The waiter says the waitress gave her terrible service due to her age

A user on TikTok has gone viral and sparked discussions after claiming she received poor service because she was young.

In a video with over 431,000 views on Sunday, TikTok user Lani (@its.laannii) writes, “When you’re young, the waitress gives you terrible service without knowing you’re a waiter too, and does it don’t mind tipping $100.”

In the caption, she adds, “I still tip you, but not as well as I would have.”

@its.laannii I’ll give you a tip anyway, but not as well as I would have #fyp #trending #viral #foryoupage #serverlife #server #serversoftiktok ♬ Original sound – waveyuponly

So do young people really tip less? The answer is a bit complicated.

A 2017 survey conducted by Cornell University professor Michael Lynn found that baby boomers were the best tippers, with baby boomers claiming a median tip of 20%. However, Generation X, the youngest generation surveyed, is just behind at 18%.

Customers who were over 72 years old at the time of the study, the so-called “silent generation”, were interviewed the worst. People in the Silent Generation had an average tip of just 15%.

A 2021 survey Gen-Z participated in found that they tip less often than their older peers, although they tip more generously when they choose to tip. Additionally, Gen-Z appears to have increased their average tip amount year over year.

Where this gets complicated is why this is happening. The 2017 survey found that tip amount is highly correlated with income — in short, the more people earn, the more tips they tip.

“Compared to their elders, younger generations generally have less money, which makes sense as to why they tip less,” writes Hayley Rieman for Fox Business.

On TikTok, users shared their thoughts on Lani’s video.

Some agreed that young people are receiving worse service, possibly for the reasons Lani cited.

“Servers treat young people as their last priority table when we’re the ones actually tipping,” wrote one commenter.

“It’s basically a self-fulfilling prophecy,” a second offered a second. “They expect me to give a bad tip, so they provide bad service. Which in turn leads to me tipping badly.”

Another shared: “Really. Sometimes I still leave a good tip for them to check themselves out for a second and sometimes I skimp on them lmfaoooo.”

Still, some said they understood the server’s location.

“Okay, that’s true, but 95% of the time people my age tip 5%,” claimed one user.

“I get both sides because most people my age don’t tip or tip a lot or just don’t know how to tip but started server at 15 so I’ve always gotten them,” shared one second with.

Other users said what they learned from their experience as waiters was not that young people tip less, but that people tip in ways that you might not expect. Therefore, it is wrong to serve customers poorly or treat them poorly based on first impressions.

“That’s why I don’t judge tables,” explained one user. “You never know who’s in your ‘house.’ Everyone gets my hospitality and it pays off.”

“I had great tips for young people that I didn’t expect,” recalled another TikToker. “It just goes to show why it’s important to provide good service to everyone.”

We reached out to Lani via TikTok comment.


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*Initial publication: January 29, 2023 at 8:20 am CST

Braden Bjella

Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine and more.

Braden Bjella The waiter says the waitress gave her terrible service due to her age

Jaclyn Diaz

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