Does Music Choice Affect Tips?

By Neat Pour Staff |

Not only can music soothe the savage beast, but tunes, apparently, can help pay the average lease. As first reported by The Telegraph, a new study from Austria’s University of Innsbruck determined that upbeat music in restaurants results in larger tips.

“Uplifting music makes people happy and the better mood someone is in, the more they tend to tip,” explained study co-author Annika Beer. 

The research used 277 diners at upscale Innsbruck restaurants with an average check of €100 as a sample. When “neutral” music was played, the tips averaged 10% (yes, Europeans tip differently) or €10, but when upscale music was played the gratuities jumped up an additional €4 to almost 14%.

So, what did these academics consider “upbeat music?” Well, Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl,” Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and Eurovision classic, Abba’s “Dancing Queen” were offered as examples in the study.

Darker tracks such as The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” and Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black.” also prompted a slight uptick in tips.“Melancholic music, however, nurtures the people’s helping behaviour. The manipulated customers want to help the waiter or waitress with higher tips than usual,” noted Beer.

The study also theorized that listening to music frequently in day-to-day life can immunize one to the trickery of happy sounds whilst dining out. Consequently, younger patrons (a demographic who statistically spend listen to more music) tended to leave average tips regardless of the soundtrack. Beer also offered a different explanation for this phenomena—younger guests simply have less money. “Of course, it is also possible that they just don’t have the financial freedom to tip as much as older people,” she said.

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