The comment that made me laugh out loud last week was this from Bucky:

"the cook is bagging up your order and you are fixing your own salad, then the server isn't doing anything but taking your money, it seems to me. That makes him/her a cashier, doesn't it? Do we tip cashiers now?


(In these instances, I always find it helpful to ask myself, 'What would Springs1 do?')"

I didn't want to make it the Comment of the Week because a) it would involve too much explaining if you aren't a regular, and b) I don't want Bucky to get a swelled head.

But then when I got the following guest post from him, I realized we'll have to explain Springs1 to those who have just joined us. Here's the link. It will take awhile to read through all the comments, but it's well worth it.

And here's Bucky's guest post. EL...

So, I don't think we've ever discussed tipping in this blog.  Have we?  

I crack myself up.

Of course we have.  But today is different.  Today we are going to have a calm, reasoned, rational and fact-based discussion on tipping because, while looking on the internet this week for something entirely different, I ran across "Beyond Gratitude and Gratuity:  A Meta-Analytic Review of the Predictors of Restaurant Tipping" by Michael Lynn and Michael McCall.

Yessiree, I found an honest-to-goodness, 42-page research paper on tipping that was funded with a grant from the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University, a well-known institution of higher learning and the alma mater of Andy Bernard on the hit television show "The Office."  And I read a lot of it, except for the parts like this:  

"For each of the effects included in this meta-analysis we calculated two statistics – a correlation coefficient r that reflects the size of the effect and a z-score that reflects the statistical significance of the effect."

Let me save you, too, from having to read those parts and tell you that Lynn's and McCall's research found servers get bigger tips when they:

* Sell more food and drink (especially alcohol)

* Give their names to customers

* Squat down next to the customers' tables

* Touch the customers

* Give after-dinner mints to their customers

* Encourage customers to pay with credit cards

* Use tip trays embossed with credit card logos

What you don't find in that list is a relationship between a bigger tip and the quality of service.  Don't be cussin' me out.  I didn't do the study.  

But, apparently, while we say we tip more or less based on the service we receive, in fact when the server comes, squats down next to the table, puts her hand on your knee and says, "Hi, I'm Bunny and I'll be a-waitin' on y'all today.  You look thirsty, can I bring each of you a six-pack with your dinner?" she is well on her way to a week on Ka'anapali Beach.

If she can get you to put it on your Visa and brings your check on an American Express tip tray with a couple dozen of those little green-foil-wrapped chocolate mints, she might even buy a time-share while she's there.

Lynn and McCall summarized their findings thusly: "The larger picture to emerge from this body of work is likely to integrate a collage of theoretical viewpoints and to enhance our general understanding of consumer behavior."

Which pretty much settles it:  We can eliminate both Lynn and McCall.  Neither of them is Springs1.

(Photo by Uncle Larry/Kai's Kountry Kitchen Kafe)