Does Tipping Result in Better Service?

Americans spend over $40 billion in tips every year, but are we getting better service for it? Not necessarily, according to this article at Smart Money:

What's more, our tips don't actually vary that much with the level of service we've received. While people claim in surveys that they tip almost exclusively based on the level of service, field studies in actual restaurants, such as those conducted by Michael Lynn of Cornell, find that better service is only partially correlated with bigger tips. A step up on a 1-to-5 rating scale of customer satisfaction translates into just a small increase (say, from 15 to 16 or 17 percent of the check).

So, what's the secret of getting bigger tips?

A 2009 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that larger self-reported breast size among waitresses correlated with bigger tips. Similarly, a 2010 study in the International Journal of Hospitality Management found that waitresses' use of makeup significantly increased their tips. Female servers can also increase their tips by drawing a smiley face on the back of customers' checks (male servers, it turns out, can't achieve the same with this tactic).

Do you give a tip regardless of the level of service? Do you feel guilty for not tipping due to poor service? Link

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"I hope I live to see the day when tipping goes away."

If you're saying this as a waitress (I'm guessing no), then you obviously have not learned the 'trick' of giving your customers exceptional service to get exceptional tips. Though I'm sure I could be wrong, I have a feeling that the greater percentage of truly good waiters/waitresses would HATE to have their tips taken away from them.

If you're saying this as a paying customer (I'm guessing yes), you will be truly HORRIFIED at the DRASTICALLY increased prices you will be paying across the board, if restaurants/bars/pubs would ever go to hourly based pay of its staff, rather than the current tip-based system.

Yes, tipping can be a hassle, but it tends to guarantee (in theory, anyway) the lowest possible prices for food (and drinks) ordered off a menu.
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I tip from 15-25% or more for really super service and I enjoyed flirting with the good looking female servers. The very rare times my service has been super bad or non-existent I've left a penny face down. It is the ultimate insult to a server. One of my main moonlighting jobs years ago was as a bartender in a busy college bar.
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In the UK it's normal to tip about 10%, even in restaurants where service is included as a surcharge it's normally only added at 10%. However wait staff here are paid at least the minimum wage and tipping bolsters their wages rather than being seen as an excuse for the company to pay them a pittance.
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I hope I live to see the day when tipping goes away. And a normal tip should be 15%, only go to 20% if exceptional service. Lots of service employees work hard for low wages and get no tips. Wait staff should be paid by the hour just like everyone else.
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