Scrawling a patriotic message on a restaurant tab is a great way to boost tips — at least in northern Utah. Communications professors John S. Seiter of Utah State University and and Robert H. Gass of California State University at Fullerton instructed two waitresses to serve up four different types of bills to 100 diners at two local restaurants.
The servers wrote "United We Stand," and "God Bless America" or "Have a nice day" on the bills. A control group received no personal note.
Patrons gave a 20 percent tip on tabs that included "United We Stand" but only 15 percent when they got no message at all. The other two messages garnered slightly more than 15 percent, Seiter and Gass reported in a recent article in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.