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Nearly half of British diners will overpay when splitting the bill at festive meals

Almost half of us expect to be short changed when eating out with friends over the festive period, while another quarter will refuse to invite friends who have previously wriggled out of paying their fair share

London – December 2nd, 2016 – It’s the most wonderful time of the year; so no wonder that in order to celebrate the festive period Brits will dine out at least four times on average during December. However, research released today by Mastercard reveals that almost half of us (48%) will have our celebrations dampened by ‘Diners Dilemma’ – the embarrassment and nuisance caused by the bill split moment.

The most common irritation for diners is overpaying their share of the bill. 46% of Brits who eat out during the run up to Christmas expect to overpay their share by typically £5. So rather than remembering an enjoyable evening with friends or work colleagues, they are left scratching their heads as to why they paid extra.

A fifth of Brits admit they have resorted to arguments with friends and family over splitting the bill, with a further quarter saying they’ve stopped inviting friends from future events after they wriggled out of paying their fair share.

In the build up to Christmas, Mastercard’s research has identified four key types of diner and the scenarios to keep an eye out for when planning your festive feast;

The Penny Pincher – that person around the table who will pull out their calculator app at the end of the meal to ensure everyone pays for exactly what they had, right down to the penny. 57% of those surveyed claimed this to be the number one frustration and embarrassment when dining out


The Mealtime Martyr – despite wanting to tuck into their favourite dish this considerate diner will forego what they really want in favour of something cheaper for the sake of the bill (48%), and then will be too embarrassed about confronting their fellow diners to pay their fair share (43%), so end up overpaying themselves to compensate.


The Bill Dodger – according to the research, nearly a quarter of us (24%) have been victim to the person who deliberately leaves the meal early and fails to leave the correct amount or anything for the tip.


The Greedy Gourmand– after tucking into the most expensive dish on the menu or the vast majority of drink on the table, the ‘greedy gourmand’ is that person who will then insist everyone splits the bill equally to compensate for their over indulgence – 61% of Brits admit they have experienced a meal with them.


“Splitting the bill often intrudes on a pleasant evening out with friends or family, something that you definitely want to avoid – particularly during the festive period. However, with new technology generating simple ways to split your bill or just pay for your meal, this unnecessary stress will soon be a thing of the past,” commented Elliott Goldenberg, head of digital payments at Mastercard UK and Ireland.

The Qkr! with Masterpass app (the free digital wallet from Mastercard) allows diners to be in control of how and when they pay their bill. Now when you use Qkr! for the first time at participating restaurants, including wagamama, ASK Italian and Zizzi, you can get £5 off your meal.