Expert says we’ve been splitting the bill wrong – and going halves is a no-no
Have Brits been splitting the bill wrong for years? While some use calculators on their phones to cut the cost in two, others ask the server to do quick division for them.
For others, though, this can be problematic – like if you’re saving money by swerving booze, starters and desserts.
In cases like these, frugal people often decide to pay their own way instead of going Dutch.
But according to an etiquette expert, both of these methods aren’t ideal if you’re among friends.
According to Maths-Whizz, people take it in turns to stump up for the bill in other cultures.
Brad Klontz pointed out that in Far Eastern countries, as well as Hawaii, it’s widely accepted that people will take payments in turns.
He told Stylist: "The cultural norm here is, ‘I pay this time, you pay next time’, but the agreement is unspoken.
"I say ‘I’ve got it’, and the other person makes a mental note and pays next time."
Of course, you could just make it totally easy for the waiting staff – and ask for separate bills from the outset.
Etiquette expert and Mannersmith president Jodi R.R. Smith told Forbes if you ask at the beginning of the meal before the server has taken any orders, they are usually understanding.
And Helen Russell explained how, in Scandinavia, the onus is on waiters, bar staff and pub managers to ensure people are only charged for what they ordered.
She said: "There is never an awkward splitting of the bill. Going out is so expensive, and people know it is such a treat that they make paying easy and fair.”
Experts suggest Brits "change their mindset" about the prices on a menu, and instead, starts to see what they are really paying for.
The UK – and Western – tradition of splitting the bill should mean refusing to adhere to the individual menu prices, experts say.
They believe we should be taking these sums with a pinch of salt – and realise what you're actually paying for, which is a joint experience.
While taking it in turns to pay could be a good shout when you’re going out with close friends, it’s probably not the best option if you’re counting the pennies.
And let's not forget about those mates who never seem to get the round in…
So what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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