SCIENCE
08/03/2012 01:59 pm ET Updated Aug 03, 2012

Waitresses Wearing Red Get Bigger Tips From Male Customers, French Study Shows

Waitresses who wear uniforms of other colors may be seeing scarlet when they learn the results of a new study. It shows that waitresses who wear red get bigger tips from male customers.

For the study, published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, researchers at the University of South Brittany in France instructed 11 waitresses in five restaurants to wear the same T shirt in different colors--black, white, red, blue, green, and yellow. The waitresses were told to act the same toward their customers no matter what color shirt they were wearing.

What happened? When they were wearing red, the waitresses's tips from male customers were 14.6 percent to 26.1 percent higher. How about the tips left by female customers? The study showed that the size of their tips had nothing to do with the color of a waitress's clothing.

It's not the first evidence that wearing red gives waitresses certain financial firepower. Earlier this year, the same researchers published a study showing that male customers give bigger tips to waitresses who wear red lipstick, as The Huffington Post reported. And other research has shown that women who wear red are considered more sexually attractive to men.

Why would a sexually attractive waitress turn guys into big tippers? Simple. As the researchers wrote in the conclusion to their study, it's "because unconsciously, they wanted to be noticed by the waitresses."

The take-away for waitresses seems obvious, assuming they can choose what to wear on the job. As the researchers said in a written statement, "As red color has no negative effect on women customers, it could be in their interest to wear red clothes at work."

Enough said.

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