A user on TikTok has gone viral and sparked discussion after claiming she received poor service for being young.
In a video with over 431,000 views as of Sunday, TikTok user Lani (@its.laannii) writes, “when you’re young so the waitress gives you terrible service not knowing you’re a server as well and don’t mind tipping $100.”
In the caption, she adds, “ima still tip you tho but not as good as I would’ve.”
@its.laannii ima still tip you tho but not as good as I would’ve #fyp #trending #viral #foryoupage #serverlife #server #serversoftiktok ♬ original sound – waveyuponly
So do young people actually 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 boomers claiming a median tip of 20%. That said, Generation X, the youngest generation surveyed, came close behind at 18%.
The worst tippers surveyed were customers over the age of 72 at the time of the study, the so-called “Silent Generation.” People in the Silent Generation had a median tip of just 15%.
A 2021 survey that included Gen-Z found that they tip less often than their older counterparts, though they tip more generously when they do decide to tip. Furthermore, Gen-Z appears to have increased its median tipping amount from year-to-year.
Where this gets complicated is the reason why this happens. The 2017 survey found that the tip amount was strongly correlated with income — in short, the more people make, the more they tip.
“Compared to their elders, younger generations generally have less money, which makes sense 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 receive worse service, potentially for the reasons stated by Lani.
“Servers treat young ppl as their last priority table, when we’re the ones who actually tip,” a commenter wrote.
“It’s basically self fulfilling prophecy,” a second offered a second. “They expect me to tip bad so they give bad service. Which in turn causes me to tip bad smh.”
Another shared, “For real. Sometimes I still leave a good tip so they check themselves for a second and sometimes I be skimping them lmfaoooo.”
Still, some said they understood the server’s position.
“Ok so true but also 95% of the time people my age tip 5%,” a user claimed.
“I get both sides because most people my age don’t tip or tip terribly or just don’t know how to tip but started server at 15 so I always got them,” shared a second.
Other users said that what they learned from their experience as a server was not that young people tip less, but that people tip in ways one might not expect. As such, they say, it’s wrong to underserve or mistreat customers based on a first impression.
“This is why I don’t judge tables,” a user detailed. “You never know who is in your ‘house.’ everyone gets my hospitality and it pays off.”
“I’ve had great tips for young people who I didn’t expect it from,” recalled an additional TikToker. “Just goes to show why it’s important to give good service to everyone.”
We’ve reached out to Lani via TikTok comment.