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Out of Our Minds
Friday, March 04, 2005 9:59 AM
Tips for Tips (and Life)
Kevin Salwen on Creativity

waitress.gifA restaurant in the lobby of our building opened recently, with servers in T-shirts that boast 'Food, Flirt, Fun.' Inhabiting those T-shirts are perky women and men who clearly are trained well in the Flirt part. After a recent lunch, a friend and I discussed the waitress's understanding that a smile and a touch on the shoulder by an attractive woman isn't a bad way to bump up your tip.

In fact, our super-intern Nicole, pointed me to a website in which Cornell University associate professor Michael Lynn learned that: 1) casually touching customers increases tips for both male and female servers, 2) touching increases tips more when waitresses touch female customers compared with male diners, and 3) touching increases tips of younger customers more than old.

Who knew? There are a string of other tips in the study, from the obvious (smiling, repeating back the order, squatting next to the table) to wearing something unusual (flowers in the hair increased tips by 17%) or forecasting good weather (18% higher gratuities).

We intuitively know that stuff when it comes to our own jobs -- when to praise a client, what to wear to meetings. Or do we? Are there things we all should be doing better to breed more success? What works for you?

1 comment

Mindwalker - 3/7/2005 10:15:06 AM
While it's not an instant guarantor of success, I find myself consistently evangelizing the revival of the thank you note.

Years ago, I got in the habit of writing a quick thank you note when someone had done something for me at work. It wasn't anything major. Just a simple, handwritten note saying 'thanks.'

More times than not, the person receiving the thank you note didn't think what they did was all that special. But they appreciated the gesture all the same ... and answered the phone next time I called. A thank you note isn't just polite, it makes you memorable.


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