Whether or not communist countries have successfully abolished the practice, New Zealand and Australia do not have a culture of tipping, despite having the same British heritage as the US. The only people who ever tip in either country seem to be American tourists, although a lot of cafes and restaurants would like to encourage the practice.

It’s understood that minimum wage laws that apply to waiting staff as well as everyone else play a role in this.

Welcome to the SDMB, binky1.

Here’s the link to the article: What is the origin of tipping?

As far as Australia goes, when I was a kid, tipping was regarded as a strange foreign custom that no self-respecting worker would countenance. Tourism and migration has changed all that, and now it’s probably as widespread here as anywhere.

I can remember getting into trouble on my first trip to the U.S. for not knowing tipping etiquette. For example, if you don’t tip in McDonald’s, why would you have to tip in Howard Johnson’s? Once I had my way to the door blocked util I coughed up some more dough. It wasn’t that I was trying to be cheap, I just didn’t want to offend anyone. I’m still puzzled as to the logic of the whole thing, but now I just pay up and smile.

It is certainly more widespread here than previously, but by no means is it as widespread here as “anywhere”, assuming that includes the US.

Your average resident would go weeks without tipping, except at restaurants. In the US I can’t see how you can get through a day without tipping someone.

In Ireland, the norm is small to no tips, but we didn’t know that when my mom and I visited the country last year. At the first restaraunt we ate at, Mom asked the waiter what the tipping etiquette was. Recognizing us as Americans, the waiter replied “Ah, I usually just tell people to do whatever they would do at home”.

AndrewT, I’m not sure how common you think tipping is here, but I go weeks without tipping anyone, too. It’s almost mandatory for restaraunts with waitstaff (not McDonald’s), and it’s rather expected for food delivery, taxis, and barbers, but other than that, I can’t think of a single situation where tipping is considered appropriate.

That’s probably because you don’t use your own hotels and airport porters. :slight_smile:

But of those you mentioned, I’d never tip barbers, taxis maybe one time in 5 or 10, and waiters maybe one time in 3 - it has to be pretty exceptional service to earn a tip. I’ve never tipped for food delivery.

One thing you need to remember in the U.S. The minimum wage of wait staff is $2.13 per hour. So without tips these people pretty much work for peanuts. I know this applies to waiters/waitresses, not sure what else.

What a thing is curiosity! I cannot but ask whether, in generally non-tipping nations, one tips a stripper?

So at what stage do tips become charity? I wonder if it could be said that the restaurant is sub-contracting out the waiters to the customers, since the customers seem to be paying most of the wages. :wink:

If we’re not talking of a painter and stripper, let’s just assume I can’t remember.

Yes. One purchases “tipping dollars”–kinda like the strip joint’s very own Monopoly money–for the purposes of showing one’s appreciation.

I presume tipping dollars are used (i) so that bar owners can maintain control over strippers’ tips (the women have to convert tipping dollars to real currency, taxi drivers and drug dealers being generally loath to accept tipping dollars); and (ii) because we don’t have $1 and $2 banknotes in Australia. A stripper with a sagging g-string full of gold coins may not present the most attractive sight to gentlemen patrons… and vigorous dancing may result in coins becoming dislodged–tiny golden missiles flying through the smokey air…

Or, what Cowardly Lion said. :wink:

I have also heard (probably from somewhere on the board; this is not from my own experience) that many establishments with tipping vouchers don’t pay the performers full face value on the vouchers. Obviously, this is profitable for the owner of the venue, but it seems very ethically questionable to me.