I have just returned from a holiday in Melbourne with my Mum and a dear friend from my school days. We ate out a lot and tipped every time we had an evening meal. In Australia wait staff are paid differently and tipping is a key part of their income. I had often wondered if our system was fairer than those countries where tipping is normal. I wondered if everyone being paid a set amount was a fairer way to pay people rather than making a good portion of it dependent on customer satisfaction.
I cannot tell you if it is a fairer system and whether or not good Australian wait staff earn more than New Zealand wait staff in general but I can tell you that their service is outstanding. Earning part of your income in tips clearly motivates staff to bend over backwards to be of service.