Psych Abstract: Effect of server introduction on restaurant tipping

Research Abstract

Garrity, K. & Degelman, D. (1990). Effect of server introduction on restaurant tipping. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20, 168-172.

The effect of a server introducing herself by name on restaurant tipping was investigated. Forty-two two-person dining parties were randomly assigned to either a name or a no name introduction condition. The use of a buffet brunch reduced contact between server and diners and held bill size constant. Results indicated that having the server introduce herse1f by name resulted in a significantly higher tipping rate (23.4%) than when the server did not introduce herself by name (15.0%), p < .001. Tipping rate was also affected by method of payment, with diners charging having a higher rate (22.6%) than those paying cash (15.9%), p < .001. The findings suggest the importance of initial server-diner interactions. Possible alternative explanations and suggestions for future research are provided.