Waitress Reveals The Difference Between How 'Boomers' And 'Gen Zs' Leave Their Tables After Eating At Restaurants

Spoiler: one generation appears to have more social awareness than the other.

waitress, baby boomers, gen z katebrande / TikTok / Ground Picture / Shutterstock 

A waitress has sparked a debate surrounding the difference in restaurant habits between Baby Boomers and Gen Zers.

Her controversial video has some arguing which generation demonstrates more respect and awareness for customer service workers, while others claim that such awareness should not be necessary. 

The waitress filmed a video depicting how a group of ‘Boomers’ left their table before leaving a restaurant and how a group of ‘Gen Zers’ left theirs. 

Kate Brande, who previously worked as a waitress, took to TikTok in 2020 to share a video she captured after a couple of her tables, which consisted of a group of Baby Boomers and a group of Gen Zers, had left and how they had placed their dirty dishes and silverware.


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Baby Boomers are those who were born between the years 1946 to 1964, during the mid-20th century population increase referred to as the “baby boom.” Gen Z is those born between the years 1997 to 2012.

“Here’s all I’m saying,” Brande started off her video, which has received over 1 million likes. She turned the camera to one of her tables, with plates, utensils, napkins, and straw wrappers scattered about. 



“This is a table of five boomers that I took some plates out of the way of already,” she shared. She then panned the camera to the table directly next to it, which had plates and glasses stacked into a neat pile, with garbage placed onto one plate. 


“This is a table of six Gen Zs. They did that,” Brande noted how the group organized and cleaned their table prior to leaving the restaurant. “Just sayin'.” “They get paid to do that vs. 'We know restaurant life is hard, let us help you out,’” the waitress captioned her video.

After the video hit 9.3 million views, Brande was forced to delete it after corporate discovered it. She has since quit her job and reposted the viral video. 

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Brande’s footage has sparked a heated discussion surrounding restaurant etiquette and different behaviors demonstrated by older and younger generations. 

Some people believe that it is common courtesy to organize and clean the table to the best of your ability to make your server’s job easier. 


“It’s just common sense to clean up after yourself when finished with your meal. Just stack the plates, is all we ask!!!” one TikTok user commented. “Gen Zs have empathy that is rare to find in the older generations,” another user wrote. 

Other users believed that younger generations are more socially aware than older ones, which is why the group of Gen Zers organized their dirty dishes while the boomers did not, referring to boomers as “lazy” and “entitled.” 

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However, other people argued that it was not the customers’ job to clean up the table and that it is the responsibility of the restaurant staff. 


“It’s the waiter's job to clean it up they signed up for it,” one user wrote. “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,” another user shared. 

Others noted that the boomers were likely unaware that cleaning their tables off for their servers was a sign of appreciation and respect. Many who are apart of Gen Z view themselves as compassionate and progressive individuals with a heightened understanding of the struggles customer service employees face. 

Seventy-three percent of Gen Z students report themselves as being compassionate, and 80% of them see themselves as being thoughtful and “mainly concerned about the issues facing other people,” per a study conducted by the University of North Florida.


Many people who are part of Gen Z are also working customer service jobs, including serving, and are aware of some of the difficulties that the position entails. 

Although it is certainly not a requirement, and the "Boomers" who were seated at Brande’s table were most likely not intentionally trying to be rude, cleaning and organizing your dirty dishes and utensils at a restaurant is a kind gesture for your servers. It displays your awareness of their hard work, and your kindness to save them some time and make their jobs easier. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.