Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tip Jar or Feminist Statement?

When I worked as a caffeine goddess (barista), Several of us were interested in applying research principles in the workplace setting. This was, of course, just for the desire to increase the total amount of knowledge, there was no pecunitary interest on any of our parts!

Anyway, the counter had a tip jar; but being a coffee shop, much of the clientile did not feel any special immediacy to contribute in the form of tips, although the management clearly expected that part of our earnings would be covered with said tips.
Anyway, we had an experimental idea:  Specifically, would varying the type of container for tips influence the results?  Therefore, we tried a standard glass jar, a coffee cup, a go-cup with the local sports team's logo on it, a go-cup with a rival team's logo, and a tray.

Looking at the results, we compared the alternative types of contaners against the tip jar, considering that to be the base condition upon which comparisons could be made.  The following results were observed:

tip jar -- (Baseline condition)
                                            Percentage above tip jar:

coffee cup                                             +6%

go-cup with local team's logo                +27%
go-cup with rival team's logo                 -16%
tip tray                                                  -9%

Obvilously, using a local team's go-cup helps; and using the opposition's results in fewer tips.

While using the go-cup bearing the local team's logo significantly increased tipping, we decided in all frivolity to use one more condition: a bra as a tip container!  We each contributed the bra de jour on different days (depending on who was the cashier), but did not collect individual data by bra stimulus!

Anyway, when the bra was used as a tip container, tip amounts increased by 52% over the tip jar baseline!  Very clearly, customers were very willing to express their support of our efforts if this was the means to do so.

We did observe, somewhat to our surprise, that several customers would casually attempt to view the size of the bra.  They must be really data-driven!

Moreover, we assumed that our contributers would be mostly men.  However, we concluded that women also increased in their tip tempo as well.  We found out why later: Apparently some female tippers thought it was some sort of feminist statement!


Big Sky Heidi said...

Did more attractive bras draw larger tips? The might be encouraging fashion.

Duckbutt said...

There's another possibility. Your customers might have been responding to the voluntary simplicity movement. One tenet of it is that people should strive to find multiple uses for possessions that they already have.

Atomic Dog said...

This story is a hoot, er, a hooter!!!

Banana Oil said...

That was cool. You must be very easygoing.

Hell Hound said...

What size bra do you wear?

eViL pOp TaRt said...

One that is comfortable. :-)

Svejk said...

I'm not surprised that the decoration on the cups would affect contributions; but why should a bra work?

bakku-shan said...

I think it works because having the bra visible to the customers implies a certain degree of intimacy not otherwise existing between coffee stand attendant and customer.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I agree with you, bakku-shan.