A report in Nature confirms what we all knew: the waitress (or waiter, presumably) who imitates the customers gets a bigger tip. Huh?
Turns out, according to some Dutch psychologist Rick van Baaren of the University of Nijmegen, that “Mimicry creates bonds between people – it induces a sense of ‘we-ness. You know that what you’re doing is ok, and you become more generous.” Van Baaren’s team studied staff in an American-style restaurant in southern Holland: In half of the tests, they primed a waitress to repeat customers’ orders back to them. In the other half, she said something else positive, such as “Coming right up!”
When copycatting, the waitresses’ average tip almost doubled, to nearly 3 guilders (US$1.20).