| Can a Joke on a Card 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 leave a joke on a card with the bill.
Gueguen (2002) conducted a study that involved tipping at a bar. Each person in the study was randomly assigned to one of three conditions. In the advertisement card condition, the customers received an advertisement on a card with their coffee and bill. In the joke card condition, the customers rcceived a joke on a card with their coffee and bill. In the control condition, the customers did not receive a card.
Gueguen found that a higher percentage of customers gave a tip in the joke card condition than in the other two conditions. In contrast, the difference between the advertisement card condition and the control condition with respect to the percentage of people tipping was not statistically significant.
These findings clearly indicate that humor may increase tips. Providing a joke on a card with the bill may be a simple way to increase tips.
One possible explanation of the effect of humor on tipping is that it reflects the reciprocity principle. The reciprocity principle suggests that we should help someone who helps us. Providing a joke on a card can be viewed as helping the customer. It may make the person more happy and cheerful. The customer may wish to reciprocate the expression of kindess by providing a tip.
Gueguen, N. (2002). The effects of a joke on tipping when it is delivered at the same time as
the bill. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 1955-1963.