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Dividing cafe/restaurant bills.

(78 Posts)
Katek Fri 10-Feb-17 09:30:46

Following on from the 'Mean' thread I wondered how others divide the bill when out with friends. I'm quite happy to divide it by the number of people, makes it easy. I have a friend who pores over the bill adding up what each person had. Meanwhile the poor waitress or cashier is waiting for us to pay and go as there is a queue building up behind us. My friend also brings her own decaffeinated tea bag and asks for hot water. She then complains that she's still charged for a pot of tea. I have tried to explain that it still costs to produce the hot water, milk etc but it falls on deaf ears.

seacliff Fri 10-Feb-17 09:39:01

We usually just split it equally. The other option, when I go with just one friend fairly regularly, we take it in turns to pay. Usually evens itself out more or less.

There is one exception, when we go with a couple we feel are a bit mean - but they do have to watch the pennies. They always want to pay separately,which is fine with us. However, they will never leave a tip, they see us doing so but will never contribute.

janeainsworth Fri 10-Feb-17 09:40:29

Usually divide by the number of people Katek but if I'm aware that I've had more than other people - a glass of wine when they hadn't, for example, I'd offer to pay extra.

I'm afraid I just wouldn't go out with people like your friend. Too embarrassing!

gillybob Fri 10-Feb-17 09:42:08

I know someone (dare not say who he is) Who sits adding the bill up and pays to the penny what he (and only he) owes. He then collects all the cash up and takes it away to pay on his works expense card (pocketing the cash) he has been doing this for ages and we have only just clicked on. Recently after a nice meal we all put an extra few pounds in for a tip and we caught him paying the bill and pocketing the cash as usual together with all the tips. He also once came for a meal at mine carrying a bottle of wine with one glass full left in the bottle. He asked for a glass poured it out and drank it. He said it was particularly good and expensive wine. He then proceeded to drink my DH's wine rack collection dry.

seacliff Fri 10-Feb-17 09:44:29

Gillybob ... what a bloody cheek!!! furious on your behalf. Not sure I could go out with him again without saying something.

NanaandGrampy Fri 10-Feb-17 09:45:14

Oh I know JUST what you mean Katek . When its my family we just split the bill between families equally ( so we always pay a little more because the others have children) and we're all good with that.

BUT our youngest daughters in laws are a nightmare. They wont pay for a mouthful more than they ate , they pore over the bill with a calculator , they usually leave off something they HAVE eaten and they NEVER put a penny towards a tip.

After a recent birthday meal out with them we have decided that when we sit down we will tell the waitress we want separate bills before we even start. They aren't hard up by any means....just mean !

Teetime Fri 10-Feb-17 09:46:44

We divide the bill equally between the number of adults and then all pop something in for a tip (if its been good).

gillybob Fri 10-Feb-17 09:57:29

Yes I know Seacliff and it's because of "who" he is I have to grin and bear it.

The same one is always bragging about how much much money he has in the bank (a couple of hundred thousands I am lead to believe) . angry doesn't even cover it.

downtoearth Fri 10-Feb-17 10:07:58

Also have an In law like that ..calculator in handbag and a loud voice should they have been overcharged....we either pay for it all or have separate bills to save hassle ..on mean thread posted about OH dad...this a different in law....seem to have more than my share of Meaniesgrin

tanith Fri 10-Feb-17 10:08:22

We are happy to divide by the amount of people but because neither of us drink family think its unfair we pair for their drinks. I have one daughter who likes to pay for what she's eaten but she has had to struggle with money being a single mum for many years so I do give her leeway even though now she is quite capable of paying her share the habit is ingrained with her and has become a bit of joke in the

Crazygrandma2 Fri 10-Feb-17 10:12:26

Either turn and turn about if it's me and my friend, or simply simply divide equally. I can't be doing with sorting it out to the last penny. Might make an exception if alcohol was involved and there was a non drinker in the group, but having said that I never drink coffee. I guess really good friends don't count the pennies.

Marydoll Fri 10-Feb-17 10:18:08

My girlfriends and I always divide the bill evenly among us. It saves a lot of hassle, and no-one is greedy. However, one friend never has cash on her, so she collects all the cash and tips and then pays by credit card. As she has no cash, she never leaves a tip,and I always feel I have to add something extra to cover her, as I don't want us to look mean.
I also have a friend, who makes a show of fiddling in her purse for the parking fee or cup of tea when we are out for the day, but I always stupidly say, " I've got the money right here". She invariably never pays, Often I have paid for the tickets for the day out in advance, so she should really pay the cuppa. She has hundreds of thousands in the bank, but is so tight. I would hate to be like that.

carol58 Fri 10-Feb-17 10:28:49

With a group of friends we always just divide equally between us, no matter what we've had and then all put in for the tip. With one girlfriend we take it in turns , with another, whoever drives pays less! With my children & GC we always pay the whole bill as a treat for them but they will often go to the bar and buy drinks for everyone. I can't abide people who work out exactly what they owe and never contribute to a tip. I would always rather overpay than be tight and recently when I had to leave a restaurant outing early due to illness I left around a tenner more than I considered my share would be, just to be on the safe side! I know some folk are less well off but IMHO if you can't afford to pay your way without embarrassing everyone else, then just don't go!

Dee Fri 10-Feb-17 10:31:56

I really do think this of you with such mean 'friends' need to call them out.
My dad always said "If you can't afford to buy your round you should stop at home."
I find my friends from working class backgrounds like me are the ones who are most open hearted about these issues and more inclined to tip fairly, its the tight arsed posh ones who don't.
Ooh, rant over, not sure where that came from!

downtoearth Fri 10-Feb-17 10:35:45

We really are the poor relations /friend ....if can't afford don't go ...but have my oldest closest friends to visit every couple of months she drives over 100 miles to come..and pays for a hotel room ..we don't have spare room/ I pay for the tickets to see show and all meals/ that cost of her journey/room is equal ...have to save up each time

Chattybarbara Fri 10-Feb-17 10:38:58

I regularly go out with the same group of friends for a meal, we all share the bill as it is easier, until we realised that one girl invariably has by far the most expensive meals and drinks but then spends the whole time complaining how hard up she is - suffice it to say we now avoid inviting her any more as it was starting to irritate us and ruining our fun evening.

Thingmajig Fri 10-Feb-17 10:39:54

My friends and I always divide the bill equally regardless of who had eaten/drank what.
When we go out with DH's nephews and their families when we're in Denmark though, someone pays the bill and then works out what the rest of us owe and send a bill via email and then we pay into their bank account! grin

gretel Fri 10-Feb-17 10:44:08

Hello gillybob, husband has a friend just like this. He is given expenses for a meal but lets my husband pay for everything when he visits. He lives abroad and when we visited a few years ago he let us pay for all the drinks and meal when we met up in a very expensive restaurant that he had recommended. He is also a serial cheater so have no respect for him.

madison Fri 10-Feb-17 10:47:28

I used to go out for a meal now and again with the girls at work (when I worked). I was the only one who drove to the restaurant because I lived quite a few miles away so didn't drink and never had a dessert or coffee (just the main course). All the other girls (20 of them) got drunk and had desserts and coffees yet they insisted that I pay an equal share of the bill. My share was about £10 and theirs was about £30 each which meant I had to pay about £29. Some of the girls said it wasn't fair that I paid more but the louder ones said just split the bill. I just paid the £29 but eventually made excuses not to go with them and I don't work there any more. I always thought I should have paid my £10 and they should have shared the rest of the bill between them but I didn't want to cause a fuss. I was single and most of them were married.

maddyone Fri 10-Feb-17 10:48:19

Oh gillybob, I don't think that friend of yours would still be my friend if he did that. I understand that most people have to watch the pennies, but what he's doing seems to me to be dishonest. He's actually taking your money and then using his company expenses account to pay the bill. Dishonesty twice, to you and your friends, and to his company. I'd refuse to give him the cash and pay for my and hope the other friends would do likewise.

Nandalot Fri 10-Feb-17 10:48:54

We divide by the number of people. Usually fine except with one couple. Example, in a group we all go for the reasonable set menu. He chooses the most expensive starterand main, and usually does the same with the pud. Of course, we never say anything but chunter to ourselves afterwards.

maddyone Fri 10-Feb-17 10:49:14

I meant pay for my own

Riverwalk Fri 10-Feb-17 10:50:13

With my close friends it's always equal shares - we all like to eat and drink so there are no major injustices!

If one to one with someone who doesn't drink I make it clear from the start that I'll be paying for my wine.

I hate nit-pickers who pore over a bill and only hand over their 'share' often forgetting service charge, cover charge etc. That happens rarely as I choose my friends carefully smile

Christinefrance Fri 10-Feb-17 10:52:00

I quite believe these instances of meaness, my ex was like that and more despite having plenty of money. It seems to be the people with money are often meanest. The alcohol thing seems to be a bit contentious but soft drinks are as expensive in some places.

NemosMum Fri 10-Feb-17 11:01:16

Extreme bill calculators are often on the autistic spectrum. They just don't understand the usual social conventions. If you are 'close' you can try explaining the 'rules' of dining out in a group, but I don't hold out much hope. You can choose not to invite them, or you can just put up with it and accept that its part of the rich tapestry of human existence.