Is there a difference in tipping in restaurant versus non‐restaurant service encounters, and do ethnicity and gender matter?

Paul Sergius Koku (Florida Atlantic University, College/Graduate School of Business, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

To examine tipping propensities between the races and genders in restaurant and non‐restaurant service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected on tipping in restaurants and in other service encounters outside the restaurant from consumers across races and genders in the USA.

Findings

Analyses showed that tipping in restaurants is different from tipping in other service encounters outside the restaurant industry. While tipping in restaurants may be norm driven, tipping in service encounters outside restaurants may be out of appreciation. It was also found that, unlike in restaurants, ethnicity does not matter in tipping in service encounters outside the restaurant. Furthermore, gender was found to make a marginal difference in tipping in service encounters outside the restaurant industry.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to the USA since the samples came from the USA alone. However, kindness and the ability to appreciate good deeds can transcend geographic barriers. Furthermore, the findings are limited by the data being self‐reported.

Practical implications

The results show that there is no difference in tipping propensities in service encounters outside the restaurant industry, regardless of gender or ethnicity. Managers in service businesses outside the restaurant industry should therefore train their workers to be truly committed to delivering customer satisfaction to all customers regardless of ethnicity or gender. By focusing on making the customers happy, the workers also stand a good chance of increasing their tip.

Originality/value

The study fills the current gap in research and in the understanding of tipping in restaurants and in other service encounters outside the restaurant industry.

Keywords

Citation

Sergius Koku, P. (2005), "Is there a difference in tipping in restaurant versus non‐restaurant service encounters, and do ethnicity and gender matter?", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 19 No. 7, pp. 445-452. https://doi.org/10.1108/08876040510625954

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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