The overall conclusion isn’t new news … but the finding the high quality service accounts for less than 2% of tips’ variance does surprise me.
And, you gotta love when an academic says “Ugly people are not a protected class”.
Excerpted from AOL News: Survey Shows Patrons Grading Waitresses on Their Curves, May 7, 2010
Restaurant patrons might be using their tips to reward cup size more than stellar service, according to a new survey that links a waitress’s gratuities to the amplitude of her breasts.
Michael Lynn, a Cornell University professor of marketing and tourism, surveyed 374 waitresses and asked them to assess their physical characteristics, including their breast size, and evaluate whether they perceived themselves as attractive.
Those with bigger breasts, slender waists and blond hair reported receiving the best tips.
High-quality service, Lynn’s analysis concluded, had less than a 2 percent effect on tip.
Lynn suggested that restaurant managers might be wise to keep his research in mind during the hiring process, because servers who make better tips are more likely to stay at a given job.
“Ugly people are not a protected class, legally,” he said. “It is not in fact illegal to hire only attractive waitresses.”
This isn’t the first time Lynn has raised eyebrows with tip-related research. In fact, he’s published dozens of studies on the subject.