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Dining Out in Large Groups - Tips on How to Not Get Screwed When the Check Comes?

JesseJB

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This seems to happen to me and my brother a lot when going out in big groups to restaurants. No matter what I order, I always end up paying a shitload more than my share because Im the guy with the debit card. Im going out in a group of 30 (!!!) for a friends' birthday dinner tomorrow. It started out with just ten of us under my name but has quickly ballooned with more people wanting to come with us. I just know Im going to get straight up ass raped when the bill comes and people skimp on tips, etc. So to prevent this, Im only bringing just enough cash for myself as a tactic on not paying 200% of what I owe for the meal. If things start looking bad, Im going to throw my cash down and walk out. But unfortunately, the reservation is in my name since no one else wanted to organize it.

Do any of you guys get stuck with tabs in group outings? Do you have any clever/hilarious way to avoid getting shafted?
 

Ambulance Chaser

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Order the most expensive items on the menu and several drinks, then say, "Why don't we just split the bill evenly."
 

DNW

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1. Get separate checks.
2. Only pay your share, in cash.
3. Get new acquaintances/friends.

I think girls are usually the worst offenders in these situations. One, they can't do math. Two, they think it's their god given right to have someone pay for their dinner. Three, they're stingy bitches, so they don't tip well.
 

Ambulance Chaser

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Many restaurants, if they're not willing to do separate checks, are willing to split the check of a large group by table or section of table. Check with the restaurant for its policy beforehand, and make sure you're sitting with folks who aren't cheapskates.
 

Francis91

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We split the bill evenly. Whenever we make dinner plans for the group, everyone is notified about it ahead of time.
 

JesseJB

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So far I was able to split into 2 tables of 13 which will give us 2 checks. They wont do seperate.

Theres an 18% automatic gratuity (which I actually think is a good thing math-wise when we divide it up so people can't skimp on the tip).

Im just afraid, since the whole thing is in my name, that if people dont pay up I will be stuck with the bill from the other table. My table Im not so worried about. Half of us are close friends/family so it shouldnt be an issue...I hope.
 

Piobaire

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Ask how payment is going to be handled, at the start of dinner? I mean, we've all be in this situation before. Everyone knows, whomever is handing in the bill, is gonna get bilked. The only time it rarely happens, is in a close group of folks that meet up on a regular basis. And then, you usually just take turns paying.
 

feynmix

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If you are afraid of getting shafted, get in the habit of handling the bill yourself and do the math correctly. It takes a bit of time and patience, but if you do it right, everyone will pay their fair (and correct) share of the bill.

Also, always round up on the price when looking at individual items. If the gratuity is already added, take the gratuity, and divide it by the # of the people on the table (again, round up a few bucks if you have to get an even #). Add the individual items (entree + drink + dessert + tip), and there you have it.

Or, just split the bill and make life easier on everybody.

In my experience, I actually prefer having to do it with debit cards so that there is no issue with change.
 

jaydc7

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Just acknolwege the fact that it won't be perfect and split the bill up evenly. Going through what everyone owes is not worth the trouble the majority of the time.
 

TheFoo

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I'd just come to terms with the fact that you'll likely pay more than you fair share, but come off gracious and unfussy for your trouble.
 

otc

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If you have a group of people you frequently eat with, you can use a service like billmonk (either .com or .net...google it)
They are a webbased bill splitting service. I use it to split bills/rent/groceries with my roommates; each person can add bills they paid (and do custom splits if say, they bought milk and TP but also a bottle of shampoo that is only for themselves). The site figures out what everybody owes, shuffles it around (write less checks) and we pay up every few months.

It also has a lot of features for splitting food bills (though I don't use them...we usually have cash). One option simply rotates whose turn it is to pay (based somewhat on how much is owed to the group)...you just shoot it a text message and it will tell you whose turn it is to pay in your group. The goal in this one is that it will eventually be about even since as soon as you start oweing rather than being owed, it will be your turn to pay again.
The other option lets you just split the bills normally (evenly or custom by price) and keep a running total of what each person owes. These are all controllable online or via phone but as I said I only use it for bills and recipts and stuff so I have no experiance with the mobile interface that you might use while dining out.
 

Joffrey

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Originally Posted by JesseJB
This seems to happen to me and my brother a lot when going out in big groups to restaurants. No matter what I order, I always end up paying a shitload more than my share because Im the guy with the debit card. Im going out in a group of 30 (!!!) for a friends' birthday dinner tomorrow. It started out with just ten of us under my name but has quickly ballooned with more people wanting to come with us. I just know Im going to get straight up ass raped when the bill comes and people skimp on tips, etc. So to prevent this, Im only bringing just enough cash for myself as a tactic on not paying 200% of what I owe for the meal. If things start looking bad, Im going to throw my cash down and walk out. But unfortunately, the reservation is in my name since no one else wanted to organize it.

Do any of you guys get stuck with tabs in group outings? Do you have any clever/hilarious way to avoid getting shafted?


Bring cash.
 

Lucky7

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One of my pet peeves. I always have enough cash on me to pay for my share of the bill and gratuity. The group we usually dine out with is very good about just splitting the bill evenly. I'm not going to nickel and dime over "you had one more martini than me." type of shit. I'll admit that women are the WORST offenders.
 

huy

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Always bring cash. Make sure you have enough 1s and 5s so that you don't need to get change.

Since there is going to be 2 different tables with 2 different checks, just worry about your table. Let the other table deal with their check.
 

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