Service industry workers are testing the ‘pigtail theory’ to see if they earn more tips
There’s a little-known theory floating around TikTok that has people in the service industry running mini-social experiments of their own. It’s called the “pigtail theory,” and it claims that whenever a server or bartender wears pigtails to work, their tips noticeably increase.
A lot of TikTokers have been testing this out lately, and so far, the results are pretty eye-opening.
“Okay, y’all, so just an update. We just got done with our shift with pigtails,” waitress Michelle Hawkins (@just_dandyyy) says in one video. And, as she personally attests, the pigtails certainly “did something” to boost her tips.
At the end of the night, Hawkins says she brought home $171 in cash tips, which was pretty good for a slow night. However, it was even better, considering that she and her coworker apparently forgot to turn the “open” sign around until about four hours into their shift. (Oops.)
Another server who tried it said she immediately noticed a difference in the way customers were interacting with her.
According to a TikToker named Lily (@lils_yi), her tables were all considerably nicer to her compared to other nights she’s worked without a ponytail. A table full of guys even asked how old she was and kept commenting on her ring, wondering if she was married.
By the end of the night, she counted up her tips and immediately saw a difference.
“All of my tips were around or over 30%,” Lily shared. “So, I think it does work.”
After watching many of these videos, many TikTokers had wildly different takeaways.
Some thought the trick was pretty awesome and said they couldn’t wait to try it out for themselves. But many others found it to be a disturbing commentary on how society views women and girls.
“it’s sad that it works,” one user commented.
“That’s actually scary,” said another.
“The pigtail theory isnt to get you more money its to show you only get money because its showing a childs shadow,” another person said.
As one user pointed out, the pigtails essentially make women look more “innocent and young and quite a lot of the men like that and tip them more.”
“It basically prophets [profits] off of pedophilia in a way,” they added.
Others, however, didn’t quite see it that way.
“This is the ultimate reaching I’ve ever seen,” one TikToker shot back.
In another video, one commenter asked, “does the pigtail theory make anyone else sad.”
In response, dozens of people replied with a resounding “yes.”
“it’s a sick and twisted men thing however it works,” added one TikToker.
Whatever the reason behind it may be, TikTokers who’ve tried the hair trend say it definitely works and has them swimming in extra tips.
“Literally 4x my average for just wearing pigtails,” user @mommanaomii shared. “Woohoo.”
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