Sunny Days and Tips for Waiters

How weather influences tipping behavior. A sunny day can send tips soaring.

By PT Staff, published May 1, 1996 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

There's no question that weather dramatically shapes our mood. But it also influences our behavior in surprising ways.

Take tipping. At an Atlantic City hotel where the room design masks outside conditions, Temple University psychologist Bruce Rind discovered that a room service waiter could boost his tips simply by mentioning favorable weather. When the server told guests that it was raining, tips averaged 19 percent of the bill. But describing sunny skies sent the gratuity rate soaring to 24 percent.

Incidentally, ever notice how some waiters add a smiley face to the bottom of the tab? In a second experiment, that maneuver boosted tips by five percent for a waitress, though it didn't help male servers any.