It's bad enough men never have to wait in line at the restrooms
... [F]emale customers wait an average of 20 seconds longer for their orders than do male customers even when controlling for gender differences in orders.
Author Caitlin Knowles Myers, an assistant professor of economics at Middlebury College, says the wait was even more pronounced in shops with male employees - women workers were less likely to try to hold women customers up. Not only that, but the baristas seem particularly disgusted by ugly customers - they had to wait longer for their orders than the beautiful people.
Myers acknowledged in the study that women customers seemed to be more likely to order "fancy" drinks that would take more time to prepare (75% of women vs. just 55% of men; no discussion of the complexity of orders by ugly people), but said that even when this factor is taken into account, women and ugly people still had to wait longer than pretty boys (although you'd think the reverse would hold: Workers would rush their orders to get them out of their face).
She says possible reasons for the discrimination include male workers trying to get more money out of women customers (the report does not say how); male workers hating women customers (in part because of a conception that they're lousy tippers); or male workers "garnering utility" from female customers (i.e., they want to get to know them better). However, in all cases, it's discrimination against women, she writes.
The report is based on 295 observed customer interactions in visits to eight unnamed coffee shops in "the central Boston area" by a professor and five students this past January; they were selected based on whether they had seating arrangements that let the "enumerators"
spy on observe workers without letting them know somebody had an eye on them. So I'm thinking Dunkin' Donuts was not included, because it'd be hard to not look out of place staring at counter workers at a Dunk's.
Should you wish to verify the results, Myers provides detailed instructions on how to properly conduct such a study:
In order to control for possible effects of appearance (and possible correlations between appearance and other demographic characteristics of interest), enumerators ranked each customer's appearance on a scale of 1 to 10. This ranking was based less on physical beauty in the sense of Hamermesh and Bid dle (1994) and more on the quality and style of clothing and hair.
Also, you'll need to come up with a generic term for the "fancy orders," i.e., all the myriad ways in which you can get your coffee and to account for the fact that being discreet means you might not be able to hear every last bit of dialog between server and customer:
In the cases of orders that were recordable, there was variability in how many details of the order could be overhead. Some orders were recorded exactly as issued, but others could only be classified as, for instance, a cappuccino, and the enumerator ould not otherwise discern the size of the cappuccino or other special instructions.
Also, if you don't have a laptop with a stopwatch program, a cell phone with a clock will do in a pinch.