The Effect of Generalized Compliments, Sex of Server, and Size of Dining Party on Tipping Behavior in Restaurants

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Applied Communication Division at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association


National Communication Association

Publication Date



This study examined the effects of food servers' sex, the use of generalized compliments, and the size of the dining party on tipping behavior in restaurants. Four food servers (2 males, 2 females) waited on 360 parties eating dinner, and either complimented or did not compliment the parties on their dinner selections. Results indicated that food servers received significantly higher tips when complimenting their parties than when not complimenting them, although as the size of the party increased, the effectiveness of compliments decreased. These results and their implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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