But I didn’t have an entree!

It’s one of those modern dilemmas – how do you split the bill when you’re out to dinner? Whether you’re out with a couple of close friends or many acquaintances, there are bound to be issues that come up when it’s time to pay.

Mamamia reader Paul* writes..


I went out with a few old friends for a meal but left feeling annoyed and aggravated over the bill.

It is great to catch up with people but when you arrive a bit late and people have already started drinks and it is just added to the final bill, you get a slight feeling of concern.

Then when it comes to ordering your meal you look at some of the prices and are shocked that some meals are twice the price of others. Then some in the group decide to order a starter while you are quite happy with just a main. Then more drinks are ordered and the idea of dessert and coffee is discussed and in your own mind the bill is creeping up and you hope that some consideration is given when you have to pay. Nope – the total bill is divided by the number of you there. As a couple we spent about $30 a head but were asked to pay $45. One lady left early and simply handed over what she considered was a share! I wish we had done that too.

In this situation you are placed in that dilemma of appearing mean spirited and tight if you don’t pay up, but resent that you are subsidising others’ over indulgence.  Worst of all, your “friends” don’t even suggest the fact that they have had  extra and offer to put in more. Are people so unaware or does eating out with friends entail paying extra for the privilege of their company? As youngsters we would have put in our share and that was quite acceptable. . Even now, you never mind paying a bit extra but when people in the group order meals double the price of others and have starters they should, in good conscience offer to pay extra. A social dilemma or have I got it all wrong?

How do you handle bills when you go out with friends?


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