A server has sparked a heated debate on social media after sharing the difference between how people of different ages leave her tables after dining.
Ever wonder how different generations behave when they dine out? Probably not. But it’s something that can’t go unnoticed when you work as a server.
Kaitlyn Brande, a young waitress, stirred up quite a buzz on social media after she shared her observations on “boomer etiquette” versus “Gen Z etiquette” in a restaurant setting.
Kaitlyn took to the popular social media platform TikTok to showcase how differently two groups of diners — one older, referred to as “boomers,” and one younger, part of Gen Z — left their tables after dining. And the difference was… let’s just say, table-turning!
Check out the video below:
In the clip, Kaitlyn starts by showing a table of five “boomers,” which she claims is in a state of disarray despite having cleared some plates already. She then pans to the adjacent table of six Gen Z diners, where the scene is entirely different: the plates are neatly stacked.
“OK here’s all I’m saying, this is a table of five boomers [where] I took some plates out of the way already, OK?” she says, adding, “And then this is a table of six Gen Zs. They did that. Just saying.”
Kaitlyn’s TikTok caption aptly contrasts the two approaches: “‘They get paid to do that’ VS ‘we know restaurant life is hard, here, let us help you out’.”
For those unfamiliar, Baby Boomers were born between 1944 and 1964, while Gen Z comprises those born between 1995 and 2015, according to Kasasa. These two generations have found themselves at odds in recent years — epitomized by phrases like “Ok, Boomer” and accusations of younger people being “snowflakes.”
The TikTok video quickly became a sensation, racking up over 6 million views and thousands of comments.
One person commented: “Why would you not make life a little easier for those around you by cleaning up? It legit doesn’t inconvenience me to help!”
A second added: “Boomers have the worse sense of entitlement. They also don’t know how to ask for anything politely or say thank you.”
But a third argued: “That’s your job, why do you expect the public to do it for you, are you not capable to do it yourself? If you don’t like what you do, then change.”
And over on Twitter, the conversation was just as divided.
One person agreed with Kaitlyn, writing: “Old people think we owe them the world. They’re the ones that are going to get us locked down. I live in SWFL and the Q-tips are everywhere. Congregating in the condo parking lot with lawn chairs and booze?? Come on now.”
However, the most vocal commenters were those who were more critical of Gen Zs.
Indeed, one person suggested the reason the younger diners stacked their plates was that “Gen Z people needed to make room for their cell phones.”
“At least the boomers left 15 to 20% and the gen z’ers, still haven’t found out what a tip is. But if stacking dishes is all it takes,” another remarked.
A different Twitter user had no sympathy for Kaitlyn, writing: “Really, that is your job to do that. You pretty much just shamed the older generation. I have waited tables, it’s your job to do that.”
Kaitlyn’s Perspective: Beyond the Viral Moment
“I posted it because I thought it was ironic since older people always expect respect,” Kaitlyn revealed in an interview with BuzzFeed. “I’m not saying I expect people to ever stack their plates like that, because hey, I’m a person too. I want to go out and eat and not worry about the dishes or anything.”
“All I’m saying is it was cool and helpful of the younger people, and I appreciated it,” she further elaborated.
Who knew that the state of a dining table could spur such a broad discussion on generational etiquette?