This will be my last post about tipping.
As a final post I thought I would run through a few of the things that service-employees can do that have been found to be effective in increasing the amount of tips they can earn. Also, if you’re a customer and you notice any of these things being done to you, its quite possible they are being done so you tip more.
So, hopefully this post will be a little bit useful as well as serving as a goodbye.
Service-employees, wanting to earn more tips, can:
- Smile broadly at customers (it may seem simple and obvious but it has been shown in numerous studies that the bigger the smile, the bigger the tip).
- Touch the customer, when handing them their bill, on either the hand or the shoulder (which ever seems more seamless).
- Introduce themselves by their first name. (It is unclear why this would work, but it does. It is possibly about creating relationships and closeness.)
- Write “Thank you” or draw a smily face on the bill that is given to customer.
- Expose the customer to credit card insignia just before they are about the pay the bill (for example, the bill could come on a tray on which the credit card insignia is inscribed). (This is another one of those situations where it is not really known why it works, but multiple studies suggest it does. It could have something to do with subtly reminding the customer how much access to funds they have.)
- Give the customer a sweet at the same time as the bill.
- Compliment the customer on their meal selection.
- Wear a flower in their hair. (This one only seems to work for female service employees. I have no idea why this would increase tip levels. There has only been one study on the effect of this and it was conducted over 25 years ago, but the results seemed clear enough.)
These studies were all conducted in either the USA or France, so it is not guaranteed that they will work in Australia, but it might be worth a try.
Also, there is likely to be an upper limit to the amount to which tipping can be increased, so doing all of them isn’t going to result in you being able to retire at the age of 35. However, don’t be surprised if doing some of these things increases your overall income a little bit.
So that’s it from me. Thank you to everyone who has read, commented on, distributed or even thought about this blog. It has received more attention than a blog about tipping ever really deserved.
As for the tipping research from this point, it continues, but in other forms. Suffice to say, if you see someone in a Melbourne bar with a notepad drinking soda water its most likely me. Then its off the USA later this year to carry things on a little further.
Thanks again, and all the best.