House PR-OpenTable research: UK restaurant diners ‘Go Dutch’ to avoid appearing stingy

By House PR – brand communications PR london

According to research by a major online restaurant booking firm and the PR agency House PR, an astonishing third of all restaurant diners in the UK opt for splitting the bill evenly at the end of their meal with the rest of their table because they fear looking stingy if they don’t.

OpenTable and House PR say that a study into dining habits reveals that 38% of UK restaurant customers agree to “Go Dutch” because there are more concerned with how not doing so will make them look in the eyes of the people they eat with than with the extra costs they incur.

And the costs are significant: just under £9 per meal, or a breathtaking £33,000 over a lifetime, enough to put down as a downpayment for an average UK property.

These findings about restaurant diners’ concern about they are perceived by their fellow diners received widespread online media coverage, including in the online editions of the UK’s leading redtops – The Sun and The Daily Mirror.

The study also indicated that the practice of “Going Dutch” was very prevalent, with over 65% of restaurant diners in the UK going for this option when their bill arrives.

For 58% of subjects in the research, the main reason is convenience and almost a third of restaurants say that they go out their way to facilitate this choice of payment.

Of those diners who don’t “Go Dutch”, the main reasons cited were not wanting to pay for fellow diners who order more than the average spend on alcoholic drinks (54%) or on food (49%). And 27% said they eschewed splitting the bill evenly when they weren’t eating with very good friends.

Surprisingly, there are other losers when restaurant diners “Go Dutch”: waiting staff receive much smaller tips. 23% of customers say they leave smaller gratuities when their table “Goes Dutch”, a figure confirmed by nearly half all restaurants in the research.

OpenTable Europe’s Adrian Valeriano admits that despite the convenience of “Going Dutch”, in fact both a significant number of customers and restaurants are worse off because of this practice. He confirms that restaurants are noting that tables that “Go Dutch” tip less.


Restaurant review: Dishoom Carnaby

Review by Ginny Paton


  • Venue: Dishoom, Carnaby, 22 Kingly Street, London W1B 5QP
  • Cost: £100 for two excluding wine
  • Food: 10/10
  • Service: 7/10
  • Ease of booking table: 10/10
  • Overall: 9/10

House PR MD Ginny Paton marks out this new Indian venue in central London as one of her new favourite places for taking clients to

Entering Dishoom’s Bombay-style café in central London’s Carnaby Street is a bit like suddenly finding yourself in one of India’s famed spice markets, one’s senses overwhelmed by a complex collection of exotic fragrances.

The venue is in fact the fourth in the restaurant’s chain in London and plans are afoot to expand UK-wide.

The philosophy of the brand dates back to when Zoroastrian migrants from Persia settled in India and there created a uniquely democratic type of eaterie where all were welcome, from cab drivers to business moguls.

Dishoom-20160608105628346The Carnaby Street branch is decorated with many reminders of the strong links between India and the British capital stretching back centuries.

We were somewhat taken aback when our waiter took our order of 10+ dishes without writing any of it down. Was he some kind of memory genius? Unsurprisingly he came back, pad in hand 5 minutes later, and asked us to repeat what we wanted. Would we also be underwhelmed by the food?

An emphatic no. We were blown away, not only by the succulent dishes, but also with the theatrical high drama every time each was brought to our table.

I highly recommend a heavily spiced chickpea dish called Chloe Bhatura and French fries made from okra. And the Pau bhajis were an absolute delight, so far removed from the bland supermarket kind I felt I was eating them in an Indian street market.

Overall, Dishoom Carnaby would push all the right buttons for clients and personally I can’t wait for a return visit so I can savour some of the other dishes of this venue’s amazing menu.

Well done, Dishoom!