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Zeller data shows that the average Australian tip value has increased by 12% since last year, growing from $16.05 to $17.93. At a time when discretionary spending is down, it’s a surprising result that shows the willingness of Australians to reward great service in times of need. What’s more, the number of tips has increased by a whopping 132% since January last year, demonstrating that the reflex to leave a tip is strongly on the rise.
For service providers working in Melbourne, there’s good news. The average tip value left by Melburnians surpassed those of their Sydney counterparts by an impressive 57%, averaging $18.57 in the southern city compared to $11.81 up north. It’s a trend that could be attributed to Melbourne’s historically strong dining culture, or greater cost of living pressures in Sydney.
For Matteo Neviani, general manager of Trattoria Emilia in Melbourne’s CBD, the increase in tips hasn’t gone unnoticed. "We've observed a significant increase in the tips we've received recently.” The busy Italian restaurant has indeed seen a 30% jump in their tips since March this year and Matteo puts it down to a growing trend among Australian diners as well as a smoother payment process delivered by Zeller Terminal, “It’s a more streamlined customer experience,” he says.
Similarly, at Clover Wine Bar on Swan Street, Richmond, owner Lyndon Kubis has also seen a remarkable increase in tips since switching to Zeller, “Zeller Terminal has a very inviting interface to want to tip. So it certainly welcomes tipping,” he explains.
While the generosity of tippers is more pronounced in metro areas, the growing trend in tipping appears to be extending well beyond the major ring roads. On average, customers in bigger cities tip 12% more in value than those in regional areas, with metro diners offering a gratuity of $18.08, compared to $16.07 in rural areas. However, since last year, diners in regional Australia have increased their average tip value by an astounding 79% year on year, from $9 to $16.07.
In Airlie Beach, Queensland, Brittany Yanapa, who works as a venue manager at restaurant La Tabella says it’s got a lot to do with the return of tourism as well as their EFTPOS process: “We’ve noticed an upswing in tipping” she says, “We put it down to the influx of tourists as well as the user-friendly nature of our Zeller EFTPOS Terminals. It guides customers through the tipping process, and enhances the overall experience.”
Taking a deeper dive into hospitality shows a diversification in Australian tipping culture. While table service venues are still those that receive the highest tips, with an average tip value of nearly $20 (representing an 8% increase since last year), takeaway restaurants are now also being rewarded for their service. This year, average tips for the take-out sector totalled $7.52, up 6% from last year. Meanwhile, at bars and clubs, tips were down by 23%, a trend shared with cafes where tips also declined by 19% since last year.
Hairdressers, nail technicians and massage therapists must be doing something right because it’s the beauty sector that comes up at number one on the leaderboard of highest-tipped industries. This year, Australians left an average tip of 21% of the total bill after their beauty appointments, surpassing all other categories and experiencing a remarkable increase of 121% since last year. In second place, the overall hospitality sector saw its tips increase to an average of 7%, while the taxi and transport industry remained steady on 5%.
While tipping isn’t for everyone, we’re impressed to see a growing trend of Australians adding a gratuity to their bill to reward an outstanding customer experience. Zeller Terminal’s built-in tipping feature, which can be turned on or off right from the EFTPOS device, is a small but important feature that nurtures a culture of generosity, and incentivises servers and staff to elevate their customer service experience.