Hey big spender! A golden (color) atmospheric effect on tipping behavior
- 1.7k Downloads
This research examines how gold-related color in atmospherics might influence customer tipping behavior at restaurants. A series of five studies shows that the color gold (as opposed to other colors) in a service atmosphere positively influences consumer tipping. First, a field experiment (Study 1) demonstrates that customers presented with a gold-colored (vs. black-colored) service prop (i.e., bill folder) leave larger tips. Study 2 further confirms this effect of the color gold by validating the findings of Study 1 with a different service prop (i.e., tablecloth). Process evidence demonstrates the underlying mechanism of this effect, whereby a gold-colored service prop increases tipping by influencing status perceptions about the restaurant and the self (Study 3). Additional studies further confirm this by ruling out novelty of the color in this mechanism (Study 4) and by highlighting the effect of status on tipping through status priming (Study 5). The findings of this research have implications for strategic use of color in servicescape design and atmospherics in general.
KeywordsColor Gold Payment behavior and tipping Servicescape Service props Sensory cues Atmospherics Retail ambience Frontline employee Retail strategy
The authors would like to thank Lauren Beitelspacher, Anne Roggeveen, and Stacey Robinson for their suggestions on Study 2.
- Allen, R. L. (2009). Fine food is not just for white- tablecloth restaurants anymore. Nation’s Restaurant News, 43(43), 21.Google Scholar
- Barry, K. (2015). Sick of stainless? GE fridges get a kick of color. Retrieved March 19, from http://refrigerators.reviewed.com/news/colorful-fridges-might-come-to-a-retailer-near-you.
- Bellizzi, J. A., Crowley, A. E., & Hasty, R. W. (1983). The effects of color in store design. Journal of Retailing, 59(1), 21–45.Google Scholar
- Biswas, D., Szocs, C., Wansink, B., & Chacko, R. (2017). Shining light on atmospherics: how ambient light influences food choices . Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming.Google Scholar
- Fisk, R. P., Grove, S. J., & John, J. (2008). Interactive services marketing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Geboy, L. D. (1996). Color makes a better message. Marketing Tools, 16(2), 52–55.Google Scholar
- Haeckel, S. H., Carbone, L. P., & Berry, L. L. (2003). How to lead the customer experience. Marketing Management, 12(January), 18–23.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Kim, S. (2013). Panera Bread pulls 'pay-what-you-want' chili. Retrieved August 22, 2015 from http://abcnews.go.com/Business/panera-pulls-pay-chili/story?id=19629087.
- Magee, J. C., & Galinsky, A. D. (2008). 8 Social hierarchy: the self-reinforcing nature of power and status. Academy of Management Annals 2(1), 351–398. 8Google Scholar
- Rawsthorn, A. (2010). Daring to play with a rich palette. Retrieved July 20, 2016 from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/18/arts/18iht-design18.html?_r=0.
- Schoenberger, C.R., (2004). Room for rent or sale. Retrieved July 20, 2016 from http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2004/0607/124.html.
- Sheridan, P. (2014). Living on $2.13 and hour, plus tips. CNN Money. Retrieved Oct. 31, 2015 from http://money.cnn.com/2014/05/05/news/economy/tipped-worker-minimum-wage/.
- Strange, A. (2015). Why apple is obsessed with gold: It’s all about Asia. Marshable. Retrieved March 28, 2016 from http://mashable.com/2015/04/25/why-apple-loves-gold/#1otsB7lhNsqQ.
- Whitfield, T. W., & Wiltshire, T. J. (1990). Color psychology: a critical review. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 116(4), 385–411.Google Scholar
- Zeltner, P. M. (1975). John Dewey’s aesthetic philosophy (vol. 12). Amsterdam: B. R. Grüner.Google Scholar