Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Howard E. Farris

Second Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Third Advisor

Dr. Arthur G. Snapper

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Although waiters and waitresses traditionally receive a gratuity based upon quality of service from customers, it may be difficult for them to interpret the amount of the gratuity as an indicator of good service or bad service. This ambiguity could be a result of different amounts of customer checks or faulty comparisons of total dollar amounts (total for the working shift) without taking into consideration the total dollar amount of the customer checks or the number of customers served. This study was conducted to provide accurate information for waitresses regarding gratuity percentage received from customers while monitoring its effects on performance of a customer service behavior - vocal recognition (VR; calling the customer by name). Gratuity and VR percentage for each shift worked were graphically displayed to waitresses in a multiple baseline design. Data were self-reported with interobserver agreement checks conducted one of every seven working shifts.

During baseline, VR percentages for all waitresses were below 10 percent. Increases to 75 percent and higher of VR occurred for all waitresses while only three performed above 50 percent for the remainder of the study. No consistent changes occurred in gratuities received by waitresses throughout the study. There were also no changes in responses to two customer survey questions relevant to VR across three administrations. Implications to and suggestions for future research in this area are discussed.