Gentlemen patrons give more tips to waitresses with red clothes
In many restaurants throughout the world, wait staff’s income depends largely on the tips received from customers. According to this study, male restaurant customers give higher tips to waitresses wearing red. In this study of 272 restaurant customers, researchers 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 red, 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.
Eleven waitresses in five restaurants were instructed 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.”
Recent research conducted with humans demonstrated that red, relative to other achromatic or chromatic colors, led men to view women presented on a photograph as more attractive. The effect of color on behavior was tested in a tipping context. Eleven waitresses in five restaurants were instructed to wear the same tee shirt with different colors (black, white, red, blue, green, or yellow). The effect of color on tipping according to patron’s gender was measured. It was found that waitresses wearing red received more tips but only with male patrons. Waitresses color had no effect on female patrons’ tipping behavior. The relation between red and sexual attractiveness are used to explain the results. Managerial interests related with clothing appearance were discussed.
Nicolas Guéguen, & Céline Jacob (2012). Clothing Color and Tipping: Gentlemen Patrons Give More Tips to Waitresses With Red Clothes
Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research : 10.1177/1096348012442546