Consumer racial discrimination in tipping: A replication and extension

Michael Lynn, Michael Sturman, Christie Ganley, Elizabeth Adams, Mathew Douglas, Jessica McNeil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


This study examined the effects of server race, customer race, and their interaction on restaurant tips while statistically controlling for customers' perceptions of service quality and other variables. The findings indicate that consumers of both races discriminated against Black service providers by tipping them less than White service providers. Furthermore, this server race effect on tipping was moderated by perceived service quality and dining party size. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed. Particularly noteworthy is the possibility that the server race effect on tipping represents an adverse impact against Black servers that makes the use of tipping to compensate employees a violation of employment discrimination law in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1060
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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