Effect on Restaurant Tipping of Presenting Customers With an Interesting Task and of Reciprocity


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


Research has shown that servers can increase their tip percentages by positively influencing customers' mood and using the compliance technique of reciprocity. These factors were examined in the current study. An experiment was conducted in which a female server either did or did not present customers with a novel, interesting task that has been shown in previous research to stimulate interest and enhance mood. Additionally, sometimes she allowed customers to keep the task, in an attempt to elicit reciprocity. It was predicted that both of these manipulations would increase tip percentages. Presenting customers with the interesting task did increase tips, from about 18.5% to 22%, although the reciprocity manipulation had no effect.