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Young British drinkers aren’t buying rounds anymore

A large majority of Gen Zers prefer to buy just their own drink at the bar, and the reason why isn’t necessarily down to income.

It used to be a mainstay of British pub culture, but buying a round appears to be on its way out among younger consumers. Could the reason be down to how they pay for everyday items?

New YouGov Omnibus data has revealed that 67% of British people aged 18 to 24 would rather buy just their own drink. Just 33% of those aged 65 and over, by contrast, would prefer to exclude their friends while buying a drink.

The trend may be partly down to young people having less disposable income. When this is taken into account, however, it remains the case that Gen Zers would rather buy only their own beverage.    

In February, a survey by money transfer app Moneymailme revealed that Gen Zers overwhelmingly prefer to use digital payment services like Apply Pay and Google Wallet over cash.

Because such services are faster than the paper alternative, it’s likely that younger consumers don’t feel inconvenienced when each of them buys a drink in turn at the bar. The death of the round, then, could be inevitable.