Effect on Restaurant Tipping of Male and Female Servers Drawing a Happy, Smiling Face on the Backs of Customers' Checks


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Bruce Rind, Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122. e-mail: rind@templevm.


Research has shown that a server's smiling can increase restaurant tips and that a server's writing “thank you” on the backs of checks can also increase tips. In the current study, these two approaches were combined. An experiment was conducted in which a male or female server drew a happy, smiling face on the backs of checks before delivering them to customers, or simply delivered checks with nothing drawn on the back. It was predicted that this tactic would increase tips for the female server because of an increased perception of friendliness, but would not increase tips for the male server because such behavior would be perceived as gender-inappropriate. Results were consistent with predictions.