YOU might think how much you tip in a restaurant depends on the quality of the service and standard of the food.
Think again. Researchers have found that background music is also a factor.
Diners are, apparently, prone to tipping waiting staff about £3.50 (R65) more if feel-good tracks is playing while they are eating.
The effect is particularly strong in older customers, who tended to be more generous than younger people when happy music was playing. Sad music also led people to tip more, they found, but tended to have less of an effect than happy music.
Uplifting music makes people happy and the better mood someone is in, the more they tend to tip,' said Annika Beer, a psychologist at Austria's University of Innsbruck. Melancholic music, however, nurtures the people's helping behaviour.
The manipulated customers want to help the waiter or waitress with higher tips than usual.' The researchers said Abba's Dancing Queen, Billy Joel's Uptown Girl and Queen's Don't Stop Me Now were examples of songs that bumped up the tips.
Miss Beer said the reason older people were more susceptible to the songs was perhaps because younger people tended to listen to more music on a daily basis, and were more immune to its effect.
She added: It is also possible that they just don't have the financial freedom to tip as much as older people.'