Tipping in New Zealand

when to tip in New Zealand

Should I tip? That is a frequent question of people that arrive in New Zealand.  Tipping in New Zealand is generally not expected, but if it does occur it is a bonus. Salaries in New Zealand are not based on tips like in some other countries. Most of the tipping in New Zealand occurs in the tourism sector.

Restaurant

Tipping is not expected.  Unlike in the states where server salaries are low, employers must pay servers at least minimum wage in New Zealand.  If you receive exceptional service, you can show your gratitude by tipping up to 10%.  Kiwis rarely do this, and it is mainly tourists.  Restaurants in tourist areas may include a tip line on credit card receipts, but they rarely do at other locations. When you see the price in a restaurant, make sure you think of the real cost of the meal.

restaurant tipping

Bars

Tipping is not expected.  Tipping at a bar is even more uncommon than tipping at a restaurant in New Zealand.  Some tourist area bars have a tip jar.

Cafe

Leaving a tip is not expected.  Some cafes have a tip jar.  Some people leave their loose change, but it is not expected.

Concierge

Tipping is not required.  If the concierge was very helpful or provided you with a service, it is not uncommon to leave a tip.  If you want to leave a tip, many people leave a single tip at the end of the stay instead of a tip for each service provided.

Bellhop

Tipping is not required.  It is not uncommon to tip the bellhop $1-2 for carrying your bags to your room.  A higher percentage of foreign tourists compared to Kiwis.

When to tip bellman

Housecleaning

Again, tipping is not required. It is not uncommon to leave a $1-5 tip for house cleaning.  It is best to tip each day, so your tip goes directly to the person cleaning your room instead of to the last person to clean your room.

Tour Guide

It is common for tourists to tip tour guides, especially if it is a multiple day tour.  Tipping 5-10% is a fair amount.  If it is a single day tour, tipping a couple of dollars is typical.  Tipping tour guides is not required, and they are paid a salary that is at or above minimum wage.

Taxi/Uber

It is very rare for a New Zealander to tip a taxi or Uber driver.  Even telling the driver to keep the change is not common, but it does sometimes occur.

Spa

Tipping is not required. Some people leave 5-10% if the service was exceptional, but it is not required or expected.

Hair Dresser

New Zealanders generally do not tip at the salon.  If your stylist went above and beyond, you could leave a tip, up to 10%, but it is not expected.

tipping in New Zealand salons

 

What are your experiences with tipping in New Zealand?

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