Upbeat music in restaurants boosts waiters’ tips

Restaurants that play uplifting music are more likely to see their diners leave generous tips, according to a study by researchers in Austria.

As reported by The Telegraph, the sound of upbeat hits was seen to increase the amount of money left after a meal, a team from Austria’s University of Innsbruck found.

The team studied 277 diners at an upmarket restaurant in Innsbruck, a popular ski destination, where a typical meal costs €100 (£88) and the average tip was 10%, or £8.80.

Tables of two who enjoyed a meal which cost about £88 left tips of £3.52 more on average when they listened to happy tracks than those who heard “neutral” music, the study showed. Other examples of tunes which could prompt larger tips included Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl and Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Know.

Interestingly, even downbeat songs had a positive impact on tipping. Researchers found that sad songs such as Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles or Back to Black, by Amy Winehouse prompted customers to leave slightly more tips than when they heard “neutral” background music

Older customers were said to be more keenly affected by the power of music, because they are less exposed to music in everyday life than younger people, which could lessen the emotional impact, researchers reasoned.

Annika Beer, a psychologist who co-authored the study, said: “Uplifting music makes people happy and the better mood someone is in, the more they tend to tip.

“Melancholic music, however, nurtures the people’s helping behaviour. The manipulated customers want to help the waiter or waitress with higher tips than usual.”

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