What makes us tip more at restaurants?


Compliments, mimicry, light touching on the shoulder, happy faces on the bill and squatting to the customer’s eye level:

John Seiter and Harry Weger tested the effects of ingratiation on food servers’ tips. They had two waiters and two waitresses go about their usual duties but with a twist: for half the parties they served they were instructed to compliment the customers, telling them that they’d made an excellent choice in what they’d ordered. Counting the tips received from 348 dinner parties showed that complimenting customers on making a shrewd order led to tips that were three per cent greater on average than when no compliment was made – a statistically significant boost… This study builds on earlier research showing that use of mimicry, light touches on customers’ shoulders, happy faces on the bill and squatting to customers’ eye level can all help provoke larger tips.


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