Must Read – Tipping Doesn’t Reward Good Behavior

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We all know that tipping goes with eating out and other activities like that – but did you know there are influences on how much you will tip?!

Redefining good service

Studies have shown that tipping is more based on physical attraction than actual good service. Women who wear make up or have a larger breast size are usually tipped more by males. Likewise, female diners tip men better than they do other women. Another tip trend is that credit card users tend to leave more gratuity than cash carriers. If you are in the food industry and want to know what kind of service earns you that little extra, here it is:

Introduce yourself by name— the goal here is simply to highlight yourself as more than just a server. They will feel slightly more connected to you and that will be effective later when the check comes.

Bring yourself to table level— Don’t know why this works, but it draws the customer in.

Complimenting the customers choice— It makes them feel good and they have a bond with you now, because you like the same things.

Touching on the arm— This seems risky, but it apparently works. Your pushing that connection even further. Just make sure they’ve been resposive to your other efforts before trying this.

Go in for the kill with candy on the check— If you’re a woman, drawing a smiley face works too.

Studies: Archives of Sexual Behavior 2009, International Journal of Hospitality Management 2010

Writer: Mr. Savvy!

Mr.Savvy aka BSD's Hubby

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  • Montanna

    Except that for me (and the people I go with) it IS customer service. I don’t care if you’re 16 ( the youngest you can work in some states) or 80. The fact is, I’m going to tip you based on how well you took care of me, the customer. That’s their job. I don’t care to hear about how I’ve made “a great choice”, or them to touch me (with today’s germs, no thank you). I want good, reasonably fast (depending on the restaurant) food and service. I hate sitting for ten+ minutes without anything to drink. I think we should focus more on teaching that to waiters/waitress before we do the “touch their arm” or “say good choice” route.

  • nicole reichert

    I tip more for good service, than looks. I don’t care if you are swamp thing. If my food comes out fast with minimal hassle (and correct), you will see more money.

  • chickiemom

    I agree. I would NOT want any server to touch me and that would turn me off completely (not to mention make my husband mad if it was a guy, if a girl touched him I would think she was a slut, don’t touch, just smile) Also, being friendly and smiling goes a whole lot further then the server crouching down to my level, which actually I hate when they do that! 🙂 Give me good service, refill my drinks, ASK me if I want my coffee refilled (lol pet peeve!) and bring my food out in a decent time..

  • Tammy

    I agree with Montanna, I don’t want anyone touching me or commenting on my choice. I don’t care the age or gender. I want good service. I also don’t want some overly pierced, stretched out ears lobes or too many tattoos, I want to have an appetite when my food comes.

  • Brandi

    I’d say there’s a “Limit” to good service as well. My dad and I went to a restaurant for lunch this past Wednesday and the waitress was at our table “checking” on us SOOO many times we couldn’t even enjoy our lunch. I appreciate you checking in, but if you’re at my table 115 times in 20 minutes, I’m going to be annoyed, not appreciative. I agree with the previous posters, I don’t care if you’re the hunch back of Notre Dame- I’ll tip more for better service than for looks.

  • Camille

    I have to say that I also tip based on service. I worked as a server for many years. What impresses people the most is the anticipation of their needs before they ask, and prompt service. I did better in tips as a professional server by taking care of my guests, that others who tried the flirty method.

  • Michelle

    I tip for service, never based on appearance. I start out with the intention of giving a server 20%, but that amount goes down based on their service throughout the meal and after (sometimes they leave you waiting to get the check). Bonus points to the servers that give attention to my children. That makes them feel special and eating out goes smoother.

  • Katie

    As a server in college I can say for sure that this works! There were times that I forgot to bring things to the table or somthing like that, but if you relate to your tables and let them see that you are human the tip will be better.

  • Dennis

    yeah sorry man but this is way off. I know you have your studies and what not but with over 20 years in the hospitality industry I vehemently disagree with your “redefining good service” section. A couple of these are huge mistakes and most servers are trained NOT to do! Never “bring yourself to table level”… it looks horrible and most of the time you need to put your hands on the table to get up or down. Lean over maybe, get closer but don’t ever crouch net to a table. And NEVER randomly touch your guests! Ugh! That’s horrible. If I was out to eat and the server randomly touched my arm I’d be appalled… Let alone if someone did it to my wife!!! Never ever do either of these things! For the most part I agree with everything else. Maybe crouching at the table or randomly touching guests is ok at a greasy spoon type diner or at a super crazy casual sports bar or applebees or something but not anywhere else.

  • Rachael S

    For me personally I hate it when the waiter touches me (personal space issues…right here), but I do love the smiley face on the check so silly but I love it.

  • Ami

    Please do not touch me. We had one waitress who’d half-slide into the booth with us when talking and it was sooooo uncomfortable and awkward. You also don’t need to come down to my level like I’m a 5-year old.

    Fast, polite (which does include introducing yourself), and accurate service is all we ask for. We give a set % every time, it only gets dropped or raised based on super slow or super fast service, because we consider slow to be very rude. We shouldn’t have to stand up and wave you over or sit and wait 10 minutes for you to come “check on us” to bring our check.

  • Tammy Barnes

    As a former waitress, I have to say that I watch their every move. Their body language speaks volumes. If someone is truly a good waiter, they will smile (genuinely) and converse (chit chat) with you. They will take the time to learn the proper “check” timing. Too much checking is worse than not enough in my book. And don’t fill a glass without offering first, its rude. Also, ask if I am done before you quickly sneak the check on the table as you run past it. When your body language is tense, you should’ve called in or you should take a breather. One bad customer can ruin an otherwise great night, but you shouldn’t take that out on the rest of your customers.
    I tip more when the waiter seems to enjoy my being a patron. It makes me want to come back. And I have put the brakes on a few fakes before as well. It’s risky, but has always been worth asking for a different server. Not to mention, it always led to a discount. (usually, I wasn’t the first to complain about them.)

    • Tammy Barnes

      I also like to leave a note on the check as well. It is nice to get a great tip, but it can make your night when the customer takes the time to tell you that you’ve given them “Great Service”.

  • Julie Mc

    Wow… I’ve been in the “server field” for close to 30 yrs. and this list just blows my mind!! First off.. I’ve never employed any of these and have always made excellent money. As a diner, I appreciate knowing my servers name, in case I ever to need to reference them for any reason. The “crouching at the table” annoys me like no other, I actually see it as imposing and intrusive. I don’t need to be complimented on my choice as I’m the one eating it and could care less your opinion. However, if I ask your opinion, then that’s different (an honest answer and a reason why will add money to your tip). DO NOT play “touchy feely” seems overly friendly at best… flirty at worst. A smile and or friendly attitude coupled with fast and attentive service is all I need. Give me that… and I’ll make your day!

  • Amy

    I get the good service…which is how i am…and the thing about coming to eye level…I get that. We ate at red lobster (on vaca so it was not our hometown one) and the lady waitress actually sat down at our table…at first i was like what??? but now that im reading this i realize it did make me leave a bigger tip…on the touching thing…i would NOT want them touching me…i think this goes for an older generation!! I know that lots of waitresses will smile and warm up to my hubby when we go out but what they dont realize is I control the tip so if you flirt you just hurt…your tip…I think it is esspecially RUDE for a waitress to think she can work a man for money when the wife is right there…I just feel it is not classy!!