THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING
Background of the Study
Tipping is an interesting behavior because it is an expense that consumers are free to avoid. Although called for by social norms, tips are not legally required, while the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciations and to return kindness is gratitude which is a great advantage in the area of hospitality industry. Hence, the gratitude of the employees greatly affects the social expectations, server attractions, server friendliness and customer mood on tipping. Service quality and cost consideration appears to have only weak effects on tipping. (Michael Lynn,2016)
Americans tip waiters in restaurants between 15 to 20 percent of their meal, and not giving a tip is considered rude; not paying a tip is considered as bad as robbing the waiter because they do not get paid much. Although many people think that good service is the main reason for tipping, a study has revealed that a feeling of guilt is the primary cause of high-tipping (Harness, (2014). It is unbelievable that most waiters do not understand what is required to do a good job. They routinely let the customers run out of water or wine, requiring that they signal them to get a refill; ignore an obvious need for more napkins, bring the alcoholic drinks after the food arrives, take much too long on alcoholic or other drink refills, bring the food just after serving the salad or appetizers, get the order wrong, bring out cold food, etc. (Morris, 2015).
Running around a restaurant and being a part of people’s first dates, engagements, anniversaries, graduation parties, and meals of a lifetime definitely outweigh the negatives. Waiters should always do their jobs at their best and be grateful when they get high tips (Sabol, 2017). On the other hand, they should not be discouraged when they get low tips because it does not necessarily mean that they provided poor service. Common sense suggests that the better the quality of service, the higher the tip. Although this fact is true to a certain degree, according to the study, the quality of the service is not comparable to feelings of guilt. Waiters declared that customers tip because they receive good service from the waiters and customers will tip more if the waiter does a good job. Most likely young people tend to tip less than older people because they normally do not have much money. Thus, tipping involves a lot of human psychology. Everyone wants a different kind of service, and they have different criteria for what constitutes good service. Their tips will vary regardless of the waiter’s performance (Soma, 2016).
The option of “thank you” expanded tip rates, in spite of the fact that personalization by including its initial name had no impact. It was inferred that the ordinarily utilized minimal effort strategy of offering thanks to clients by expressing “thank you” on the check can deliver a beneficial return (Rind & Bordia,1995). Hence, tips go up two rate focuses if a server expresses “Thank You” on the back of a benefactor’s check (Milkman, 2017). A well thoroughly of saying thank you instead of “thanks” is much more appreciated that leaves people a great feeling (Emerson, 2017). This is why the researcher were motivated to conduct study that will determine on Servers’ gratitude as predictors of restaurant tipping in Davao City.
Statement of the Problem
The study aims to determine the servers’ gratitude as predictor of restaurant tipping in Davao City. Specifically, it will attempt to answer the following questions:
1. What is the level of restaurant servers’ gratitude in terms of:
1.1 Tipping Intention
2. What is the level of tipping intention of restaurant customers
3. Is there a significant relationship between servers’ gratitude and tipping intention of restaurant customers in Davao City?
4. Is the servers’ gratitude a significant predictor of restaurant tipping in Davao City?
1. There is no significant relationship between servers’ gratitude and tipping intention of restaurant customers in Davao City.
2. Servers’ gratitude is not a significant predictor of restaurant tipping in Davao City.
Review of Related Literature
This portion will present the related literature of the study that provides relevant perspectives concerning the topic gathered from various sources.
It’s a fact that’s covered in a government-led review, in which workers, employers and customers were asked their views on the tipping process. Off the back of it, ministers said they were keen to change rules and make sure low-paid workers get the money left for them by grateful customers. They have announced a two-month consultation on proposals that the government said would stamp out unfairness. Among the review’s revelations was the fact some waiters are charged up to 15% admin fee on tips they are left by credit or debit cards. In some restaurants, the government has seen evidence of waiters being forced to hand over their own cash if they don’t collect enough tips, to cover these fees. The government said it would consider prohibiting employers from charging workers an administration fee or any other deductions (Marsh, 2016).
Restaurant Servers’ Gratitude
Gratitude, thankfulness, or gratefulness, from the Latin gratus pleasing, thankful, is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/or similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, favors, or other types of generosity, towards the giver of such gifts. The experience of gratitude has historically been a focus of several world religions. It has also been a topic of interest to ancient, medieval and modern philosophers, and continues to engage contemporary western philosophers (Manela, 2015). The systematic study of gratitude within psychology only began around the year 2000, possibly because psychology traditionally focused more on understanding distress than on understanding positive emotions (Wood, Maltby, Stewart, Linley, and Joseph, 2008). The study of gratitude within psychology has focused on the understanding of the short term experience of the emotion of gratitude (state gratitude), individual differences in how frequently people feel gratitude (trait gratitude), and the relationship between these two aspects (Emmons and McCullough, 2010).
Gratitude is not the same as indebtedness. While both emotions occur following help, indebtedness occurs when a person perceives that they are under an obligation to make some repayment of compensation for the aid. The emotions lead to different actions; indebtedness can motivate the recipient of the aid to avoid the person who has helped them, whereas gratitude can motivate the recipient to seek out their benefactor and to improve their relationship with them. Gratitude may also serve to reinforce future pro-social behavior in benefactors (Steindl-Rast, 2015). One experiment found that customers of a jewelry store who were called and thanked showed a subsequent 70% increase in purchases. In comparison, customers who were called and told about a sale showed only a 30% increase in purchases, and customers who were not called at all did not show an increase (Desteno, Bartlett, Baumann, Williams, and Dickens (2010). In another study, regular patrons of a restaurant gave bigger tips when servers wrote “Thank you” on their checks (Wood, Joseph, and Maltby, 2009).
Sadly, there are restaurants who would require the tips to be divided among the employees of the restaurants, including those in the kitchen to practice fairness among the employees but the waiters who have exerted all efforts to end up having bigger tips would only earn 40 to 50 percent of what they have received. They are grateful to the customers and thankful for the extra income but starts hating the management for adopting such policy. This practice prompted some waiters to secretly inform their customers that the management is messing with the tips, prompting the customers to secretly give the tip unnoticed by the management (Whatley, 2011).
Waiters are supposed to be thankful for the tips they received but then one can still hear horror stories from new employees at some chains. Many people heard of restaurants not paying their chefs a share of the tronc, for example. Some restaurants will take 4% of all sales to pay the chefs, top up the staff welfare pot and as an admin fee. So if one sell £1,000 worth of food, the company will take £40. This is regardless of how much you make in tips. This means that if a table has a £100 bill and doesn’t tip the waiter has to pay £4 of their own money. This leads to a money-grabbing culture and, ironically, crap service. If a table doesn’t tip the waiter feels as if they are being robbed by the company and ends up resenting the customers (Rodri, 2016).
Lam (2015) reported that Payscale, an online salary-information company, has recently released a report with survey data from 15,000 food-service workers who have expressed gratefulness for the gratuities given by customers. There are a couple reasons why this data is insightful: Firstly, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have information specifically regarding tips; it is included in the hourly wage estimation. A 1996 BLS experiment tried to collect data on tips from restaurant workers, and found a high non-response rate (40 percent did not respond). Grateful Waiters and waitresses in Miami, Boston, and San Francisco reported the highest median tips per hour at around $13. The lowest median tips per hour for waiters and waitresses, around $7, were in Minneapolis, Detroit, and Seattle. This is consistent with the BLS’s finding that tips are generally higher in metropolitan areas and regions with resorts.
Tuttle (2014) emphasized those who defend tipping, and/or those who just insist on always tipping generously tend to think of gratuities as the great equalizer: Tips are necessary because waitstaff and other workers aren’t paid enough by their employers, and gratuities help provide them a living wage; besides the gratitude that the waitstaff shows when receiving tips gives satisfaction to the benefactor customers. A century ago, however, anti-tipping groups felt they were being progressive by declaring war on the demeaning system because it implicitly created a servile class that depended on the generosity of richer, aristocratic customers and was therefore anti-democratic and anti-American.
Tipping Intention of Customers
People like tipping, which is weird, because it doesn’t make much economic sense. Tips are paid after the service has been provided, and the quality can’t be changed after the fact. People tip even when they aren’t planning on returning to the restaurant, so the underlying motivations for tipping can’t be all about ensuring a good experience in the future. Tipping is largely the result of psychological motivations–like feeling social pressure, or wanting to preserve a self-image of generosity. Tipping is a risk sharing method between a waiter and a customer, ensuring people don’t lose too much money on food that could be terrible: when the meal is unusually bad the diner can choose to withhold a tip and reduce the loss of utility that would otherwise occur (Ferro, 2013).
Certain ethnic groups are perceived to be less generous tippers than others. Apparently, these theories are not simply urban myths. One recent study found that Hispanics tipped less at restaurants than whites after controlling for factors such as bill size and the customer’s personal feelings about the quality of the service and food, while the conclusion in another survey declared “restaurant servers and their managers can expect below average tips from black customers regardless of their social class.” Only 11% of Italians in a recent survey, meanwhile, said that they “always” tipped for service on vacation, compared with 60% of Americans (Tuttle, 2014). Tipping is part judgment call; while customers like to think there are hard and fast rules, there are just as many subjective variables. With budget in mind, here are some considerations: Tip the regulars – holiday tipping is best kept to those individuals who provide services on a regular basis, not a one-time service (McFarland, 2016).
Expressing appreciation of the service well done by leaving a little note on the bill after paying is a visual conformation that will mean a lot to the server, and will be proof to them of a job well done (Doyle, 2017). It doesn’t have to be long. Giving them a quick “thank you” to show appreciation for their hard work would inspire them to perform well in their respective line of work. Bringing a gift to give to the favorite waiter or waitress, which could be a thank you card or a gift card shows them that they are recognized and respected for serving in the community. Waiters and waitresses put up with all kinds of customers throughout the year. Being courteous, kind and respectful can brighten up a servers’ day (Buzztime, 2013).
Dickerson (2015) revealed that a surefire way to express appreciation to a waiter, or anyone for that matter, is to give them a big smile every time customers see them; that’s always appreciated, especially in a sea of indifference or frowns. There is nothing greater than being a server and being complimented for a job well done. They are often not thanked for doing a good job, and criticism flows more freely than compliments. They work their butts off at a job that most people consider only suitable for slackers
In other countries, a tip is exactly that, a little something extra for a job well done. But in the US, many livelihoods are dependent on tips. Furthermore, there is rarely a clear consensus on how much an appropriate tip should be, and practices vary by locale. There were conflicting opinions at every turn, and as The New York Times reported, the questions of whom and how much cutomer tip are getting even more complicated with the introduction of electronic payments. Like waiters, bartenders are usually paid lower than the minimum wage and essentially live on the tips that they make. And those tips are directly proportional to the number of drinks they serve. Customer should tip accordingly. So sure, if you are just drinking beer, a buck a brew is fine (Slaybaugh, 2016).
Urban (2014) stressed that tipping is not about generosity. Tipping isn’t about gratitude for good service. And tipping certainly isn’t about doing what’s right and fair for the fellow man. Tipping is about making sure one doesn’t mess up what a person is supposed to do. The most critical step in avoiding Ambiguous Tipping Situations knows what the customers were supposed to do. Since tipping is such a large part of life, it seems like customers should stop to actually understand what being a low, average, or high tipper means for the budget. It might not make sense that in the US, people somewhat arbitrarily deemed certain professions as “tipped professions” whereby the customers are in charge of paying the professional’s salary, instead of their employer, but that’s the way it is. And as such, customers have some real responsibility when being served by a tipped professional that one don’t have when being served by someone else.
The literature quoted above provided a clearer perspective of the study based on comparison and contrast; it aided the researchers in determining the servers’ gratitude as predictor of restaurant tipping in Davao City.
Theoretical and Conceptual Framework
The study is anchored to Social Cognitive Theory of Gratitude developed by Wilkinson (2014). He postulated that gratitude is a positive emotion that is context and attribution dependent. Trait gratitude has been shown to be a substantial contributor to the “good life”. It is robustly linked with well-being and life-satisfaction and is a protective factor against mental health problems. However, very little is known about how trait gratitude is developed. We argue that attachment processes are important factors in the development of trait gratitude and that secure attachment provides the foundation necessary for the formation of a grateful disposition. This suggests that secure attachment leads to more experiences of gratitude which increases the likelihood of developing trait gratitude. Overall, the studies provided evidence to support the utility of an attachment theory perspective of trait gratitude. Implications of the research are discussed including clinical applications and future research directions.
Independent Variable Dependent Variable
– Marital Status
– Type of restaurant
Figure 1. The Conceptual Framework of the Study
This chapter is divided into five (5) sections; the research design, research subjects, research instrument, data gathering procedure and statistical tools used to treat data.
This study employed the descriptive-correlation study. A correlational study is a research method that describes and predicts how variables are naturally related in the real world, without any attempt by the researcher to alter them or assign causation between them. Unlike experiments that manipulate one or more variables (the independent variable), correlations do not manipulate any variables. Correlations only measure pre-existing variables (Shields and Rangarajan, 2013). The mentioned research design is appropriate to use in determining the level of servers’ gratitude as predictor of restaurant tipping in Davao City.
The research subjects of this study will be the restaurant customers in Davao City, culled from Fine Dining and Casual Dining restaurants in Davao City. Convenience sampling technique will be employed, wherein only those who are willing to participate in the study are provided with the survey questionnaire. A total of 100 individuals will be the target of the researchers since the number of customers visiting the restaurants could not be counted preventing the researchers to utilize Slovins’ Formula for stratified random sampling. The study will be conducted during the month of December 2017.
This study will use an adapted questionnaire from Watkins, Woodward, Stone, & Kolts (2003) as well as Artu?er and Çetinsöz (2013). The said questionnaire will be forwarded to the research adviser for comments and suggestions, which afterwards will be forwarded to the panel of experts to ensure that the mentioned questionnaire is valid and reliable. The first part comprises of the demographic profile of the respondents that includes age, sex, marital status, and type of restaurant. The second part of the questionnaire will tackled the level of servers’ gratitude with indicators lack of a sense of deprivation, simple appreciation, and appreciation for others. The third part is tipping intention of restaurant customers with indicators presentability, transactionalization, product quality, and value for money.
The independent variable of the study was scaled using a 5-level Likert scaling system as follows:
The servers’ gratitude is high
The servers’ gratitude is moderate
The servers’ gratitude is low
The servers’ gratitude is very low
The dependent variable of the study was scaled using a 5-level Likert scaling system as follows:
The tipping intention of restaurant customers is very high
The tipping intention of restaurant customers is high
The tipping intention of restaurant customers is moderate
The tipping intention of restaurant customers is low
The tipping intention of restaurant customers is very low
Data Gathering Procedure
The researchers will observe the following steps in the conduct of the study:
1. Letters asking permission will be forwarded to the respective restaurant managers in Davao City duly noted by the Dean of the College of Hospitality Education as well as by the research coordinator of CHE-HRM Department seeking approval to conduct a survey among the customers.
2. Upon Approval, the researchers will administer the questionnaires to the respondents assisting them to hasten the process.
3. The questionnaires will then be retrieved by the researchers after the respondents answered it.
4. Data collected will be collated, tallied and tabulated for presentation.
Statistical Treatment of Data
The researchers will use the following statistical tools in analyzing the data.
Frequency. This will be used to determine the exact number of respondents taken for the study.
Percentage. This will be used to determine the percentile of the respondents taken for the study.
Mean. This will be used to determine the level of servers’ gratitude as predictor of restaurant tipping in Davao City.
Pearson r. This will be used to determine the significant relationship between servers’ gratitude and tipping intention of restaurant customers in Davao City.
Multiple Regressions. This will be used to determine whether the servers’ gratitude is a significant predictor of restaurant tipping in Davao City