Does Service Dictate What You Tip?

Maybe NOT . . .

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Restaurant tipping has been a hot topic during the summer of 2013. A "waiter advocate" offers his take on the future of gratuities. Click: How are consumer attitudes toward gratuities changing?

Ask Dr. Michael Lynn, an associate professor at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, New York. He will tell you the amount you tip depends primarily on how well your waiter or waitress has manipulated you. That's right how well your server understands the psychology of helping you up your meal tab and very important feel an obligation to tip BIG.

The author of "Mega tips: Scientifically Tested Techniques to Increase Your Tips," based on 25 years of his studies and those of others, Dr. Lynn knows about these things. He also knows he has made members of the restaurant service industry who have taken his advice to heart very happy, not to mention their "bottom lines."

Here are some of his tactics that servers have used and are using on you to receive bigger tips:

How many do you remember experiencing the following tactics to/ how often have they been used on you to establish a rapport (and hence, the desire to tip well)?

(1) They wear something unusual that personalizes them to you think, a "flower in the hair."

(2) They introduce themselves by name in a sincere and professional manner think, "he or she seems friendly and polite."

(3) They squat down next to your table/pull out a chair and sit down when taking orders think, "your situations have become more equal; you're face-to-face and eye contact is easier."

(4) They repeat your order think, "they know where I'm coming from; we're on the same wave length."

(5) They prompt you to order more expensive entrees and extras such as a second cocktail, appetizers, after dinner drinks and desserts.

(6) They flatter you by calling you by name.

(7) A waitress (not a waiter no change in tipping for him) draws a "smiley face" on your check think, "happy, mood-elevator."

(8) They smile a "large, open-mouthed smile" in your direction.

9) They give you candy or write "thank you" on your check think, "obligation kicks in."

(10) They touch you, usually on the shoulder for a couple of seconds, and often do so when they offer you the check. (Strike you as strange? Most people are unaware of this occurence when it happens, but routinely respond with bigger tips!)

(11) One of our favorites! They write a positive weather report on your check think, "a good mood draws a bigger tip."

Note: Most of these tactics work primarily in mid-priced, casual dining restaurants, like Applebee's, Bennigan's, Bob Evans, Bucca di Beppo, Chi-Chi's, Chilli's Grill & Bar, Cracker Barrel, Denny's, Friendly's, Hard Rock Cafe, International House of Pancakes, Joe's Crab Shack, Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Max & Erma's, Olive Garden, On the Border, Outback Steakhouse, Pizza Hut, Pizzeria Uno, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesdays, Shoney's and TGI Friday's.
A service person squatting down to take your order in the formal atmosphere of a fine dining restaurant? Perhaps not.

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