Good news for waitresses: new research has reveiled a way to increase your amount of tip money, without having to put a lot of effort to it. Although it may sound strange, a recent article by Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob shows that wearing red while serving, actually leads to an increase of tip money. At least, for female waitresses it does.
Researchers Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob asked eleven waitresses in five different restaurants to wear the same type of tee shirt in six different colors (white, black, red, green, yellow, and blue) on various days over a six-week period. This way, the several colors were worn randomly. The waitresses were instructed to act as they normally would to all customers and to record how much they received as a tip from each customer. By this method, the researchers studied 272 restaurant customers in their tipping behaviour. The first thing they noticed, was that male customers gave higher tips than female customers in general. Furthermore, they discovered that male visitors gave between 14.6% and 26.1% more to waitresses wearing red, while color had no effect on female customers’ tipping behavior in any way.
The researchers explained that previous research has found that red increases the physical and sexual attractiveness of women. This research proves that the same effect can be seen in professional settings as well.
Guéguen, Nicolas and Jacob, Céline (2012). Clothing color and tipping: Gentlemae Patrons Give More Tips to Waitresses with Red Clothes. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism. doi: 10.1177/1096348012442546