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Hey big spender! A golden (color) atmospheric effect on tipping behavior

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  • Na Young Lee

    (University of Tennessee)

  • Stephanie M. Noble

    (University of Tennessee)

  • Dipayan Biswas

    (University of South Florida)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Na Young Lee & Stephanie M. Noble & Dipayan Biswas, 2018. "Hey big spender! A golden (color) atmospheric effect on tipping behavior," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 317-337, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joamsc:v:46:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11747-016-0508-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11747-016-0508-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Lefebvre, Sarah & Hasford, Jonathan & Boman, Laura, 2022. "Less light, better bite: How ambient lighting influences taste perceptions," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
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    11. Kevin L. Sample & Henrik Hagtvedt & S. Adam Brasel, 2020. "Components of visual perception in marketing contexts: a conceptual framework and review," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 405-421, May.
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