The project is funded by the Social Science Research Initiative grant. This is a mixed-methods study focused on the experiences of full-service restaurant servers and the effects of their reliance on precarious wages in the form of customers’ voluntary provision of post-service gratuities. We also conducted an online experiment to study the effects of visually observing work on tipping.
The team interviewed around 240 servers/bartenders in Pennsylvania in 2020. The survey involves the tipped workers’ employment, financial situations, etc., both before and during the COVID-19.
We combined a theoretical model with experimental investigation of outcome bias and showed that visually observing workers' effort corrects asymmetry in how employers reciprocate effort through informing employers about the cost of effort.