Australians are reluctantly shouting each other drinks for fear it would be “unAustralian” to opt out of buying rounds, according to new research.
A ME Bank survey of 1000 adults revealed 85 per cent of Australians take part in buying drink rounds, but 81 per cent would rather just buy their own.
The survey found 64 per cent of people said they spend more than they otherwise would, and 56 per cent said rounds had “unfair” results.
“I’m sure most of us have a colourful story to tell about a round of drinks – whether it’s someone sneakily ordering a $20 cocktail when everyone’s sharing a jug of beer, or that friend who always manages to miss their shout,” ME money expert Matthew Read said in a statement.
More than half of respondents (55 per cent) said they believed buying rounds forced them to pay for more expensive drinks, while 51 per cent said they did not believe the drinks they paid for would be bought back for them.
And half of Australians said they knew people who consistently fail to return a shout.
To keep up, 34 per cent of people said they drank more than they otherwise would.
Geoff Munro, the National Policy Manager at the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, said this showed the risks involved with shouting drinks.
“People drink faster because they have to keep up with the fastest drinkers in the group,” Mr Munro told The New Daily.
“People lose control of the pace that they’re drinking when they’re involved in a shout.”
Respect your mates and their limits
Mr Munro called on Australians to show “a bit of respect” to the people they socialise with.
“A lot of people just can’t tolerate a lot of alcohol or drinking quickly, particularly females who are trying to keep up with males.
“People metabolise alcohol at different rates.”
He said buying rounds fed the Australian culture of binge drinking, and that people might be led to feel “uncool or a tightwad” if they opted out.
“There’s a lot of peer pressure involved here, obviously … People aren’t willing to speak up,” he said.
“Shouting of course is an Australian custom, people grow up with it and they feel they need to take part.”
The survey found 26 per cent of respondents thought it would look “unAustralian” to pass up shouting drinks. Almost half (42 per cent) said they felt expected to participate in a round, while 39 per cent did not want to appear tight with money.
Only 23 per cent of people said they felt comfortable refusing to take part.
Mr Munro said people should avoid buying rounds or expecting others to get involved.
“You’re putting others at risk,” he said.
Mr Read said people should speak up if they didn’t want to take part.
“If you don’t want to be in the shout – say so. Chances are most of your friends will think similarly. You’ll probably save a bit and drink less,” he said.
“But on the other hand, sometimes shouting is the right thing to do if you’re with mates you can trust to repay the favour. Choose your moments.”