Going to a Turkish restaurant with a group of people is an enjoyable and mandatory experience when in Turkey. But what do you do in Turkey when it comes to paying the bill?
If you insist on paying for yourself, be aware that in Turkish culture this could be perceived as if you wanted nothing to do with the others in the group. However, in some larger cities in Turkey waiters have got used to tourists or exchange students paying “ayri ayri” (that is, separately).
In most cases the waiter will bring the full bill with a little box. The full amount together with a tip is placed into the box. This is the most common and elegant way to pay for a meal as a group.
As restaurants became increasingly expensive in Europe, ‘Going Dutch’ became a popular term to avoid the embarrassment of potentially being obliged to invite an entire group of people to dinner. A liberal approach to life and high taxes have meant that restaurant prices have always been quite high in Holland, perhaps why they began the trend of splitting the bill.
However, if you are going for a business meal with Turkish colleagues then, as we point out in other articles and in the HandsOnTurkish business course, it is highly likely that the host will insist on paying. It would be quite normal to accept this and, in return, reciprocate the hospitality a few days later by inviting your partners.
You can learn more about Turkish business culture in our interactive HandsOnTurkish app available online and as a downloadable app.
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