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Draw a Happy Face

 

Techniques > Tipping > How to Get a Bigger Tip > Draw a Happy Face

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Draw a happy face or a sun on the customers' check.

You can use other positive pictures, but happy faces and suns are quick to do and have a universally positive implication.

If you are a man, go for the sun. If you are a woman, go for the happy face. (but do experiment to find what works for you in different situations).

Discussion

Gueguen and Legoherel (2000) found an increase in tip size by getting a barman to draw a sun on the check.

Rind and Bordia (1996) tried getting male and female servers to draw a happy face on the customer's checks in a restaurant. Female servers saw an increase from 28% to 33%.

Smiling is a universal indicator of happiness. Whilst body language varies across cultures, an upturned mouth and smiling eyes is an invariant and positive indicator.

What is happening here is that the picture has a positive image, which helps put the customer in a positive frame of mind. People who are feeling good are more likely to give bigger tips, especially to those who helped them feel good.

But Rind and Bordia also found that male servers saw a decrease from 21% to 18%. What is going on here? It is possibly related to the situation, and, as in other research, what works well for women can have a lesser or negative effect for male servers. This is particularly true when the happy face is perceived as flirting (it is as if the server is looking at you). If you are a man, then sticking to the more neutral sun looks like a better strategy.

See also

Make a Positive Forecast, Smiling

 

Gueguen, N. and Legoherel, P. (2000). Effect of Tipping of Barman Drawing a Sun on the bottom of customer’s checks. Psychological Reports, 87, 223-226.

Rind, R. and Bordia, P. (1996). Effect on restaurant tipping of male and female servers drawing a happy, smiling face on the backs of customers’ checks. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26, 218–225.

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