Tipping is supposed to provide an incentive for waiters to provide excellent service.According to a study featured on Planet Money, however, warm weather and a fun environment — a cruise ship or a bar — are the factors that really lead to a good tip. People leave big tips when they’re in a good mood.
People also tip when they feel sorry for the waiter.
Details from NPR:
Jessica Gibson, a waiter at an Irish pub in Tulsa, Oklahoma, believes that the harder she works, the greater her tips are. Yet she also admits that when she’s a customer, she always leaves a 20% tip, even if the service is terrible.
Like most people, Jessica tips pretty much the same amount no matter what. It may vary a little, but it won’t not much.
Which raises the question: if we don’t tip to get better service, why do we it?
Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and a former waiter at Pizza Hut, says there is another explanation: We tip because we feel guilty about having people wait on us. It’s a way of saying: “Here, have on drink on me when you’re done working.”
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