do it.




Good discussion, and I hate the American culture which takes the onus off the employer. I have never used any of the (new) gig economy food services, but I sometimes (rarely) get a delivery from Pizza Hut or Domino’s. I don’t think I have ever tipped them, but I have sometimes tipped when I dine in at an establishment. I recently tipped over 50% at a La Porchetta restaurant, it was only a $20 tip. The only times I tip are when I pay with cold hard cash.

I go to the office 5 days a week, I go to the supermarket to shop, 99.5% of the time I drive to wherever I want to eat. So I’m not a typical consumer of food delivery services, but I’m interested to hear the opinion of others.

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I use the delivery services quite a bit (a few times a month). I have not tipped drivers before. I’ve always been of the opinion the tipping is related to above average service. And there is only so many ways you can drop a bag at my front door. I have also had some really bad experiences with the services, with orders going missing, deliveries being listed as “on the way” for over two hours (and a 10 minute drive). To their credit, each of the services has always arranged a refund in the case of issues, but sometimes required some waiting and a few different calls (e.g. we need to give it more time to be delivered before we offer a refund).

But back on topic. The prices for the services are always above the norm. The individual dishes tend to have some extra margin added on top. Then you have a delivery fee and a service fee. So it becomes quite a pricey service before even adding a tip. I’ll tip in person if the services warrants it, but I find it hard to justify tipping the drivers.

On a slightly related note, I used to always tip Pizza Hut drivers back in the 00’s after spending a month working as one and seeing the shit deal they get. This was probably about 2003. $4 per delivery, using your own car and fuel. Deliveries were restricted to the service zone of the restaurant, so could be anything from 2 to 10 minutes away. But the wear on your car is the real issue. Also, it depended on how busy it was. Some nights would be constant deliveries. Others you would do one delivery over two hours. Just wasn’t worth it. I didn’t hang around long.

So I am probably quite contradictory on my approach.
The one thing I do agree on completely is that everyone should be paid a reasonable wage and these drivers are no different.


I do Uber Eats driving - it’s been an ‘in-between’ thing to supplement my business - we do get the tips if they’re given (in full). With Uber Eats you aren’t on minimum wage - it’s dependent upon distance and time to deliver, as you’re a ‘contractor’ not an employee.

Hey @Oldmacs

See - that’s where they are getting around “the system”, by getting you to sign a contract. I presume it can work for some people if their circumstances are “right”, but I’d bet they have a huge staff - contractor - turnover…

Glad to hear the tips do make their way to the driver in full.