Note to waitresses: Wearing red can be profitable

August 2, 2012

In many restaurants throughout the world, wait staff's income depends largely on the tips received from customers. According to a new study, male restaurant customers give higher tips to waitresses wearing red. This study was published in a recent issue of Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

In their study of 272 restaurant customers, researchers Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob found not only that male patrons gave higher tips than female patrons in general, but that men gave between 14.6% and 26.1% more to waitresses wearing , while color had no effect on female patrons' tipping behavior at all. The researchers explained that previous research has found that red increases the physical and sexual attractiveness of women.

Guéguen and Jacob instructed eleven waitresses in five to wear the same tee shirt in different colors (black, white, red, blue, green, and yellow) on different days over a six-week period. The waitresses were instructed to act as they normally would to all customers and to record how much they received as a tip from each customer.

The author wrote, "As red color has no negative effect on women customers, it could be in their interest to wear red clothes at work."

Explore further: Women attracted to men in red, research shows

More information: The article "Gentlemen Patrons Give More Tips to Waitresses with Red Clothes" in Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research is available free for a limited time at … 442546.full.pdf+html

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Aug 02, 2012
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2.3 / 5 (4) Aug 02, 2012
It's possible that there is no causation here... it could be that attractive women tend to wear red more frequently than unattractive ones and attractive women receive higher tips, because as awful as that might seem it's only natural.
2.5 / 5 (4) Aug 02, 2012
How to get more money from tax payers being a contemporary psychologist: do the same research again, again and again - just under different names... The decadence of contemporary science plays well with sex frustration of its unwilling sponsors.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2012
who would I give a bigger tip to? Someone who is attractive yet provides very poor service, or an unattractive person who provides excellent service? Again its possible that there is no causation as Deathclock stated, the women in red just provided better service.

The study outcome might also read, waitresses wearing red provide better service.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2012
11 waitresses doesn't seem to be large enough but then statistical mathematics eludes me.

If I understand the article the women were wearing a different colour on different days over 6 weeks. That should eliminate concerns over service as the terminally inhospitable lifted their game initially probably couldn't keep it up for 6 weeks. Visual appeal would also be averaged out --- I think.

As for the complaint that it is doing the same research repetitively... 1) that is partially what science entails, 2) experiments isolating mechanisms are useful, 3)people still doubt results for various reasons, 4) Changing clothes/uniforms are a simpler mechanism for improving opportunities than either dying one's hair or breast enhancements. Stripping though may be simplest but is largely unappealing to significant portion of women in societies.*

* by 'common sense' "metrics". I don't no if it is a valid assumption.

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