One of the most annoying American customs is catching on fast in Australia, new research has revealed. According to a survey of Aussies who dine out frequently, local tipping culture is evolving rapidly, with many of us now more likely than ever before to tip wait staff.

The research, conducted by online restaurant-reservation service company OpenTable, found that while the practice is still not viewed as mandatory, it’s quickly becoming standard protocol while dining out.

The dramatic change has been largely attributed to the pandemic, and a desire to help out the hospitality industry after it was badly impacted by Covid restrictions and lockdowns.

The research found that a whopping 27 per cent of us are more likely to tip than we were before the pandemic, with the main reasons for leaving a tip including wanting to acknowledge great service, support staff and support the industry after Covid.

Of those of us who do tip, 48 per cent opt to simply round up the bill each meal, while 21 per cent leave a five per cent tip, and one in five will leave a 10 per cent tip.

Meanwhile, 12 per cent said the size of their tip depended on the experience.

However, there are still plenty of those who don’t tip – and they had strong opinions on why, with 63 per cent arguing they don’t believe in tipping as they think they pay enough for their meals.

Another 39 per cent of those who are less likely to leave tips said they think gratuity should be built into menu prices, while 17 per cent stated they don’t want to start a precedent for tipping in Australia and 10 per cent are confused about when it’s appropriate to tip.

Under-thirties are 48 per cent more likely to leave a tip than they were pre-pandemic, the highest proportion of any age group.

According to OpenTable’s vice president growth markets Robin Chiang, the custom was well and truly catching on Down Under.

“We’re seeing more willingness to leave a tip among Australian diners compared to pre-pandemic times,” Mr Chiang said.

“Many surveyed diners want to support the restaurant industry’s recovery after a tough few years.

“On top of this, there are many other ways people should show their support for their favourite venues, such as dining out more and inviting your mates, booking ahead and never pulling a no-show.

“Sharing positive feedback of your experience on social media or via reviews can also be a big help.”