HERE'S a tip: Australia is a nation of penny-pinchers when it comes to rewarding good service.
In fact, two-thirds of people surveyed say they never, or very rarely, give tips.
And when we do, it's likely to be just loose change.
"Aussies are poor tippers even when the economy is going well," researcher Mark McCrindle said. "But in this financial downturn, the news for hospitality staff is not good."
For many, it's not a question of being mean but of philosophy.
Thirty-five per cent of people argue that tipping fuels the expectations of people wanting "something for nothing" and five out of six people say it is simply unnecessary in Australia.
"The most common responses were that they did not believe in tipping, that costs for staff and services were already built into the prices we pay, and that inflation and the increased costs of living made tipping an unviable custom," Mr McCrindle said.
His company sought the views of 532 people nationwide through its regular surveys.
One respondent said: "In other countries, tipping is essential to a good night's pay; here, it's really icing on an already well-covered cake."
Another said: "Why should people get extra money if they're already paid for what they do?"