Australian restaurants better than New Zealand’s when it comes to service



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.

Hardware Lane Melbourne

Hardware Lane Melbourne

One of the many places we went was Hardware Lane. What blew me away was how a staff member stands out in front of the eatery in the lane to greet everyone who goes past. They don’t pressure you to come in they just smile and say hello. If you stop to talk they will answer any questions you have about the menu etc. Even in the most humble cafes for lunch where we didn’t tip, staff were incredibly helpful. They were happy to assist with all kinds of queries. In one cafe we loved the goats cheese on top of the mashed avocado on toast so much we asked what brand it was. The owner went onto her laptop and soon we not only had the brand but also the street in Onehunga where we could purchase it it back in New Zealand.

I have encountered friendly and helpful service in New Zealand but I have also encountered average and poor service quite often. In Australia, for a solid week, every single interaction was outstanding. Maybe it was because our accents gave us away as tourists but just maybe it was because staff are rewarded for superior service with tips. What do you think?

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