Wellingtonian's question on whether tipping is now expected at restaurants receives firm 'no' from Reddit users

After dining at a "pretty good restaurant", the server seemed "a bit grumpy" they didn't leave a tip.
After dining at a "pretty good restaurant", the server seemed "a bit grumpy" they didn't leave a tip. Photo credit: Getty Images.

A question on whether tipping is now expected at restaurants is being met with a firm 'no' from Reddit users.

In a post shared on Reddit/r/Wellington, a user who dined out in Wellington said they were left feeling confused after a server at a "pretty good restaurant" seemed "a bit grumpy" when they didn't leave a tip.

"Is tipping expected now? I hope not because I don't like it, people should get paid a decent wage [and] this should be priced into the meal," the Reddit user asked in a post.

The user later clarified they "don't get out too often" and wondered if they'd "missed something".

On Wednesday, the post had racked up over 300 comments, with most Reddit users confirming the diner was perfectly within their rights to pay the bill without leaving a tip.

A couple of users said when paying, they'd noticed a message asking whether to include a tip on the EFTPOS machine, requiring them to select 'Y' or 'N'.

"Tipping is never usually expected and it's silly of the server to expect you to assume otherwise," one user said.

"No it isn't expected, and under no circumstances should you encourage a tipping mentality by providing one. This country should operate on the principle of decent minimum wages, not staff surviving on tips," said another.

"I prefer the level of my appreciation to be shown in my actions by offering appropriate compliments and thanks," said a third.

Some users said they would tip in certain circumstances, such as when servers were working on a statutory holiday, or when they were in a large group.

"I have only really tipped once in NZ, and that was because we were dining on Xmas day in a restaurant and that meant the people serving us were working Xmas evening," one person said.

"I tip when I am dining with a big group because I know the servers are having to work extra hard," said another.

One user who had waited in upmarket Auckland restaurants for 15 years, said tips are "appreciated but not necessarily expected". 

There are situations where servers go "above and beyond". One example is where there's a table of six and two extra people want to be "squeezed" in and have their meals bought out at the same time.

"We try to accommodate you, which involves a lot of running around when we're already busy, organising it with the chefs who are already also flat out etc, so yes recognition would be nice," the user said.

"More than half of customers do tip these days, and think nothing of it. A tip is called 'gratuity' for a reason."

Restaurant Association of New Zealand CEO Marisa Bidois, told Newshub tips, while not required, are "always welcome".

If offered one, "no one will ever be offended", she said. 

As a ballpark average, tips can be anywhere between 10-to-20 percent of the bill.

With the country moving into the traffic light system at 11:59pm on December 2, Aucklanders can finally look forward to dining out.

Those who experience great service may decide it's worthy of a tip - or they can settle on a few words of praise instead.