Start Date

6-1-2011 4:00 PM

End Date

6-1-2011 4:45 PM

Track

2. Track 2 - Poster Session

Subject Area

Consumer Behavior

Faculty Member

Dr. Woody Kim wkim@cob.fsu.edu

Abstract

Tipping is an important part of the restaurant industry. In the United States, tips in the food industry alone amount to almost 44 billion every year. Furthermore, tips often account for a large majority of a server's paycheck. This study will examine the relationship between tipping and other important variables such as, personality type, consumer demographics (e.g., gender, age, race), as well as, purchase pattern (e.g., meal-type variables and alcohol consumption). At the same time, this study will attempt to incorporate the service quality element into the above explanatory variables. This will help to facilitate the investigation of the relationship between tipping and service quality.

This paper will use primary data from 150 college students at a state university in the Southeastern region. Each college student will be asked to create a journal recording his or her tipping experiences over a four-week period. At the end of the four-week period, each participant will have completed her or her own tipping journal and submit the journal for analysis. Results will be used to make recommendations, as well as, to discuss the managerial implications. Ideally, this study will aid managers in making the proper service-customer match that will increase customer satisfaction, improve employee performance, and increase server's pay. Moreover, this study should reexamine the idea that increased service quality results in increased tip size, as this incentive scheme benefits servers, managers and customers.

Keywords

Tipping, Consumer Behavior, Restaurants, Gratuity, Reward, Incentive, Service Quality



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Jan 6th, 4:00 PM Jan 6th, 4:45 PM

Incentives in the Restaurant Industry: an Analysis of Consumer Tipping Behavior

Tipping is an important part of the restaurant industry. In the United States, tips in the food industry alone amount to almost 44 billion every year. Furthermore, tips often account for a large majority of a server's paycheck. This study will examine the relationship between tipping and other important variables such as, personality type, consumer demographics (e.g., gender, age, race), as well as, purchase pattern (e.g., meal-type variables and alcohol consumption). At the same time, this study will attempt to incorporate the service quality element into the above explanatory variables. This will help to facilitate the investigation of the relationship between tipping and service quality.

This paper will use primary data from 150 college students at a state university in the Southeastern region. Each college student will be asked to create a journal recording his or her tipping experiences over a four-week period. At the end of the four-week period, each participant will have completed her or her own tipping journal and submit the journal for analysis. Results will be used to make recommendations, as well as, to discuss the managerial implications. Ideally, this study will aid managers in making the proper service-customer match that will increase customer satisfaction, improve employee performance, and increase server's pay. Moreover, this study should reexamine the idea that increased service quality results in increased tip size, as this incentive scheme benefits servers, managers and customers.