UnderCover Waitress: Wear Red for Bigger Tips

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wear Red for Bigger Tips

A new French study is hot in the news at the moment. It seems that men tip waitresses more when the waitress wears red. Female diners either tip the same, or possibly a little less.

The conclusions in the study state that waitresses stand to make as much as twenty six percent more tip money when they wear a red shirt or red lipstick. If you work in a restaurant that has a specific uniform or does not allow make-up, perhaps you could try a red bow in your hair.

FirstPost reports on the French study from London, England. Tipping culture is different in Europe than in the states, so I don't know if the numbers will translate here. For example, the article states

"In 450 transactions, waitresses wearing pink or brown lipstick, or none at all, got tips on average about 30 percent of the time.

But when they put on red lipstick, male customers tipped half the time – and left more money."

If we were tipped only thirty percent of the time, we would be broke. The expectation that diners will tip fifteen to twenty percent in the states does not exist in Europe.

However, if you can add some red to your waitressing outfit, I greatly doubt it would hurt. And it might help. It seems that men see women wearing red as more physically and sexually attractive. This makes them like us more, and causes them to want to leave a generous tip.

Always read your table, of course. That which causes men to be attracted to the waitress tends to make women diners uncomfortable. Utilizing your natural empathy and reading your tables are excellent ways of increasing your tip average, as is discussed in both my ebook and Gratuity Ingenuity.

And try wearing a little red.


  1. I'd say it's the hospitality of the server more than a colour... but that's just me.

  2. Oh, absolutely! Smart servers know how to relate to people and interact with people.

    But I do find these psychological games and studies fascinating! An obnoxious server who wears red will not do well. But the same servers made more tip money for giving the same service while wearing red... intriguing.


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