The Relationship between Tipping and Service Quality: A Comment on Bodvarsson and Gibson’s Article
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Numerous studies have found that tip size is only weakly related to service quality. Bodvarsson and Gibson recently challenged this finding—criticizing previous research and reporting that consumers say they would tip substantially different amounts with different levels of service quality. This paper presents a critical response to Bodvarsson and Gibson’s article. Contrary to Bodvarsson and Gibson’s claims, the weakness of the tipping–service relationship in the existing literature is not just a reflection of restricted variability in service ratings. Nor is it attributable to other methodological problems with service ratings. Furthermore, the data from Bodvarsson and Gibson’s role-playing survey is suspect, because what people say they would do in a given situation is often different from what they actually do in that situation.
tipping; service quality; restaurants; customers
Required Publisher Statement: © Elsevier. Final version published as: Lynn, M. (2000). The relationship between tipping and service quality: A comment on Bodvarsson and Gibson’s article. The Social Science Journal, 37(1), 131-135. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.