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People splitting the bill when going out for a meal

(120 Posts)
ThePlEWhoLovedMe Sun 28-Oct-12 15:44:51

10 of us went out for a meal last night for a friends 30th Birthday. When the bill came people were really picking over the bill - I would have been happy to split it 9 ways <birthday girl not included>. I get that some people are really skint and I understand that people who don't drink shouldn't be paying for the drinkers... but seriously people were picking over everything to the last 50p and one lady seemed to have forgotten the 2 bottles of wine she shared with two others. AIBU to be a little annoyed that they made such a fuss?

puds11 Sun 28-Oct-12 15:46:11

I think with meals like this its always better to have an agreed a mount that everyone chips in. People do get really picky about this sort of thing. I find it embarrassing tbh.

kim147 Sun 28-Oct-12 15:47:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mutny Sun 28-Oct-12 15:49:11

I think it depends. I have a restaurant and I have seen what you describe. In some situations the amount spent is similar.
But in some cases one person has bought scallops and lobster, while the others have chicken, and expect their friend to pay their bill.
Personally when me and my grid d 'split the bill' we pay for what we have had. And a bit extra for a tip.

gazzalw Sun 28-Oct-12 15:49:24

I think this a recurring problem when going out in a big group. It is almost better to tell everyone it costs £so much per head and then they know what to expect to pay.... Know of plenty of times when people put money down to cover their share and leave early and then those that are left end up paying over the odds because some people have wildly underestimated their shares of the final bill...

And given that the alcohol usually doubles the bill, people forgetting their consumption of wine/beer etc...can really skew the per capita reckonings at the end.....

valiumredhead Sun 28-Oct-12 15:49:44

Perhaps that's why they were arguing if people had forgotten they had drunk 2 bottles of wine?

When we go out we split the meal between us all regardless of what people ordered then the drinkers pay for the booze.

ErrorError Sun 28-Oct-12 15:50:05

I see your frustration, and if I was there I would have just offered to split it to save the hassle. However, on one occasion when a friend of mine suggested doing this, I ended up paying £25 for 1 course when everyone else had 3 and also included several bottles of wine (which I didn't have any of), so I don't think that was fair. Most restaurants should be able to accommodate for people wanting to pay separately, so I'd rather do that than faff over pennies where possible. And decide how you're going to pay before going in the restaurant, to save awkwardness later, (i.e. if you know bill will be split, go ahead and have 3 courses instead of thinking you're doing yourself a favour by 'saving money' and only having one!)

BeingBooyhoo Sun 28-Oct-12 15:50:06

i dunno. i used to think, ahh just split it 10 ways, but i have been out with people who always over order and drink loads. it starts to get to you after a while because yes, money is getting tighter and xmas is just a stone throw away. i've also been out in smaller groups where we've agreed beforehand jsut to pay for what we order and tbh it is so much less awkward at the end. nobody feels hard done by and it's far quicker to pay as we all check when ordering how much everything is going to cost.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 28-Oct-12 15:50:37

I dunno... In my experience there's always one that stuffs themselves silly, drinks way more than everyone else then is all for splitting the bill equally.

If I've only had a main meal and two glasses of wine I don't want to subsidise the people who had 4 courses, 2 bottles of wine each and after dinner coffees and cocktails.

we do a kitty before hand for food and everyone buys their own drinks unless we all want wine to share then we split it. anything left from kitty goes for tips or coffees and if we underestimate we split any extra, this is unusual as we always have a rough idea of the cost of a meal and put a generous amount upfront.luckily we all agree this is the way we do it and it saves any niggles.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Sun 28-Oct-12 15:54:40

All the meals cost roughly the same (except for the steak - which i didn't have but a few did - more expensive by about £5). We all have starters and mains. I really found it embarrassing (for the Birthday girl) that people were sitting adding up everything to the penny at the end of the night.

TwitchyTail Sun 28-Oct-12 15:54:44

Honestly, I don't see a problem with people just paying for what they've had (roughly). If the bill is always split evenly, some people (typically non-drinkers, vegetarians, light eaters) will end up consistently subsidising everyone else. It gets annoying.

The person who's had the cheapest meal is the only one who should be suggesting that the bill is split evenly. In my experience, it's usually the opposite.

LST Sun 28-Oct-12 15:56:08

We always pay for ourselves. In happy with that.

oh and we usually have agreed first if we are having just a main or going for the whole hog.

valiumredhead Sun 28-Oct-12 15:56:21

I think it's daft to be embarrassed tbh -let them get on with it and divide it up if they want to.

kim147 Sun 28-Oct-12 15:57:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Sun 28-Oct-12 16:03:18

I think the problem was that we didnt all know each other last night. If i go out with my friends we split the food bill then split the drinks bill accordingly. Last night was embarrassing though .. with people only drinking one glass of wine out of a bottle (driving) and others drinking more .. it really went down to the last pennies !!

BeingBooyhoo Sun 28-Oct-12 16:06:18

we would never add up to the nearest penny! as a couple EXp and i would have rounded up to the nearest £5. so if it came to £46.00 for us both we would give £50 to allow for tip.

LizLemon030 Sun 28-Oct-12 16:06:54

I know, drives me mad too and I'm broke, so it's not a money thing! the only way to get through it is to eat drink and be merry yourself and NOT to sit there all evening ordering the cheapest dishes and dreading the splitting of the bill. If you just go for it yourself, like king henry VIII then you've nothing to fear when the bill is divided up.

I used to be a bit omg, i only had the starter and no wine. and then would feel resentful paying 1 /4 of the bill for example. and the difference is never THAT much, whether you make a scene and insist on paying only 23 rather than just shrugging and saying put a quarter of it (or an eighth or whatever) on my card.

save the money the next day. don't buy the paper, don't buy a latte.

HerRoyalNotness Sun 28-Oct-12 16:15:54

I too don't understand why the restaurant can't split the bills, we're in canada and they always split to what the diner had If necessary.

TessCorpseDissect Sun 28-Oct-12 16:25:15

When going out as a large group, we usually pay for the drinks separately.

Those who are on wine might start a kitty for bottles of wine but people who don't drink a lot or are driving can either stay together or buy their own.

It seems to work fine.

catgirl1976 Sun 28-Oct-12 16:30:03

This is one of my major pet hates

The rules are:

You split the bill equally between however many people there are, excluding birthday girls / boys etc

If you had somethinglpads more expensive / lots of wine you offer to put in more but everyone else generally refuses (unless you went pure mental on the lobster and Rothschilde)

If you are out in a big, mixed group where you don't know each other well, works do maybe, it's ok to pay for drinks separately

People who say "well I didn't eachh much rice so that £2.50 off mine" should be taken outside and shot

Etiquette-wise, whoever hosts the meal and invites people should pay but I don't think that happens much these days. I certainly don't stick to that rule

Bertrude Sun 28-Oct-12 16:47:35

Pet hate of mine too.

Biggest thing when I'm going out with a group is to make sure the boundaries are set straight away. Most restaurants will give 5 separate bills to 5 couples if asked and if pointed out who is on what bill. If 2 of a group want to pay for what they have, the waiter will give 2 bills plus one shared. It's simple if it's laid out before you go, like on the gloal email with the plans on it.

If its people you regularly go out with then and know well, then to me there's no reason to not just split it. We have a group of 8 of us and there's normally 4 at least out for dinner every weekend. Sometimes all 8, sometimes 6. One week everyone will have 3 courses, wine, aperitifs, Irish coffee. Next week one might have all that and everyone else have a pasta and a pint. It works itself out in the end, and because we know each other that well we know nobody will consistently take the piss. Or if someone (I'm looking at you, husband) orders wagyu fillet and everyone else has something cheap, then they buy first round in the bar afterwards.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Sun 28-Oct-12 16:57:07

phew glad not everyone thinks IABU

CelticPromise Sun 28-Oct-12 17:14:17

Booyhoo you'd be one of the people I would end up subsidising, because a tip should be at least 10% unless service is crap.

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