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How do you handle restaurant bills when eating with a group? This can be a sticky issue, as you don’t want to get stuck paying an unreasonable amount, but you also don’t want to come off as a cheapskate.
While on our recent vacation, we went out for dinner with our extended family. In order to keep things simple and fair, we asked for separate checks for each family. Splitting the check was a bit more work for the waitress, but we tipped well, and everyone was happy.
Depending on the setting, however, I’ve seen the check-splitting ritual handled in multiple ways. In some cases, we’ve simply split the check informally at the table and then had everyone pitch in enough to roughly cover their meal (plus tax and tip).
In other cases, it’s not uncommon for a group to opt to split the check evenly, without regard to what each individual ate and drank. This is particularly common in professional settings where everyone is being reimbursed, but it happens in social settings, as well.
While splitting the check evenly is easy, it can result in hurt feelings and resentment if one or a few people order especially expensive entrees, or extra drinks/dessert to go with their meal. Isn’t it always the guy who orders the filet mignon and a bottle of wine who suggests this method? 😉
This all begs the question… What’s the best way to split the bill when dining out with friends? Please weigh in below.
As always, please also feel free to chime in with a comment to add some context to or otherwise clarify your answer.
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