Research Study Makes International News (5/24/2011)
Melissa Galm, a 2011 finance graduate, has proof that the hair color of a waitress directly impacts the size of the tip she receives.

Working with Chair of the Finance Department, Cao Jiang, PhD, Galm analyzed the tip earnings of 10 waitresses at Chickie’s and Pete’s restaurant over time. Then, she had those same waitresses dye their hair. Those who went from darker hair to blonde saw an increase in average tip earnings. Those who went from blonde to darker hair saw a drop in average tip earnings.

The research project was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and on NBC-10 last week, and the story was picked up internationally in Germany and Holland.

Galm presented her research on April 1 at the prestigious National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Ithaca, New York ( NCUR accepted a paper on her research in November. Holy Family’s School of Business named her Finance Graduate of the Year.

According to Dr. Jiang, Galm’s research is unique in that the only factor affecting tip earnings was hair color. Other studies looked at the tips that different waitresses who were blonde-haired and non-blonde-haired received. Galm’s study analyzed the change in average tip earnings that the same individual received after changing nothing but her hair color, Jiang said.

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