Making up the tips

Does wearing makeup increase waitress’ tips? Researchers at the Université de Bretagne Sud, and the Université du Maine, France, recently performed a field experiment (with two waitresses) to find out. Two hundred and seventy-four restaurant customers (186 males and 98 females) were randomly assigned into two groups. One group was attended by waitresses who were wearing makeup: “In the makeup condition, the beautician applied makeup to the eyes, cheeks and lips in a way that enhanced the attractiveness of each waitress.” The other group were also served by the same two waitresses – but this time they were makeup-free.

“In this study we found that men patrons gave tips more favorably to waitresses who wore makeup and, when they did so, they gave a large amount of money.”

Leading the authors to go on to make a recommendation:

“It would be interesting for women’s restaurant employees to use facial makeup to enhance their physical attractiveness and then, in return, to enhance their incomes especially in bars or restaurant where men used to go.“

•See: ‘Waitresses’ facial cosmetics and tipping: A field experiment’ published in the March 2010 issue of the International Journal of Hospitality Management.
•And previous research, also featuring author professor Nicolas Guéguen. ‘Guéguen’s big bust experiments’ .
•Plus, the same effect in reverse – is it possible to gauge the attractiveness of waitresses according to the tips they get? Really Magazine, Nov 08

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