“How One Banana = Big Business”

One of the many beautiful things about being in India is the abundance of fresh, tropical fruit.  On our “Main Street” alone, there are at least 6 or 7 places to pick up bananas, papayas, etc.

Why then, do I always return to the woman you see in this photo? (Don’t be fooled by her ‘stoic face’. It’s not considered proper to smile in photos.) Because every time I leave she throws an extra banana or pomegranate into my bag.

What principle has she latched onto? The same one articulated by researchers at Cornell University’s School of Hospitality in their article “Sweetening the Till: The Use of Candy to Increase Restaurant Tipping”

“A common practice among servers in restaurants is to give their dining parties an unexpected gift in the form of candy when delivering the check. Two studies were conducted to evaluate the impact of this gesture on the tip percentages received by servers. Study 1 found that customers who received a small piece of chocolate along with the check tipped more than did customers who received no candy.”

What can you take away from this as you seek to grow your business? Consider what you might be able to give your customers for free.

Because, while neither a banana nor a piece of chocolate is an extravagant gift, in both cases, these choices led to customers who were more willing to open their wallets.