Dr. Michael Lynn of Cornell School of Hotel Administration - Biography

Ithaca, NY

August 2014

If you work in the front of house and you don’t already know the name Michael Lynn, it’s worth looking into. Chances are, you’ve felt the impact of his research. Dr. Lynn is a professor of consumer behavior and marketing at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration—the alma mater of many an influential culinary professional, and ground zero for Lynn’s research on hospitality industry consumer behavior.

Lynn wasn’t always headed for hospitality. He received his Ph.D. in social psychology from Ohio State University in 1987 (he’d go on to teach at Cornell the year after). But while he was schooling, Lynn was also waiting tables and bartending. And that experience piqued what would become a professional interest in service gratuities, a topic on which Lynn has published more than 50 peer reviewed academic papers—a topic that’s recently gotten plenty of attention in the national press.

Lynn’s other research focuses on consumer status and “uniqueness seeking” within the hospitality experience. He was the editor of Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly and the author of “Mega Tips: Scientifically Tested Techniques to Increase Your Tips.”