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The One Thing You Can Do to Get Better Service

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The next time a server at a bar or restaurant neglects to refill your water glass or take your order in a timely manner, look at what you’re wearing. Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that servers judge customers based on their clothing and believe the best-dressed guests will leave the best tips. So if your buddy is wearing a blazer and you’re wearing a hoodie and sweatpants, guess who’s more likely to receive better service? Not the guy in the drawstring pants, that’s for sure.

“Everyone uses first impressions to make snap judgements,” Dae-Young Kim, an associate professor of hospitality management at the university, said in a press release. “For servers, especially busy servers, they often have to make decisions about how to best devote their time and energy, so they look for ways to identify which customers will reward them the most for their service. The more professionally dressed a customer is, the more likely a server is to stereotype them as a good tipper, regardless of their race or gender.”

Researchers surveyed over 200 servers and showed them pictures of people of different races, genders and attire. Aside from finding that servers identified well-dressed individuals as better tippers, the study also found that servers believed casually dressed men to be the worst tippers. So, gentlemen, suit up. The quality of your next Martini depends upon it.

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