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Restaurant servers read academic studies of customer behavior with the enthusiasm of graduate students (which, of course, they often are.) That's because we're always eager to adopt a new technique that's guaranteed to produce bigger tips, whether it's putting a flower in our hair or using our guests' names.
But a new study out of three universities in the U.S. and Canada is unlikely to provoke much response from even the most scientifically-minded servers. According to the research, restaurant goers who are monitoring their waistlines will order more food from fat waitresses. The study suggests the best way to up a check total – and accompanying tip – is to put on weight.
Experts speculate a hefty server can help dieters feel better about their own extra pounds. But the effect apparently doesn't extend to non-dieters, who ordered less food when their server was wrapped in a fat suit. That makes sense to me, since it's hard to enjoy a bowl of pasta bathed in alfredo sauce while staring down the inevitable result.
I haven't worked with too many plus-sized servers. The few I've known have struggled mightily to make it through long evenings spent on their feet, and complained about having to squeeze between tables arranged to maximize seating. While all servers sweat, obese servers seem to have a harder time maintaining the clean, fresh scent that guests at high-end restaurants expect. I'm glad to know they're at least receiving better tips for their trouble.
|Yes, but it doesn't make any difference to me.||371 (36.8%)|
|Yes, and it makes me self-conscious about what I order.||58 (5.8%)|
|Never. Who has time to worry about the size of their server?||578 (57.4%)|