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Compliment Them

 

Techniques > Tipping > How to Get a Bigger Tip > Compliment Them

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Say something complimentary about them. For example:

  • Good choice, sir. That's a delicious dish.
  • That's a lovely necklace you're wearing.
  • What a nice, warm smile!
  • You two look so happy together.

Be genuine when you say this. Smile. Act as if you really like and admire them.

Match the tone of the compliment to the type of person. You can often be more energetically friendly with younger people, whilst a gentle pleasantness works with people who seem to have a quiet character.

Discussion

What is happening here is that complimenting the person makes them feel good, and people who feel good tip more. There is also a social obligation here to make you feel good in return (and a nice tip is the easiest way).

Seiter (2009) got servers to either compliment customers on their choice of dish or not. After taking the first order, the server would say "You made a good choice!" and after a second order, they would "You did good too!" Complimented customers tipped on average 19% whilst non-complimented customers tipped 16%.

Most studies on tipping are in food service. Seiter and Dutson (2007) found that complimenting customers in hair styling salons (where the customers are particularly concerned about their appearance) had a significant effect on tipping, with average tips going up from around $9 to over $12.

See also

Praise Them, Bonding principle, Exchange principle

 

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