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Dining out - bill paying

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  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    mutley74 said:
    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!
    Unless paying for someone's birthday meal is a tradition between your group, nobody should assume that the rest of the group will pay for their meal - or even subsidise them heavily.
    It should be for the people who will be footing the bill to offer to pay.
  • 74jax74jax Forumite
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    mutley74 said:
    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. 
    I've been in the position in the past where I had to budget every penny, so it doesn't really bother me saying 'sorry I only brought enough for mine'. And also when drinks are being ordered saying 'just a heads up I am ordering my drinks seperate'.

    Now I'm not penny pinching, if someone says what I once did I don't bat an eyelid and just go with it. They are my friends and none of us judge each other.

    I love eating out and if it's who I eat with regularly it's common for one to say 'ill get this time' and nothing more is said.

    If it's a birthday of a friend, I would more than likely think I'd be covering their meal (maybe it's just what we do) but again.

    However, in the past if I'd looked ahead and picked my meal and it was £16 and I took £20 for a drink too, then I'd simply say sorry I can't.
    Forty and fabulous, well that's what my cards say....
  • Marvel1Marvel1 Forumite
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    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?

    We have friends that we eat out with and as we tend to order similar things (Chinese/Indian) and we all drink wine, it works out OK for each couple to pay half.

    But beware of people underestimating their share.
    We had this with a family meal. 
    One couple announced they wanted to pay for what they had rather than splitting the bill between 4 couples.
    They missed out the aperitifs they'd had and liqueur coffees.
    They also didn't include a tip in the amount they'd 'consumed'.

    I called them out on it.
    Tip is optional unless added to the bill.
  • Marvel1Marvel1 Forumite
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    Never been a problem for me anytime I have had a meal out as it's always been pay what you had.
  • PollycatPollycat Forumite
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    Marvel1 said:
    Tip is optional unless added to the bill.
    I do know that.

    I was pointing out the deliberate mean-ness of some people.
    When you are a group of 8 eating in a small family run restaurant and you've had 3 courses plus wine and the service has been good, I think it's mean not to leave a tip.
    The couple I'm talking about deliberately underestimated what they'd ordered when they were totting up their 'share'.
    Once I'd pointed out what they'd missed out, they suddenly decided they wanted to split the bill as it would be cheaper that way than paying for their own.
    I insisted they paid the full amount for their food and the other 3 couples split the rest of the bill.
  • cattomcattom Forumite
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    Like someone else said it depends who's company I'm in. if I'm with my mum, just the two of us, she all ways insists on paying. but now and again I do tell her to put her purse away. 
    Sometimes if I'm with my mum and my sister, when the bill comes, I will suggest to my sister that we go halves on the bill and mum pays nothing. but my sister won't do that. she scratches around in handbag, gets out the money for what she's had and puts it on the table. 
    I find it a bit sad that my sister won't go halves with me to buy her mum a meal.
  • Super_StomperSuper_Stomper Forumite
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    I've just fallen foul of this when meeting up with 5 long-distance friends on a holiday get together. Funny how those with the most money (the 2 couples!) order the most expensive food & drink and then expect an equal 5-way split once the bill comes as one of them 'happened' to have a birthday. It cost me almost double. I wouldn't mind but they know the 2 of us who are singletons don't have the same funds as them. For the rest of the week I simply stumped up for what I'd had plus tip. Annoyingly they also took the cash and paid the bill by card - without the tip but dropping a little bit extra on the table which wouldn't have been anywhere near 10%. (I seem to think 15% is nearer the norm?) I found it quite embarrassing TBH. Luckily we ate somewhere different each night. FYI I'm an elderly female singleton and have always tipped for good service.
  • PixiekazzaPixiekazza Forumite
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    I often have the same problem. I'm veggie and my food is usually cheaper than meaty mains. I don't mind if it's not much difference, e.g. a pizza place, but splitting the bill usually leaves me out of pocket. Especially if others have starters and desserts as well, and lots of drinks and I don't. I'll also point out if someone is on soft drinks that it's unfair for them to fork out for a share of the expensive booze they haven't had. 

    Sounds like a very uneven split in the OP's case. As others have said, I find it easier to be up front about bill splitting and say I'm on a budget, it's good to see them but "I'll pay for what I've had plus tip (if you pay a tip)". 
  • MaryNBMaryNB Forumite
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    When out with friends we've always split the bill based on what each person owes. Either one person pays and sends a picture of the bill to everyone and we transfer our share, or the bill gets passed around and we tot up what we each owe before paying separately. 

    It's pretty rare for the bill to be split evenly unless there's negligible difference between what each person owes. 
  • pearl123pearl123 Forumite
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    Pay for what you've had, unless you've got money to burn. I'd only share equally if the meals were very close in price. Personally, I would necessarily tell them in advance.I'd just tell them at the table that I was paying only for my meal and part of the tip. That's if you give a tip.  
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