Why Are We Tipping People Anyway? For Flirting With Us!

Image courtesy of (avitania)

In case you thought you were tipping your waiter for quality of service, you were wrong! Really, you’re just a good tipper when someone flirts with you. At least, that’s what a few studies indicate.

SmartMoney reports on the origins of tipping for services like cab rides, food service, salon treatments, etc., a tradition that started way back in the days of yore, after the Civil War. And no, it doesn’t really come from a sign reading “To Insure Promptness.”

The idea that bigger tips are cued by better service isn’t much of a theory, as field studies in restaurants found that better service just resulted in a small increase, perhaps from the norm of 15% up to 15%.

So why are you dropping 20% at a meal? Maybe if your female waitress has um, nice assets, says a 2009 study publish in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, or is wearing makeup, or flirted a little bit with you says a 2010 study in the International Journal of Hospitality Management, or you had a waiter who stooped down to table level and introduced himself.

Complimenting a customer not heir choice of dish or even a haircut at a salon also works to boost the financial rewards for a service worker.

Basically, if you work in the service industry, be nice,introduce yourself add smiley faces on checks (if you’re female only, for some reason), give out candy, wear a flower in your hair and you’ll be raking in the big bucks — even if the meal takes 30 minutes to arrive.

Tipping Doesn’t Reward Good Behavior [SmartMoney]