Woman 'turned away from restaurant' for dining alone: Does it cost more to be single than in a relationship?

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Woman in cafe dining solo as others say they have been turned away due to singles tax
The 'singles tax' saw a woman turned away from a restaurant for wanting to dine solo. (Getty Images)

Earlier this week, a London restaurant revealed that it may soon start charging solo diners double - and now a woman has said that the ‘singles tax’ is a very real thing and she was once turned away from a restaurant for dining alone.

Two-Michelin-starred restaurant Hotel Café Royal said that a solo diner takes up as much space as two diners, so they're considering charging solo diners double.

Meanwhile, Alison Weyland, 44, says she has been turned away from a restaurant for trying to dine alone.

Read more: What single adults in the UK are looking for in a partner - Yahoo Life UK, 3-min read

"I walked in to a restaurant in London and there were about four or five single tables and they said they were full," she explains. "Of course from a restaurant perspective if you have two people sitting at a table it's more profitable. But it's the only time I've been turned away and it really messed with me."

Weyland, who has been single for seven years, says that she thinks the ‘singles tax’ definitely exists.

Alison Weyland with a blurred face sitting in restaurant
Alison Weyland says the single tax is taking its toll. (SWNS)

"In a cost of living crisis it can be a huge weight to carry," she adds. "A lot of my friends are married with two incomes and in some cases they have mortgages where they're paying a lot less than I am - and that stings.

"That's a sadness around being a single person. It can be limiting. Social events can make me feel rubbish unless I'm around friends or a group. Everyone craves that longing and community but it's not happening at the moment. It's not practical in any sense for people to be footing so many bills by themselves."

Weyland, a digital marketing manager, currently lives alone, in a one-bedroom flat in Bristol that she forks out £1,500 a month for, a considerable amount of her £45,000 annual salary.

Read more: The cost of being single - Yahoo Finance UK, 5-min read

"My salary is 20% less than it was five years ago and I don't know if I'm going to be able to live alone for much longer," she continues.

"There are benefits to being single with a certain amount of freedom and flexibility but financially it's rough. And with the cost-of-living crisis it's debilitating - it almost neutralises that freedom."

She says that she spent 18 months trying to find an apartment, and even now her lack of storage space is "very dehumanising".

Sad and depressed woman sitting on sofa at home.
Single people spend around £860 more per month than those in a couple. (Getty Images)

"At my age you'd think you'd have nice lifestyle things but you're often stuck with one-bedroom flats - it does impact your life a lot," she says.

Weyland is also charged £200 a month in council tax, even after her single occupancy reduction.

Travel is another sore point, as even when single hotel rooms are available, they are never half price of a double occupancy room.

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"I really want to travel but I can't even think about it," she adds. "There are some places that offer single beds but even then it's still £200 a night to get something - it does become impossible.

"It is a lot more effort and more work to save for it and you don't have anyone to share it with."

The real cost of singles tax

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there are currently 8.3 million people living alone in the UK, which represents 13% of the household population. Of these, 53% are women.

The singles tax is a very real thing. Recent calculations from financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown found that it costs £860 more a month to be single than part of a couple - largely due to rent and mortgage payments.

Hargreaves Lansdown also found that single people living alone are less likely to have emergency savings, and less likely to be on track to have moderate income for retirement.

Additional reporting by SWNS.