Ever been to a restaurant and received a couple pieces of candy on the server tray with the bill? Surely these are just to sweeten your breath right?

Thick again and behold the power of gift receiving. A study at Cornell has found that giving candy to bill payers increases tips from 15.1% to 17.8%. Resulting in even larger tips (23%) is when one piece of candy is given, with a spontaneous gesture allowing the restaurant goer to take a second piece.

I like how the study concludes this benefits restaurant owners by likely resulting in happier servers and therefore less employee turnover.

Sweetening the Till: The Use of Candy to Increase Restaurant Tipping,
Cornell University School of Hotel Administration


posted April 4th, 2007 at 1:24 am

That’s an interesting finding. The don’t tend to give out candies with the bill here, and tipping is not very common either. I wonder if there’s a connection:)

posted April 6th, 2007 at 3:30 pm

Wow. Interesting. I know its never had an effect on me, but then I am no candy girl…that said, I am a great tipper (pat, pat. LOL) so maybe I dont need the encouragement.

posted April 6th, 2007 at 10:58 pm

There was an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn I used to frequent way too many years ago to acknowledge. They always closed out the meal by putting a complimentary tray of cookies out, whether or not you had ordered dessert.

My best friend worked there as a waiter. The cookies lifted his tips substantially.

FWIW, as a New Yorker in the Northwest, I’m always pushing my native friends to leave better tips.

posted April 9th, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Oh my God, that’s fascinating. I was a server for three years, and bill after bill I’d add a mint for each person at the table. Who knew I was helping myself out in the process? As a Canadian, I have to admit to enjoying serving Americans. They tended to tip far better than my compatriots.

- rob
posted April 28th, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Have to say, I’ve never noticed if I’ve left more with candy. I severely doubt if it’s those nasty red and white mints. Gods, I hate those things. Gimme chocolate and I’ll guarantee you a tip… LOL

- Mo

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