Etiquette expert Myka Meier says the solution to splitting the bill at a group dinner can come before the meal even begins
Internet users are in disagreement over whether a group dinner should be split equally or if each person should only be responsible for their own food.
Etiquette expert Myka Meier says the solution to the debate can be found before the meal even begins.
Meier told PEOPLE that when it comes to a birthday dinner, how the bill is divided should depend on who did the planning.
So, you’ve just gotten to the end of a group dinner with friends and the check comes — now what?
What follows can be a stressful exchange of “should we split it equally?” or “who wants to put their card down?” How each group of friends chooses to handle these situations can vary of course, but is there one route that could save friend groups everywhere once and for all?
Debates have emerged online about the subject and whether it's appropriate to "pick apart" a bill or if a group should just split the cost equally.
In response to one video seemingly against those who choose to only pay for their portion, one TikToker responded saying if she’s going to be called “broke” for not wanting to split a bill down the middle — so be it.
“If I must be graced with the name “broke batch” because I refuse to split the bill on your 72 oz Porterhouse, your baked potato with sour cream, butter, upcharge cheese, chives and bacon, add on upcharge shrimp skewer add on upcharge lobster tail, your two margaritas — then a 'broke batch' I will be,”@typhanybleu said in the comedic video.
She continues on by saying “you didn’t split the steak with me, but you want to split the check.”
One commenter agreed saying that “the minute you order alcohol, splitting the bill evenly goes out the window. I ordered water. You got a $15 mixed drink. Twice.”
Another added that “splitting the bill ONLY makes sense if you are ordering multiple things to try/share rather than individual meals or got the same exact thing.”
“When people pick apart restaurant bills in a group setting, it often makes the splitting process hard to calculate,” Meier explains of the end of meal scramble to pay. “Therefore, if you don’t feel like you will not indulge in the same amount as everyone else (i.e. you want a salad and water but the others want lobster and wine) then one option is to ask for separate checks at the beginning of the meal.”
If the group does choose to have one person put their card down for the entire meal, Meier says “what is most important is to make sure if you owe a certain amount that it is paid back the same day or as soon as possible.”
“You never want to put someone in the awkward position to have to chase you to be repaid for doing the group a favor,” she continues, adding that if there is lag time, reaching out after a week — either using the reminder function on payment apps or through a “polite text” — is okay.
An added wrinkle can be when the dinner is organized around someone’s birthday and whether or not the guests should handle the bill for the guest of honor. Meier says that all depends on who did the planning.
“If it’s your birthday and you pick the restaurant, aka budget, plan the party and invite the friends, then guests may go into the dinner thinking the tab is being picked up,” Meier suggests. “So if that’s not the case, one option is to ask everyone ahead of time if the menu and budget works for all if you are planning your own birthday dinner.”
On the other hand, she says if the dinner is planned by friends then they will “likely” pick up the bill on behalf of the guest of honor.
Nevertheless, Meier says,” it’s always a nice gesture to offer.”
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Read the original article on People.