This is an opinion question. I usually tip alright, about 20% (because my math is too sucky to do 18%) sometimes more if I end up really liking the server for whatever reason.
I am in my 20s and sometimes can look even younger than that. When my boyfriend and I go out, there are times (not all the time but sometimes) when we don't get treated very well by our waiter or waitress at nice restaurants because they assume we won't tip. I guess because we are young, or because the place is fancy so they figure "they can barely afford to eat here as it is, they won't have money to tip" right?
So, when I see our waiter or waitress completely *fawning* over tables of older patrons nearby, and barely managing a "hi" or refilling our water, what should I do?
If I tip little (because let's face it, s/he doesn't deserve a big tip, right?) I'm doing just what s/he thought I would do! And it perpetuates the stereotype.
If I tip a lot (just because I want to show "see?! we can afford to tip and we will! you assumed *wrong*!") is it rewarding the behavior or do you think it would make the person re-think their stereotype for next time?
It's like a giant catch-22.
Personally, I feel like doing the second option if I know I'll be back. Maybe once they get to know we tip, we'll get okay service. But doesn't that seem backward?
(please note this doesn't happen too often. most places, even fancy places, our servers are awesome people who treat us like everyone else or even better because we are young-- and we chat and stuff and we lurve them ^^. But when this does happen I'm like, "it's such a vicious cycle!")