GRE Argument Essay 38

There is a general idea that waiters and waitresses are more likely to receive larger gratuities from large groups of people. A recent research study suggests this is not true. The researchers examined the relationship between the size of tips in restaurants and the number of meals charged on the bill. They found that, while most tips were around 15 percent, the minimum percentage considered appropriate, people dining alone tipped consistently more (19 percent) and those dining in groups of four or more tipped considerably less (13 percent) than this 15 percent standard. These results strongly suggest that people dining in a group are less likely to feel personally responsible for leaving an adequate or generous tip.

The given argument rests on the suggestion made by a recent study that it is not necessary that waiters and waitresses receive larger tips from large groups of people. The evidence provided by the argument is in the form of the findings of the study that include statistics related to the size of the tips and the number of meals charged on bills. The study suggests that people who dined alone generally tipped about 19 percent which is more than the percentage considered as an appropriate tip; whereas people dining in groups of four or more tipped around 13 percent which is less than 15 percent, the appropriate percentage for a tip. The study concludes that people who are dining in a group are less likely to leave a generous tip as compared to those who are dining alone. Although, the argument sounds well-reasoned when read for the first time, a subsequent reading brings to light various flaws in the evidence provided by the study thereby rendering the argument logically flawed.

Firstly, the argument rests on the findings of a study the conduct of which is questionable. There is no indication of either the cross-section of the people or the types of restaurants that were included in this study. This is a very essential part of any kind of study. As the argument gives no information regarding the people and the restaurants that were a part of this study, the statistics arrived at by the study are highly dubious. The category of people who were a part of the study will greatly influence the statistics of the study.

It is quite likely that the individuals who paid higher tips belonged to the affluent class and hence, they were able to give generous tips. Additionally, it is likely that the people who were a part of the study for the payment of tips in groups belonged to the student fraternity as they are the ones who are likely to go out and dine in groups and therefore, they gave lesser tips due to their financial constraints. Moreover, it is likely that the people that were dining in groups were large families from that section of society who cannot afford to give generous tips. The argument makes no mention of the types of restaurants that were included in the study. There are certain high-rated hotels like 5 star hotels where it is obligatory to give a generous tip whenever you dine there. On the other hand, there are certain small-town restaurants where it is not a common custom to give large tips.

Moreover, the argument fails to address the issue related to the occasion on which people were dining in groups. If the occasion was a party being thrown by someone, it is ultimately an individual who is footing the bill and paying the tip. Therefore, the small tip is being given by an individual and it is not the individuals in the group who are feeling less responsible for leaving a generous tip. On the contrary, it is likely that when the occasion is a happy one like a birthday or a wedding anniversary, the waiters and waitresses are more likely to get a generous tip when the people are dining in a group.

The argument could have been substantiated if the study had used the same cross-section of people. For instance, if the study consisted of the statistics related to the tips when the same set of people dined alone and when they dined in a group in the same restaurants. Therefore, the absence of information related to the occasion when people were dining in groups and also the types of people and restaurants that were a part of the study makes the argument weak and unconvincing.