Award Date

August 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hospitality Management

First Committee Member

Carola Raab

Second Committee Member

Dina Zemke

Third Committee Member

Choong Boem Choi

Fourth Committee Member

Harsha Perera

Number of Pages



Restaurant server income is predominantly composed of tips received from guests and the minimum server wage received from restaurants. Grounded in equity theory, this dissertation investigated the effect of the minimum server wage, in combination with established antecedents of voluntary tipping, on tipping rate and examined guest perceptions of fairness of the minimum server wage and three prevalent tipping policies (voluntary tipping, automatic service charge, and service inclusive pricing). Two experiments were conducted, a 2 (minimum server wage) x 2 (service quality) experimental design, and a 2 (minimum server wage) x 3 (tipping policy) experimental design. The results revealed that the minimum server wage and voluntary tipping familiarity have moderating roles on the indirect effect of service quality on tipping rate via perceived fairness of voluntary tipping. In addition, voluntary tipping has higher perceived fairness and higher perceived value than automatic service charge and service inclusive pricing.


minimum wage; perceived fairness; perceived value; restaurants; service quality; tipping


Business Administration, Management, and Operations



Available for download on Saturday, August 15, 2020