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

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by JesseJB, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    I would tell the guy who invited the extra people that that group shorted their payment by approximately $100 and others had to pick it up. He should offer to pay it and then recoup from the other people. If he doesn't do this or say that he'll get it from the others I would point blank tell him that he and his friends are no longer welcome to your events. What can he possibly say to you?

    b


    This is an excellent suggestion.
     
  2. Spatlese

    Spatlese Senior member

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    This is an excellent suggestion.

    +1. Deadbeats.
     
  3. kingnor

    kingnor Member

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    yeah, start bringing cash, i don't usually have this problem since most of my friends in the bay area are college friends. we're all used to sharing the bill fairly. a couple twenties and some fives and singles should be fine.

    be prepared, it's part of being a dude [​IMG] girls love it
     
  4. username79

    username79 Senior member

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    Since everyone always just splits the bill evenly, your options are:

    1) Be the cheap ass who says put less on my card

    2) Put down cash (this requires going to an ATM)

    3) Order the most expensive items on the menu and the most alcohol. This is the best option all around since everyone else is doing it as well, and you will be happy by the end of the evening.

    I learned this quite quickly when, despite being on a generous expense account, I ended up paying $125 for a $9 caeser salad and a glass of water on my first day.
     
  5. js4design

    js4design Senior member

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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.

    i like the fact that everyone knows ahead of time. when i was a kid, my parents had friends they would go out with who would always just split the bill, even though my extremely frugal parents would value shop on the menu, while the other couple would sometimes order multiple entrees if they couldnt make up their mind or were afraid they may not like something, multiple bottles of wine, multiple desserts (for the same reason as entrees). consequently, my parents had to stop going out with them because at the time they just couldnt afford it.
     
  6. CanadaSteep

    CanadaSteep Member

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    Too simple to work: Make large group outings cash only.Saves time too.

    In reality, figure out your share ahead of time, along with whoever you are leaving with, so you can cover it ahead of the curve, and tip well on it.
    Ex: Your entree/main steak/etc. and their food and drink +20%...Say "Run $200, from us", and you're good.
     
  7. gsugsu

    gsugsu Senior member

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    If you are getting shafted because you are the one with the plastic think ahead and bring cash to cover your end and your tip. Bottom line is that if you are the one facilitating everyone else with your card you are always in the position of getting done especially in large groups.
     
  8. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    I'm also a big fan of public humiliation so if I was toting up the bill and the money given so far, and it came up short, I'd ask everyone how much they gave and what they had. Then I'd check the items off the list one by one and correct anyone apparently too stupid for cheap to pay their fair share.

    But, again, I only eat out with friends who, after all these years, I trust implicitly.

    b
     
  9. HEWSINATOR

    HEWSINATOR Senior member

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    But the people that short I think know they did, and will not own up when doing the recount.

    What usually happens, is everybody puts the cash in the folder, then somebody counts it, and it is short. I think, then, just do not put the cash in the folder until AFTER it is counted. Keep the cash in front of you, see where you are at, then if A OK, then put together. If not, then maybe it is time to tally per person.
     
  10. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    But the people that short I think know they did, and will not own up when doing the recount.

    Bring a calculator or do some quick math in your head. Ask them how much money they put in. Then present them with a total including tip. If they put in too little, they have no way to refute it. If they refuse to put more in, they are a thief and you should tell them so.

    And, yes, I realize it's easy for me to say this since it never happens to me and I don't have to do it.

    As others have said, simply never eat out with these people again.

    b
     
  11. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    I agree with HEWSINATOR that people know what they are doing, at least I'm sure that's what happened to me recently. What was interesting about my experience was that everyone had cash because we were in a third world country where all transactions were in cash. I didn't know any of the people except for two of them, and I didn't know them well. But I know that there were at least three people who did put in their fair share, and unfortunately, I was the one collecting the money. Due to the nature of the situation it was difficult to confront people. Unsurprisingly, the same group suggested dinner at a restaurant the next night, I declined.
     
  12. SoCal2NYC

    SoCal2NYC Senior member

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    I won't eat out with more than 3-4 people unless I am paying. And even then those that I do go out and eat with would be very close friends so it's not a problem if we all just split it because none of them are going to sit there and nickle and dime it.
    If I do end up being around 7-8 people I don't know well I make sure I bring cash with me, put my cahs in and then go to the bathroom. After I ended up picking up the slack of almost 200 Euros once for a friends birthday in Italy I'll never again do that.
     
  13. free man

    free man Senior member

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    Some bitch still owes me cash from a friends birthday dinner. Every time I see her I yell at her about it, and shes never going to pay me. I think the answer is to only go out to dinner with close friends who you know will pay you fairly. Or just don't be 'that guy' who always pays for dinner with his card
     
  14. feynmix

    feynmix Senior member

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    Some bitch still owes me cash from a friends birthday dinner. Every time I see her I yell at her about it, and shes never going to pay me. I think the answer is to only go out to dinner with close friends who you know will pay you fairly. Or just don't be 'that guy' who always pays for dinner with his card

    I can never get myself to ask someone back for the money they owe me. If you are an adult and mature enough, you should remember to pay someone back when you borrow. Ugh, it usually creates an awkward situation that I would rather avoid and I just make sure not to let them borrow any money again.
     
  15. free man

    free man Senior member

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    Im only 18, so its a bit different [​IMG]
     
  16. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    I haven't read all 5 pages... but here is the ONLY thing I have ever found to work.

    First, if the bill is being split between more than 2 people, it's an even split period. If you aren't okay with that, then it's the last time we eat together.

    Common decency dictates that if we are splitting evenly and someone orders something OUTRAGEOUS, he or she offers to up his or her share by an evenly divisible amount. for example, if we are in a group of 10 diners, and I order surf and turf for $60 but the avg. meal was closer to $40, I'll offer to pay an extra $20 and let everyone else pay $2 less. This also lets people see how little the differences in price impact them as individuals when it's a large group.

    Usually, the food is relatively even. The other big obstacle to splitting evenly is alcohol. EVERY nice restaurant, even if they don't want to split up the check by individual, is willing to give one check for alcohol and another for food. Let the non-drinkers pay only on the food check.

    Finally... if there is a combination of credit cards and cash, set it up so the tip is entirely in cash. it helps the server out with tax reporting.
     
  17. Cordwinder

    Cordwinder Senior member

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    I never liked large dinner parties where everyone is called to pitch in.
    As its already been mentioned here, someone doesn't pay his/her fair share and someone else ends up footing the difference.

    My weekends used to be going out with 2 other male friends for dinner. We end up going to places were the food is ordered in large portions and shared among us. Two don't drink and I do but I don't like drinking myself so I abstain. I guess I'm lucky because 1 of the other friends I go out with is good with maths and always has small change but I feel like a miser calculating the total down to the penny. If one doesn't have the cash than he'll pay us the next time we go out.

    It might be better if one to organize a large party, do it in a place where food is served by sizes and the bill to be split evenly. I would rather split a large pizza and a pitcher of beer with healthy serving of laughter than having a high class meal with a potential headache over splitting the bill at the end.
     
  18. Asch

    Asch Senior member

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    +1000

    By necessity of my crappy salary, I tend to be frugal at restaurants, rarely ordering drinks or appetizers for myself. It drives me nuts when I'm with a group (small or large) who insists on splitting the bill evenly: invariably, once the costs are socialized, everyone's expenditures rise eightfold, with endless bottles of wine marked up 300% and dainty desserts that cost more than my weekly groceries.

    I suspect my feelings might be different if money were less of a concern for me, as seems to be the case for many other posters on this thread. (Obviously StyleForum skews toward the well-paid.)
     

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