Techniques for Increasing Server’s Tips: How Generalizable Are They?
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In a 1996 CQ article, Lynn introduced the idea that restaurant managers could increase their servers’ tips, and thereby reduce turnover, by training the servers to engage in one or more of seven tip enhancing behaviors. Since then, the list of tip enhancing behaviors has expanded and a manual was produced to help managers train their servers in the use of these techniques. However, empirical support for the effectiveness of these behaviors rests on only a few studies that typically involve only one or two servers at a single restaurant. More research is needed to see if these small scale demonstrations generalize to a larger, more heterogeneous sample of servers and restaurants. This study addresses that need with an internet survey of over a thousand restaurant servers from across the United States. Results indicate that servers who engage in the behaviors more frequently report larger tips relative those of co-workers. These findings support the effectiveness of the behaviors at increasing tips for a variety of different servers working at many different restaurants. Thus, restaurant managers are encouraged to train their servers to engage in these behaviors.
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restaurant management; human resources; tipping
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