Waitresses, Increase Your Tips by Standing Closer

Study shows leaning in makes a big difference
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2011 12:52 PM CDT
Waitresses, Increase Your Tips by Standing Closer
Get right in there, and your tips might be higher.   (Getty Images)

Want to increase your tips? Stand closer to the customers you’re serving. The Harvard Business Review’s Daily Stat points to a study that showed waitresses who stood about 6 inches from patrons, as opposed to 2.5 feet, improved their tips by 22.6%. The study, originally published in the Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, also found that tips were boosted when waitresses smiled broadly, touched customers briefly on the arm or shoulder, or squatted by the table to introduce themselves.

In Good, Alex Goldmark notes that it’s simply a “natural human reaction” to reward servers who increase intimacy, but adds that another—notably less scientific—experiment by This American Life in 2003 found that “aloof” waitresses actually earned higher tips than “super-friendly” ones. “Add it all up, and the path to maximum gratuity earnings might be standing up close and personal” while “acting distant and impersonal.” (More waitress stories.)

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