It may be convenient for diners when the bill comes, but restaurant waiting staff are losing out when customers split the bill evenly, also known as “Going Dutch”.
The findings come out of research carried out by the world’s premier online restaurant booking company, OpenTable, and House PR.
According to the research, when customers split a restaurant bill, the amount that is left for a gratuity for waiting staff falls. In the UK, 23% of restaurant customers say that when they split the bill, they leave a smaller tip for their waiter.
This figure is also backed up by restaurants themselves as 42% of restaurant proprietors confirm that when customers “Go Dutch”, the tip they leave waiting staff is much smaller.
Adrian Valeriano, a senior executive for the European arm of Open Table says that although there is an obvious mathematic convenience to splitting a restaurant bill evenly among diners, restaurants themselves note that this seriously impacts of the amount of tips left by a typical table.
The results of the research received widespread coverage across various online media outlets, including Eat Out Magazine Online, and the online editions of The Sun, Reveal Magazine and The Daily Mirror.
The research also pointed to the fact that customers themselves may be losing out by ‘Going Dutch’ when the bill comes, because many are paying for more than their fair share. According to OpenTable and House PR, this figure can be as much as £8.73 per restaurant visit for the average Brit, which works out at lifetime overpayments of over £33,000, enough to put down as a deposit for a property purchase.
Diners themselves are aware of this inequity, which is supported by the research that says that 38% of them estimate that they paying for more than their fair share.
58% of subjects in the research cite convenience as the main reason they put up with the feeling that they have overpaid, while 34% say for them it’s a concern that they don’t want to appear ungenerous with their friends.
Interestingly, of those who don’t go “Go Dutch”, 54% said they don’t split the bill evenly because their fellow diners order more alcoholic beverages than them, 49% said they order less food and 27% said this happened when they were not eating with their close pals.