**As I begin to write this, my neigbors are belting it out to GnR’s Sweet Child O’ Mine…yet more evidence that the 80s will live forever! Great success!!**

My last post got me thinking about another thing I haven’t had in awhile, that is, when it comes to restaurants – service for tips. Those in the hospitality industry in Australia are getting paid hourly (server pay ranges from $11-20+ per hour) – in other words, it doesn’t matter how many drinks they serve; whether they have 2 tables or 5; or if you sit there and inhale your food within 30 minutes or wine and dine for 2 hours.
And, the fact that they get paid hourly lends to a huge difference in the service. I won’t say Australian restaurant service is better or worse compared to restaurant service in America – just different.

In America, within two minutes of sitting at the table, it’s:
Hi, my name is Jojo and I’ll be your server tonight. Just want to let you know about our specials…blah blah. Now, can I start you all off with some drinks? A glass of wine? How about an appetizer? The spring rolls are really good…

In Australia, within 10 minutes or as soon as the server notices all menus closed, it’s:
Hi, are you ready to order?

When it’s time to go, in America, they tend to just drop the bill on the table within 2 minutes of you declining coffe/dessert. If you’re in Australia, you have to ask your server for the bill. They won’t automatically assume that because you are done eating that you want to leave now. It’s quite common to have a cuppa or dessert after dinner, or relax and finish the BYO bottle of wine. After you get the bill, either take it to the front counter to pay (quickest) or catch your server and ask her to take it up.

What about tipping? Well, yeah, not so much Down Under. If you’re paying cash, and the bill is $23.50, you might just leave $25. Or, you might not. Whatever. At the coffee shops, take away places and smaller cafes, they might have a little “tip” plate or jar by the cashier where you can leave some coins.

Anywho, wherever you are, bon appetit!

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