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                        Can Compliments Increase Tips?

   If you are a waitperson you probably are concerned about the tips that you
receive from customers.  The tips you receive may greatly help you pay the bills.  
Your earnings from the job may seem much more reasonable with the tips you
receive.  Is there a way to increase tips? One simple way may be to compliment
the customer.
 Seiter (2007) investigated the effect of compliments on tipping in restaurants.  
There were two restaurants in his experiment, and two female servers collected
the data in the experiment.  The experiment involves only tables with two
customers.  In one condition, each of the two customers at a table were
complimented.  In the other condition, the two customers at a table were not
complimented.  He found that the females servers received, on the average,
higher tips when they complimented the customers than when they did not.
 Seiter and Dutson (2007) investigated the effect of compliments on tips received
by hairstylists.  In their experiment, two hairstylists colleted the data.  There were
three conditions in their experiment.  In one condition, customers did not receive
a compliment.  In another condition, customers were told that their hair looked
terrific.  In a third condition, the customers just received a compliment that
involved a statement about any hairstyle looking good on them.  They found that
the hairstylists received, on the average, higher tips when they a complimented
customers than when they did not compliment customers.  It did not matter
which type of compliment the customers received.  Both types of compliments
appeared to increase tips.  There was no statistically significant difference for the
two compliment conditions.
  The findings of these two experiments have important practical implications.  
Complimenting a customer may increase the amount received in tips.

References

Seiter, J. S. (2007).  Ingratiation and gratuity:  The effects of complimenting
Customers on tipping behavior in restaurants.
Journal of Applied Social
Psychology, 37, 478-485.
Seiter, J. S., & Dutson, E. (2007).  The effect of compliments on tipping
behavior in hairstyling salons.  
Journal of Applied Social Psychology,
37, 1999-2007.