The Etiquette of Splitting the Bill | Do Say Give

The Etiquette of Splitting the Bill


It’s happened to all of us : You’re out to dinner with a group when the bill comes. The person who ordered the Wagyu steak and the $200 bottle of wine – when everyone else had pasta – suggests to “just split the bill evenly.” So what do you do?

First of all, whenever you agree to go to a fine restaurant with other people you are taking the risk of this happening. It’s just the nature of dining out and, in this case, to be gracious I probably wouldn’t say anything. Heed these lesson for the future:

1. If you’re worried about the bill, pick the restaurant.

2. Ask for separate checks but do so when you first sit down to the table. Otherwise, it’s not really fair to the waiter. If you don’t want to be super blunt, you could always say something like, “Can we put ours on a separate tab; we have may to jet out of here early to let the sitter go… ”. You could also discreetly pass the info along to the waiter on the way to the restroom.

3. Don’t be too persnickety about an uneven bill, If it’s a minimal difference, by all means splitting is the gracious way to go. But if you feel like your dining companions are taking advantage (or just thoughtless) with the ordering and splitting then I would find new dining companions or have them over to your house for dinner next time!

A few more tips:

Don’t take the liberty of ordering expensive menu items for the table unless you plan on treating the table to these items or you ask the rest of the group first.

I also think it’s thoughtful when friends say, “I had two glasses of wine; let me leave the tip.” It’s totally unnecessary, but a gracious gesture.

Share your tips below!



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