Splitting the bill: Is ‘going Dutch’ costing you a fortune?

When you’re dining out, even with your best friends, paying the bill can get a little awkward. Should you split it equally, even though someone had a lot more to eat, or whip out the calculator and work out individual bills?

goingdutchIn a recent survey, we discovered that 2 in 3 UK diners will split the bill when dining out, despite fearing losing out on money. Over half (58%) of diners agree to split the bill equally because it makes paying the bill easier, while one third (34%) will ‘go Dutch’ because they don’t want others to think they’re tight with money.

But that doesn’t mean we’re happy about it. The survey revealed that Brits would avoid splitting the bill if fellow diners had ordered significantly more food or alcohol than they have, or if they are not dining with close friends.

Over one third (38%) of the UK feel they lose out on money when splitting the bill, estimating they lose £8.73 every time they dine out. That’s a potential loss of £38,782 over a lifetime of bill splitting – more than the average house deposit in the UK! (£33K)

So how does splitting the bill effect restaurants? We also surveyed restaurateurs to discover how customers going Dutch impacts their business. 42% of restaurant owners said splitting the bill did affect tipping and actually decreases the amount consumers give. However, the majority of restaurants seem happy to accommodate the requirements of their diners, with 30% admitting that they make it deliberately easy for their guests to split their bill.

How do you handle bill splitting? Do you wish it was easier to split it fairly, or would you rather ‘go Dutch’ than cause a fuss? Let us know in the comments.