Dinner out with friends can be a fun time. Good conversation, laughs, and – we hope – good food. It all adds up to what’s usually a nice evening.
Then….the bill comes. Now, this shouldn’t be a stressful occasion at all. However, there’s often the possibility for a little bit of awkwardness when figuring out how to handle the bill. Should one party pay, or should the other one do it. Should you take turns, like you got last time so I’ll get this time?
Or, maybe we should itemize every little expense. You pay your share, and I pay mine. Including the tip. We could always make it even easier and just ask for separate checks.
So, what to do? How do you split the bill at dinner with friends?
Personally, I’m growing to like the idea of there being no real concrete rules for doing it. We are all different, and what may seem fair to one person might seem rude and offensive to another. Spending money can bring out unneccessary weirdness with some people, so I think we need to consider who we are with and what makes the most sense.
Having said that, my own preference now is to split the bill where possible. The bill comes, you pay half, and call it a day. If it’s just you and a friend, or two couples together, it should be easy and straightforward. No need to quibble that your friend ordered a $19 entree, and you just ordered a $14 one. Just split it and forget it.
Now, if there were significiant differences, it might be different. Let’s say the friend also ordered a couple of drinks, when you had none. Her bill now totals $35, vs. your $14. In this case, just get separate checks. That’s fair, with such a huge discrepancy, right?
All this being said, to me it’s about balancing being fair, while also avoiding petty nonsense.
I’ve really seen things all across the board here. Some people always wanting pay the bill, some people expecting to freeload. Some saying you get this time, I’ll get next – while others itemize to the dollar. And many things in between.
So I’m curious, how do you split the bill when out with friends?