Does Your Attire Impact Your Tips?

I was reading a discussion on a popular forum about the relationship between how we dress and our ratings and tips. Both sides of the discussion were represented very well, and most boiled down to how they felt, what made them comfortable and never took into consideration the customer. Remember the 6 levels of service. You never want to drop below the expectations and if you can do something small to be desirable, why not take it.

Three don’ts

  1. Don’t wear gym clothes. Yes they are comfortable, but there is a crazy thing about the human brain. If you look like you smell bad, your customer’s brain is going to make them think they smell something they don’t. Gym clothes means basketball shorts, sweats, and track suits.

  2. Don’t wear flip-flops or sandals. In general people don’t want to see your feet. But even if you never get out of the car, wearing flip-flops is also risky when driving.

  3. Don’t over dress. You want your customer to feel like you like your job and take it seriously, but also do not want your customer to think you don’t need that tip. There is a sweet spot between under dressing and over dressing. Wearing a suit might be overkill unless you are deliberately going out of your way to offer that level of service.

Three do’s

  1. Be on purpose. That means, think about how you want to present yourself. Think about your comfort level. Think about how long you are going to be driving for. Is it a shorts day, wear a clean style tan shorts (without cargo pockets) and a polo shirt or collared shirt. Is it a pants day, wear a nice pair of jeans and a t-shirt or collar. The point is, you pick the style, but make it on purpose. Want to wear a suit, go for it. But make it look like you did it on purpose. Otherwise you are that weird Uber driver in a suit.

  2. Don’t know how to dress? Google business casual attire. Business casual is a good rule of thumb. It shows a level of professionalism, and is moderately comfortable. Think dockers and not slacks, and a nice button down dress shirt, or polo. On a tight budget, shop at costco or some budget store. You can get this exact wardrobe for very little.

  3. Update your profile picture. Don’t just use some sloppy looking selfie you took two years ago. Again, be on purpose. Take a photo with your usual attire, groomed facial hair, recent haircut, makeup if you wear it, and take the photo in an area with nice lighting and a nice background. This is your first impression to your customer. Make it a good one.

Now test it out. Do you normally wear gym clothes to drive? Try a week in business casual. Did your tips and ratings go up. If so, great. Keep it up. If not, then try something else for a week. Is nothing moving the needle? At least now you know your customer segment doesn’t care about how you dress, so try to figure out what they do value.

Good luck out there.