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Seeding

 

Techniques > Tipping > How to Get a Bigger Tip > Seeding

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The basic principle of seeding is to show people what others have given.

If you work in a place where there is a 'tip jar' or some container where customers give a tip as they are paying at a counter, then part-fill the jar with examples of what others have given (or actually what you want them to give).

You can alternatively help inform people with a 'guide' percentage, perhaps printed on the menu or bill. A neat way is to have a 'happy customer' story, for example on the back of the menu or on a card on the table where the customer says something 'I was so happy I gave a 20% tip!).

You can even drop it into conversation, but be very careful with this approach as it can backfire.

Discussion

In some countries and contexts the expected amount to give as a tip is quite clear. In other places it is not, in which case subtle hints such as this can actually be helpful to customers. Tourists, for example, often are anxious about the right amount to tip.

Seeding uses the principle of social proof, whereby people will tend to follow the example that others set, especially when they are uncertain as to what they should do next.

Be careful about over-doing this. A tip jar that only contains one size of coin or note can be suspicious. People also will have a natural limit and may well give nothing rather than what they see a a large amount. If you are not sure, then seeding with smaller coins can be ultimately more effective.

See also

Social Proof principle

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