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Tonight I dined with two friends. I ordered two apps and drank two cocktails and a cappucino. One ordered one app, one entree and three drinks, the other two apps, three drinks. Due to an error, my second app was not sent and the kitchen had run out of the item. I chose a burger which was comped.

 

So on the bill, my meal was one app and two drinks. The check with tip was $200. The others expected me to pay 1/3. My reaction was that $66 was too much for one app ($9) and two drinks ($18) plus 1/3 the tip ($10). Under duress, I put $60 onthe table. The other two were unhappy with that.

 

What do you think?

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I fell under that trap when I was working and living in the wine country. I signed up for an "offline" without realizing the consequences. Being really, really poor at the time, my then-BF (Shawn) and I deliberately ordered the two cheapest things on the menu (which we shared) while everyone else was getting apps and entrees and desserts.

 

The bill came and our salad and burger was $120.00. We had brought what we had budgeted for ourselves, about $40.00. I dashed across the street to get money out of the ATM because the tab was divided up ten ways and that was what was expected.

 

We paid and the lesson was learned. Splitting the tab equal ways seems to be the norm, regardless of what is ordered.

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I think you should split the check 3 ways and be gracious about it. I can't stand it when people do what you did.

I never do that, except that they made no recognition of the inequity. If the difference was $10-15 or even $20, I would not care. But we are talking about $29 difference between the cost of my meal and theirs was too much. It was not my doing that my burger was comped. the restaurant did it since they screwed up. So I wound up paying for the comped burger and more. I think it was ungracious of them to do what they did.

 

Had the situation been reversed, I would have said "X", your part of this is half of ours. Then it would be up to the other person to say, never mind, let's split it. I do that all the time. That is being gracious. Had they done that, I would have split it with no complaint. I was pissed that they didn't acknowledge the disparity.

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But maybe they felt that you alone shouldn't get comped, that the comp should be shared by the table, just as the check would be split by the table. That's certainly what I would have expected. Just as you would expect to split the check 3 ways regardless of what was ordered, if somebody's thing got comped because of a screwup, that just goes into the splittable tab just like everything else.

 

But of course if you think that you and these particular friends are not on the same wavelength where these issues are concerned...don't go out to eat with them.

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when i was a non-drinking vegan, my meals out in a group often consisted of a green salad or another veg app and water, while the rest of the table had full meals with plenty of drinks and wine. i was always expected to split equally, NOT ONCE did anyone say "you know what, we had a bit more, we should pay more." i stopped going out with that particular group. apparently i wasn't alone because eventually they decided to arrange for prix fixe meals so everyone knew what to expect going in.

 

now that i eat and drink plenty, i insist on not letting people who do not drink or order less food than me to pay equally. why should they pay for my meal? it's not about nickel-and-diming and splitting every penny - if it's obvious that someone ordered significantly less, just have them pay less, what's the big deal?

 

i've also been to a birthday celebration (at a restaurant) where guests were asked to chip in more than the equally split amount of the check because guests who left early didn't leave enough :rolleyes:

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Having been burned at too many group dinners - always order the most expensive thing on the menu, because you're going to pay for it anyway :lol:

 

i see that frequently at group dinners, esp. when ppl don't know each other well

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I don't think there is one answer for all situations.

In Thunk's situation, I would have paid my third.

But I also think there is something so ungracious about paying for only what you ordered and not a penny more. A group meal out is going to mean a full meal with drinks so you might as well plan for it. It's not for the weak. If you are poor and hang out with the rich, have them over for dinner instead of dining out.

At the same time, I'm very aware if someone didn't drink and throw in an extra amount and quietly suggest I pay more and they pay less.

I was once traveling with a group and when the bill came, every one paid for what they ordered. It was all about the same at every meal and yet it took forever and it was so petty and half the time the hens who insisted on this forgot their own appetizer or third drink and we were always short. It ruined the meals for me.

I have one group of friends and we all take turns. It's so nice not to have to deal with the bill and it's very gracious and it costs the same.

 

Try and go out with Jaymes because nice gentlemen will send drinks to your table and it really brings down the final bill.

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But maybe they felt that you alone shouldn't get comped, that the comp should be shared by the table, just as the check would be split by the table. That's certainly what I would have expected. Just as you would expect to split the check 3 ways regardless of what was ordered, if somebody's thing got comped because of a screwup, that just goes into the splittable tab just like everything else.

 

But of course if you think that you and these particular friends are not on the same wavelength where these issues are concerned...don't go out to eat with them.

Obviously that's how they felt. I will say that is the first time I have ever done that. Something in the way the thing developed pissed me off. Like I said, had they said, "your share is a lot less than ours" I would have said "fuck it, let's split it." But something got under my skin and I felt like being stubborn. Suppose I had ordered just one app and no second course. Should I pay triple the tab?

 

With people I dine with frequently, my feeling is it all comes out even over time, so it is never an issue, no matter the inequality of a particular check.

 

Often I dine with someone who drinks quite a bit. The booze tab winds up being as much or more than the food, and I usually have no liquor. I set a precedent with that person early on, that we would split the food and the total tip, but she pays for her liquor.

 

 

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Yep, three ways.

 

Sorry.

 

I'd be concerned about dining the people if there was a pattern of objectionable behavior. but I don't see it. I don't think you get an out because the burger was comped; the table gets the benefit.

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if it is a group of friends who dine out together often and it evens out over time, and/or everyone's got a lot of money, it's a different matter. but otherwise i think it is best to delicately check at the beginning of the evening whether everyone wants to split the bill equally or pay only for themselves. i see nothing wrong with the latter, but i draw the line at calculating a proportionate share of the tax and tip.

 

i learned the monkeymay lesson the hard way, back when i was a junior copywriter. these days when i dine out in a large group, or with friends who i know have a lower expense budget than we do, i try to make sure that no one gets stuck paying for other people's excesses. it doesn't have to be done in a painful, drawn-out, or even very obvious manner. you figure out the bill split equally and suggest that those who barely are or didn't drink much pay $x less and everyone else make up the balance.

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Yep, three ways.

 

Sorry.

 

I'd be concerned about dining the people if there was a pattern of objectionable behavior. but I don't see it. I don't think you get an out because the burger was comped; the table gets the benefit.

 

Yes, I think you are right. But I can understand Thunk's initial reaction.

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But I also think there is something so ungracious about paying for only what you ordered and not a penny more.

 

I just remembered a dinner I was at in February; I wanted to treat a good friend and somehow it snowballed into twelve of us dining together. I ordered a bottle of wine (no biggie, I'll pay for that) and folks at the other end of the table were having cocktails. This was at a new-age conference and all of a sudden, everyone had to dash out to get to the next event and cash was being thrown down.

 

Guess what? EVERYONE paid for their food only; nothing for their drinks and nothing for the tip. I got stuck with a $600+ bill and about $150 in cash to compensate. Totally sucked.

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But I also think there is something so ungracious about paying for only what you ordered and not a penny more.

 

I just remembered a dinner I was at in February; I wanted to treat a good friend and somehow it snowballed into twelve of us dining together. I ordered a bottle of wine (no biggie, I'll pay for that) and folks at the other end of the table were having cocktails. This was at a new-age conference and all of a sudden, everyone had to dash out to get to the next event and cash was being thrown down.

 

Guess what? EVERYONE paid for their food only; nothing for their drinks and nothing for the tip. I got stuck with a $600+ bill and about $150 in cash to compensate. Totally sucked.

 

Well, New Age types. What were you thinking?

I would have hunted them down and microwaved their auras. It freaks them out.

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