Dining out - bill paying

Hi
just curious how others deal with the saga of bill paying at the end of a meal with friends especially if other have unequal amounts of food and drink. 

Out last night with 2 friends known for about a year, it was one's birthday. Bill came to £95. 

My mains was just £16 and i had that ready as cash (I paid for drinks before the meal). One other ordered an expensive mains, lots of sides and wine (shared with the 3rd person). 

They suggested going 3 ways on the bill, which meant i paid almost double of what I had. We are all working, so paying for what one had should not have been an issued. Usually would not care if i was just a few pounds here or there, but paying double was an ouch - by principal. 

How do others deal with this issue when out with friends? Any tips appreciated. 
«13456

Comments

  • We pay for what we had, rounded up to include the tip.  

    Used to go for meals after work including a colleague who insisted on making a note of every sip and bite, and then calculating our exact bills at the end.  Drove me mad and took the shine off what should have been a nice social occasion.
  • pjcox2005
    pjcox2005 Posts: 1,013
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Forumite
    Depends on who i'm with and what we've had. If close friends and an assumption that all are relatively well off then I'd normally split the bill evenly if things were pretty similar. That would be the case even if they had more kids out with them or an extra round. Over the years it will end up pretty much the same.

    If i know a friend earns less than I'd probably wait for them to say how they want it, or split per cost. Would offer that option as well if I know I've spent considerable more than others e.g. premium steak.

    If I thought someone was taking the mick and ordering loads more than the rest I'd probably push for splitting it on cost basis.
  • es5595
    es5595 Posts: 380
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Forumite
    It’s too late if it’s already happened but when it’s suggested “oh gosh, I’m sorry guys, I’ve only got the cash for my meal so I’m not able to subsidise you on this occasion”. 

    Normally it’s agreed pre-meal on what’s happening - splitting the bill or paying your own way, so maybe when you’re looking at menus next time ask or suggest what you’d like to happen. 
  • mutley74
    mutley74 Posts: 4,020
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    es5595 said:
    It’s too late if it’s already happened but when it’s suggested “oh gosh, I’m sorry guys, I’ve only got the cash for my meal so I’m not able to subsidise you on this occasion”. 

    Normally it’s agreed pre-meal on what’s happening - splitting the bill or paying your own way, so maybe when you’re looking at menus next time ask or suggest what you’d like to happen. 
    Normally never an issue with other friends. 
    Last time i was out with person #2 we split bill within reason. But subsidising what would have been his £45 bill felt very unfair. 

    Lesson learnt, card burnt! Will make it clear when ordering next time! 
  • mutley74
    mutley74 Posts: 4,020
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Pollycat said:
    This is something that has been discussed often on MSE.

    If you want to pay for what you've had, you need to establish that up front.
    Why on earth didn't you say that you were paying for your own meal and drinks?


    Yeah to be honest as i put my cash down first, thought the other 2 would have taken my bit then sorted the rest between themselves. 
    A big oversight and error on my side for going along with it when they suggested to split bill 3 ways. Especially as one of the others had been ordering so much on the menu on top of the most expensive mains. plus factor in cost of the birthday gift and transport! I bet i dont get that treatment on my birthday!
  • mutley74
    mutley74 Posts: 4,020
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Same for drink, i dont really drink, so when its my round it can be £20 ++ as they want premium spirits versus my drink usually just under £2!! 

    any tips welcome, dont want to sound like a tight pocketed but equally dont have money to waste, as have many other expenses. 
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,493
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Savvy Shopper!
    Forumite
    They sound like free-loaders.

    I'd never order lots of stuff from a menu or order much more expensive drinks and then expect somebody else to subsidise my food/drink costs.

    You wouldn't even need to bring up the subject if we were eating together.
    If I wanted to order a sirloin steak and drink a bottle of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape whilst my companion ordered a plain burger and a pint of lager, I'd be saying 'let's pay for our own food & drinks'.
    The fact that they didn't would make me look at them a bit closer.
    Do you think they did it knowingly or just didn't consider how unfair splitting the bill 3 ways was?

    Just say next time "we'll pay for our own".
    You don't have to explain yourself to anyone.

  • mutley74
    mutley74 Posts: 4,020
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Pollycat said:
    They sound like free-loaders.

    I'd never order lots of stuff from a menu or order much more expensive drinks and then expect somebody else to subsidise my food/drink costs.

    You wouldn't even need to bring up the subject if we were eating together.
    If I wanted to order a sirloin steak and drink a bottle of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape whilst my companion ordered a plain burger and a pint of lager, I'd be saying 'let's pay for our own food & drinks'.
    The fact that they didn't would make me look at them a bit closer.
    Do you think they did it knowingly or just didn't consider how unfair splitting the bill 3 ways was?

    Just say next time "we'll pay for our own".
    You don't have to explain yourself to anyone.

    When i have dined out with #2 before and had different food and drinks, i contributed my share of the bill pro-rate rounded up. I wonder as if it was his birthday was expecting us all to pay more?

    Anyway lessons learned and i need to stand up for what is best for me. As you say if they dont like it, then maybe they I am not suited to hand out with them. Had only budgeted for food and drinks under £25 last night but ended up paying £50!
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 234K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards