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Waitresses Wearing Red Make Better Tips, Because Red Is All About Sexy Sex

Illustration for article titled Waitresses Wearing Red Make Better Tips, Because Red Is All About Sexy Sex

If we've learned anything about the color about the color red, it's that some people can't see it, that it's nevertheless splashed over very important public signs, and that it makes people want to drop whatever they're doing and procreate. Procreate hard.


Despite an anthropological study of bygone months that disspelled the fanciful notion that men were more attracted to bright red vulvas, a French study published recently in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research found that waitresses wearing the color red can expect big tips from male patrons. Meanwhile, the waitress wearing other colors might as well just be extras in a black and white movie about a man who goes to lunch and discovers that the world is not strictly in black and white.


Researchers dressed waitresses in prismatic t-shirts and then unleashed them on 722 French diners. The waitresses were told to keep track of their tips and act normally, i.e. not like they weren't participating in something that would soon degenerate into a bizarre Skittles commercial. Waitresses wearing red earned, on average, about 15 to 26 percent more in tips than their non-sexualized colleagues, but the researchers were careful to note that, despite all the popular speculation floating around that red is an amorous color, the different color shirts had no effect on the waitresses themselves.

It's kind of short-sighted not to track the effect shirt color has on the shirt wearers because, if there's so much general consensus that red is the universal color for sexy times, then wouldn't wearing a red shirt somehow affect the behavior of the wearer? Or maybe, rather than trying to uncover some underlying primal urge in male diners to lust after and therefore give more money to women wearing red, researchers should have noted the obvious — red is the color societies employ when they want individuals to stop moving in a certain direction. Okay, so, if red means "stop," then maybe the waitresses in red shirts came as wake-up calls to bad tippers: "Hey, stop being parsimonious diners because it's hard work being someone's personal servant for an hour."

Waitresses in red get better tips from men: study [NYDN]

Image via Chubykin Arkady/Shutterstock.

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I hear so many of these weird little psychological tips about servers but so few of them ever seem to apply in my case. Can't speak for this one, but occasionally I'll run into a server who has clearly heard the "casual contact makes customers more likely to tip" thing... like if you touch your customer's arm or something somehow it makes them more inclined to tip you. I can't speak for anyone else, but if I don't know you then this is essentially the FASTEST way to ricochet my internal needle into the uncomfortable zone and put me ill at ease. Admittedly, I'm super touchy about stuff like that.

My husband and I were hanging out at this bar and restaurant a few months back, and our server, who we hadn't had ANY contact with previously, put both hands on my shoulders and squeezed as he was taking my order and I recoiled from him in shocked, probably extremely comical fashion. He actually looked mildly offended, and I don't think he was trying to flirt, but I wasn't going to apologise... call me neurotic, but I thought the physical contact was overboard, especially since my only words to him had been "Hi, how are you" and "Oakheart and diet, please". I'm just big on personal space.