If I could, I would start a petition to make it a social norm for friends to go Dutch at restaurants!

Why? There’s nothing more annoying to me than wanting to order an expensive drink, but not doing so because I’m afraid of increasing someone’s tab or ordering just a salad that ends up costing me $40.

Restaurant Bill

What is “Going Dutch”?

The phrase “Going Dutch” means each person pays for their own meal as opposed to splitting evenly.


– You don’t pay extra for when someone else orders expensive dishes
– You don’t need to feel guilty and order less food because other people will have to lift your share
– Money is a sensitive subject so going Dutch puts all parties at ease to order however much or little as they want without discussing why

-You avoid arguments over who owe’s what; if everyone pays for their own meal, there is no way to argue.


-In large parties, it can often be difficult to do the math
-Miscalculations: In groups, a person can easily forget to add their share of the tip or tax.

I once attended a friend’s birthday dinner at a high-end Asian restaurant. Being the birthday girl, she didn’t pay for her own meal, but I ended up covering $40 on top of my individual $60 cost because people didn’t give the right amount of money and nobody owned up.

When is it Acceptable?

Unfortunately, going dutch isn’t socially acceptable in all situations.

It’s considered okay if you are with close friends or on a budget and with friends.

It’s considered a no-no on dates, but here’s my take: The first date should be covered by the one who invites; any consequent dates should be split evenly! Going Dutch is also not considered proper in corporate/business settings.

At the end of the day, you need to weigh your options and see whether going Dutch works for you! While it’s not a norm in the US, it’s extremely common in countries such as Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Norway and Australia.

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