When we pay a large tip to secure a specific table in a restaurant. There is usually some personal happiness-related reason behind our action. Among many of our reasons could be that we want to be nearer to performers on the stage in order for us to secure a better view for our enjoyment. Another reason could be that we want to have a specific view available for us while we dine. If we do not pay a large tip, then there is a bigger risk that we would not get the table that we want. Therefore paying the large tip reduced that risk significantly and makes us likely to get what we want.
This case is the same as when a business company pays a bride to certain entities in order to secure a contract. When perceived in Bentham’s perspective, “happiness” to a business may be equated to progress and profit which in turn may be acquired through appropriate business actions such as securing profitable contracts. The company pays a certain amount in order to get more business which will eventually pay back several fold. This is exactly the utilitarian principle that Bentham explained which may be neatly applied to both cases. In the restaurant, the customer pays a larger tip in order to enjoy the “happiness” of a specific table.
In business, the company pays a bribe in order to enjoy the “happiness” of obtaining a contract. Although one of the two situations is illegal, that does not mean that the principle between the two situations are different. In as much as companies are not allowed by law to make bribes for contracts, slipping a $50 for a waiter to secure a seat often happens without the knowledge of the waiter’s supervisor. In that sense we may see that both actions to have moral repercussions. It is just that one tends to be more pronounced with respect to its consequences than the other.