Why do you tip a restaurant server? You may say you tip for good service, but that’s rarely the real reason. SmartMoney reports that how much we tip doesn’t vary with the level of service we receive. So what does encourage us to leave a generous tip?
A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior showed that waitresses with larger self-reported breast size received bigger tips, while a second study in the International Journal of Hospitality Management found that waitresses’ use of makeup significantly increased their tips. Female servers can also increase their tips by drawing a smiley face on the check–but this doesn’t work as well for male servers.
2. Be Friendly
The friendlier the server, the more likely a customer will leave a generous tip. Friendly behavior includes smiling, greeting and even touching customers and crouching down beside the customers while taking orders.
Restaurant servers who copy their customers’ behavior get double the tips of servers who don’t do this. And the No. 1 way to mirror the customer–and get a big payoff for doing it–is to repeat back the order, according to a study from the Netherlands. Mimicry creates bonds between people.
4. Sweet Treats
Leaving candy with the check can result in a higher tip. One study found that tips increase by about 20 percent when servers give diners two pieces of chocolate along with the bill.
5. Pay With Plastic
Diners who use credit cards instead of cash to pay their bills are more likely to leave a more generous tip.