Tips on Increasing “Tips”

 

It’s too soon to know whether The Public Option, a new brewpub set to open in D.C. by early fall, will serve good beer, but it does promise patrons a less awkward experience than its competitors: Customers won’t have to fret over how much money to add to the bill, because waiters won’t accept tips. The Public Option may be part of a trend: Earlier this month, Manhattan’s Restaurant Riki joined a growing list of New York restaurants that don’t take tips. The Public Option’s founder says he hopes the no-tipping policy will encourage a better dynamic among waiters, kitchen staff and customers.

 

There’s a fairly long library of scholarship that has gone into this very subject. Defenders of tipping, traditionally, have argued that it gives waiters an incentive to provide good service. But over the years, research has shown that what customers actually reward often doesn’t have much to do with service. Here are a few things that actually elicit bigger tips.

 

Touching the customer

 

For a 1984 paper in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, April Crusco and Christopher Wetzel had waitresses at two Mississippi restaurants randomly divide their customers into three groups. One group of diners wouldn’t be touched; one group would be touched on the shoulder once for about a second and a half, as the waitress returned the change at the end of the meal; and one group would be touched on the palm of the hand twice for half a second each time. Crusco and Wetzel found that touching had a significant effect on tip size, and the double-hand touch was the most effective: Customers left an average tip of 12 percent when they weren’t touched, 14 percent when they were touched on the shoulder and 17 percent when touched twice on the palm of the hand.

 

Having blond hair

 

In a study of 432 waitresses, Lynn found that waitresses with blond hair received larger tips than waitresses with any other hair color.

 

Drawing a smiley face on the check—but only if you’re a woman

 

In 1995, psychologist Bruce Rind and marketing researcher Prashant Bordia recruited a waiter and a waitress to take part in an experiment at a Philadelphia restaurant. Rind and Bordia randomly assigned the servers to draw a smiley face on the check of about half the 89 groups that dined at the restaurant over the course of a three-day period. It turned out that the waitress raised her average tip size from 28 to 33 percent when she drew a happy face, but the opposite effect held for the waiter: Drawing a smiley face decreased his tip from 21 to 18 percent. Rind and Bordia hypothesized that customers thought the smiley face was cute when women did it but effeminate when men did.

 

Wearing an ornament in their hair

 

In 1980, JeriJayne Stillman and Wayne Hensley found that women received larger tips when they wore a flower in their hair and in 2012, Guguen and Jacob did a follow-up study looking at how different types of ornamentation affected tipping. They had waitresses at a restaurant in France—where tipping is unusual—wear a barrette decorated with a flower, a small bird, a sprig of black currant, or no barrette. Guguen and Jacob analyzed the tipping behaviors of 665 customers and found that men tipped 41.2 percent of the time when waitresses wore ornaments, compared to 30.9 percent when they didn’t. The effect was even stronger for female customers: Women tipped waitresses wearing barrettes 40.5 percent of the time, compared to 26.4 percent of the time if they didn’t. The type of ornament didn’t make a significant difference.

 

 

Michael Lynn, a researcher at Cornell’s School of Hospitality, had servers at two restaurants in Houston either crouch next to the table when they first took customers’ orders or remaining standing throughout the encounter. Lynn found that when the servers squatted next to the table, they increased tips by, on average, 20 to 25 percent. Lynn suggests squatting may facilitate eye contact and increase feelings of “congruence” between customer and server.

 

Wearing red

 

For a 2012 paper in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, Nicolas Guguen and Celine Jacob assigned 11 waitresses to wear black, white, green, yellow, blue or red shirts as they served over 700 customers in 5 seafood restaurants in France. Across the board, men left significantly larger tips for waitresses who wore red.

 

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Hospitality Recruiter Can Help You Find a Job!

    Karl was the best asset in securing my new position. He was there coaching and teaching me every step of the way. I have been working in the food industry for 20+ years and this is the first time I have used a recruiter. I have been on both ends of the hiring process and Karl has helped to know what people are looking for and what I should be looking for when hiring new employees. I look forward to meeting Karl and shaking his hand. If needed I would seek Karl out again!         Mahmoud Elkhyati         Need help with your resume – Have a Recruitment Specialist help you for FREE       Hospitality Recruiter Can Help You Find a Job!
  • Hospitality Recruitment Works!

    My interactions with Mr. Richard were professional. He was very accommodating to my wants in needs when it came to the company I was looking to become a part of. I had tried myself to obtain a position with this company, but I was not able to do so on my own. With Richard's help I was able to land the position.  He kept me in the loop when it came to every interview that I had from beginning to end and kept me very upbeat and positive about the experience. I believe this is how a head hunter or recruiter should perform when dealing with clients very professional and had integrity in everything that he did.     Albert Jones     Hospitality Recruitment matches YOUR skills with the perfect job Hospitality Recruitment Works!
  • Hospitality Recruiters Are Here to Help

    Daniel was a great help to me on my job search. From the first time I was contacted by him I felt he was here not only to help the company find the right candidate but he was there to make sure I was right for the position.  Daniel is very persistent when he is working with you.  He knows that time is of the essence and he helps you adhere to a very strict timeline to be successful.  Daniel is there for you when you are feeling unsure and is always available to discuss just about anything.  He has a wealth of FOH & BOH knowledge and that really put me at ease because I have not met many recruiters with FOH & BOH experience. Talking to someone who has been where you have been really puts you at ease!  I am very appreciative that I had the chance to work with Daniel on this occasion.  I am thankful he was understanding, attentive, communicative, and seems to generally care about you as a person and a perspective candidate! Katherine Woods         Career Coaches that help you for FREE Hospitality Recruiters Are Here to Help
  • Hospitality Recruiters Make the Best Match for You in Your Next Job!

    Tom Schmitt was nothing but more than professional and courteous to me.  He originally contacted me about a company looking for a General Manager.  I was employed at the time, but not very happy in my situation.  Tom talked to me in great detail in regards to the position he had.  After careful consideration, I decided to pursue the opportunity.  He helped me create a more professional resume to present to the company.  He communicated to me on a daily basis as I went through the interview process.  I was eventually given an offer for the General Manager position.  I can honestly say that without Tom's help, I would still be in an unhappy job.   Thank you,   Roy Riddle     What kinds of jobs does a Hospitality Recruitment Specialist have for me? Hospitality Recruiters Make the Best Match for You in Your Next Job!
  • Hospitality Recruiters can help YOU find a job!

    Stephanie Yee played a key role in not only getting me in the door for my first interview, but in every step thereafter in the process. Stephanie coached me on effective interview strategies specific to my prospective role and made herself available for questions anytime. I was consistently kept in the loop with each new step in the process and her client insights proved invaluable. I always knew what to expect at each turn and who I would be interviewing with, along with basics like where to park and expected attire…all things that can easily trip up a less informed candidate.  In addition to all of this, Stephanie’s naturally positive attitude helped me to stay calm throughout a lengthy interview process that spanned a number of anxiety driven weeks. In short, without Stephanie in my corner, I wouldn’t have been able to turn this new chapter in my career. Sincerely, Steve Davis Hospitality Recruitment matches YOUR skills with the perfect job Hospitality Recruiters can help YOU find a job!