A great amount of waiters’ income is received in the form of tips. It’s natural that waiters may try to do anything (within certain limits) they can to improve the likelihood of receiving tips from patrons and the amount of money given. Offering a good service and being nice to costumers is, of course, sort of mandatory to receive a tip, but there are subtle ways to improve the amount of tips received like wearing makeup – if you’re a woman, not sure it will work on a guy.

A study, conducted by Nicolas Guéguen and his team, concluded that by placing two female research confederates serving at a restaurant either wearing makeup or a more natural look. Wearing makeup improved the number of times a tip was given and the amount of money received, but only with male costumers. A woman tipping behavior doesn’t seem to be affected by the fact the waitress wears makeup or not.

But the effect on men seems to be pretty strong. While the waitresses received tips from 33% of the male costumers not wearing makeup, this number rose to 51% when they “enhanced” their look. Not only they received tips from more costumers, the amount a costumer was willing to give also rose by the wearing of makeup. A waitress not wearing makeup received a tip of about € 1,10. Putting some lipstick, blush or eyeliner raised that amount to € 1,40 per costumer. This means a potential income raiser by just having the time and trouble of putting some makeup.

Imagine two waitresses who are equal in every other aspect besides wearing makeup. If both serve 100 customers, the waitress that doesn’t wear any makeup will receive about €33 in tips. On the other hand, the waitress that wears makeup may bring home about €71.

So if you’re a waitress, or know anyone who is, don’t forget your makeup kit before leaving home. It may be a difference between a good day, and an excellent one!

You can read the full paper here.