I was recently traveling in California and I was amazed at the quality of the service in restaurants and shops. No matter how you look, how you're dressed, you get a nice smile, suggestions and caring and on top of that a great selection. This led me to ask myself, is this amazing service the consequence of competition (restaurants want to offer the best experience to attract as many customers as possible), tips, or just culture?
In Geneva, I personnaly obtain the worst service that you can possibly imagine, to the point where I am scared to ask for too much when I am out, for example for a glass of water. Is this because of its protestant history or its lack of competition?
So how about trying to identify the determinants of international differences in the quality of service in restaurants? Some economists would be happy to prove the power of capitalism at work, others would be happy to show that only culture, or social capital explains service quality.
I also came to wonder if waitresses were so nice to me beacuse they want a big tip (it can between 10 and 20% by law), or simply because they are nice people. If the former is the case, they surely are good actresses! I guess one way to find out would be to measure at what speed their smile dissapears from their face, the faster the faker.
A good possible paper, I think.