Kiwis Aren’t Keen on Tips–Fine with Us!

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We joined Sarah Keenan and Melissa Prentice for dinner at the Jervois Steak House on Ponsonby Road last night. These two women are media reps for NZ Tourism and Auckland Tourism, and they told us about their lives here in Auckland, the battle over Marmite versus Vegemite, and what it is like to meet with media from all over the world.

Both of them have lived in different countries, Melissa in Hawaii and Sarah in the Philippines, and we talked about customs such as tipping. As Americans we are used to having to lay out another 20 percent after a good meal, but these two had different opinions. One felt she should tip, and the other said no. We would prefer to have this system where you might put out a small tip but it isn’t mandatory. But of course waitresses here make more per hour than the piddling wage in the US that makes the tips the real income.

This is a big week in Auckland, it’s Cup Week, where major horse races are going on and many of the bars and restaurants are gearing up for big crowds. It’s also a week of a boat show, so the harbor is packed full of boats on display. I’ll be sailing today out into this beautiful harbor, look for some photos coming here soon.