<p>‘Splitting the bill often divides opinion’</p>

‘Splitting the bill often divides opinion’

UK adults feel awkward about splitting restaurant bill, poll reveals

Many adults said they felt awkward when deciding how to pay when they eat out

Steve Richmond
Thursday 29 April 2021 17:22

Britons are split on how to settle the restaurant bill after a meal with friends and family.

A poll of 2,000 diners, by comparethemarket.com, revealed 34 per cent believe you should split the bill straight down the middle including the tip, while 36 per cent reckon it should be split precisely based on who has had what.

Nearly half are left feeling awkward when it comes to approaching how to pay when they eat out.

The majority however wouldn’t let such experiences put them off heading back to restaurants as they continue to reopen.

Love it or hate it, many said splitting the bill is all part of the eating out experience.

Julie Daniels, head of rewards at comparethemarket.com said: “Splitting the bill often divides opinion, as our research shows. But one thing is for sure, people are looking forward to dining out again and plan to make up for lost time.

“As restaurants continue to reopen their doors, we have expanded our Meerkat Meals reward to give our customers even more choice and to make splitting the bill a little easier.”

It also emerged some have agreed to pay more than they wanted to avoid an uneasy situation, while the same amount have also done it simply to look good.

Several say they have left a bigger tip to cover off an uncomfortable payment experience.

While others have actually paid in full on behalf of others to dodge the awkwardness entirely.

More than a quarter had been involved in a disagreement over whether to leave a tip – with the average being left for restaurant staff being £8.25.

The average respondent has had to wait an excruciating six minutes and 45 seconds to settle a bill, with more than half having felt embarrassed by the actions of those who they’ve dined out with when sorting payment.

Many have used, or experienced someone calculating their total from a bill using a calculator or phone app.

The study also found a few have fallen out with someone over quibbling over the bill as several have had to apologise over how long the bill is taking to be resolved.

Friends were those most likely to nit-pick over payment with some experiencing it with colleagues.

Despite this, the majority are looking to make up for lost time when it comes to eating out as restrictions ease as a handful would even go as far as to say they missed such moments.


Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments