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Old 10-14-2012, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Astoria, NY
3,053 posts, read 3,597,414 times
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I waitress as well as dine out frequently so I can see both ends.

I usually like to split the cost of dinner evenly if we're all using cards. But roommate usually carries little to no cash so she usually puts the balance on her debit card and I give her cash since I always have cash. I trust her to do the right thing in regards to gratuity when she puts the balance on her card, otherwise I wouldn't dine out with her.

I've seen people whip out calculators at the end of dinner and imo, that's just tacky. Especially if someone says to me, put 25 dollars on my card and 27 dollars on his, like really, you had to make sure he paid that extra 2 dollars???

If I have to worry about things like that when I'm dining with someone or if they have to worry about things like that when dining with me they're not my friend.

I notice a lot of people from outside of NYC like to do the separate check thing. Separate checks may be fine if you ask ahead of time (because some places require manager authorization to split an existing check, and it may be impossible to grab someone if you're slammed, and additionally, you may not remember who had the more expensive beer) and you are only two people dining.

Additionally POS systems are designed so that tables are tabs. Servers don't want to give people a hard time, that's just how POS systems work. I'd rather take five cards and cash than have to split a check when I'm busy.

I remember when I worked at a swanky hotel restaurant downtown and the five older Southern ladies sat down in my section. They all had dinner and drinks and of course at the end requested separate checks. I was weeded, had to grab a manager to split off all their items (and of course they had things like a bottle of wine which they had to specifically have a long discussion about whose tab it went under). Meanwhile I'm seeing everyone else in my section glare at me because they are clearly being neglected while I figure out splitting all these items off.

Unbelievably they all paid with cash and left 15% pre-tax tip for all that trouble, with change down to the pennies. They couldn't have just tossed whatever they thought they owed into the check presenter? I had to go back to the manager to re-join all the checks since they paid in cash and we pool tips. Then I got crappy tips from the rest of my tables because they were neglected because of these drama queens.

That's when I went back to Hooters.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:34 AM
 
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Depends on the group of people I'm with as to how it's done. There is only one of my friends who I 'exchange' the tab with, meaning I get it this time, she gets it next time. Last week 3 of us went out to lunch and we just split it because all the meals were the same price anyway and I don't see them often. Then there's a group where it's seperate checks all the way.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:37 AM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
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It really depends on which friends I am with, how many there are in our group, and how often we go out to eat together.

If it's a frequent thing and it's just a couple of us, then we just take turns picking up the whole bill.

Otherwise, if some in our group drink more alcohol than others, or if someone orders a really expensive entree (like a lobster), then it is only fair for each of us to pay exactly for what we ordered. And I have a couple of "dry" friends who especially don't want to pay for anyone else's alcoholic drinks... and I don't blame them for feeling that way.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
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If we go out to dinner, get a table and sit as a big group, we divide down the middle ... If someone knowingly drank/ate more than others, they usually toss in a little extra without having to be asked ... My friends are good like that.

If we sit at the bar, like today, Football Sunday, we all get our own tabs ....

Since I'm a student right now, I'm on a super tight budget, so if I can't afford to go out and include a good size tip, I pass and stay home ...
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn,NY
10,614 posts, read 13,146,734 times
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Usually split, But with one friend who is only working part time as of late I pick it up. We go to real inexpensive places here in Brooklyn and $5.00 or even less when us 2 guys go out i pick it up. Esp as the man has been going through a hard time this past year.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Southern California
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I don't have many friends to ever go out in a group...it's always just 1 other person & myself. I always seem to be the one to think/remember to tell the waiter/waitress to give us separate checks AT THE BEGINNING when the order's being taken.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:26 AM
 
676 posts, read 1,053,252 times
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You may think the calculator is "tacky", but some of us have trouble doing math in our heads. The reason I pull out my calculator (on my phone) is because I want to make sure I'm not undertipping the waiter/watress. I try to be discreet about it. Would you rather I not use a calculator and get less of a tip because I screwed up the math or would you rather get a better tip?

When I dine out with others who can do the math in their heads, the people who can do it figure it out Usually we just split the bill. I go out regularly with one friend, sometimes she orders more expensive items/has an extra drink, sometimes I do. We figure it all works out in the end, though if there's a substantial difference we offer to make up the difference. Though the other one declines and says don't worry about it. We both tend to pay in cash. Unless for some reason, we don't get to the ATM beforehand, then the one with the cash will give it to the other one and we put it on the other one's card.

I have some friends who use cards and divide it up I usually give them cash. My friends and I usually agree on the tip Usually 20 percent.

What I hate is when one person carries on about someone ordering something more expensive and then proceeds to order something more expensive themselves. For example, one friend ordered a steak dinner while a bunch of us ordered pasta. I and one other pasta person ordered a dessert that was a dollar or so more than his. When the check came, he was whining about how it was so high because of our desserts. Like his steak had nothing to do with the bill.

Same dude also joined us for drinks before dinner once. Didn't put anything towards the bar tab and then sat down with us and had some appetizer without kicking in money and left. The appetizer was small and another friend and I, both of whom paid for the bar tab and dinner didn't get to try any of one because there was none left for us. At the bar, my usual dinner friend and I had martinis. We more than covered it by putting the amount in the pile of cash we kept to keep for the tab. When we went to settle, we were short, so I ended up putting another ten or fifteen in. My friend put more in too. I don't think some people put in anything. Then one of the friends started saying the bar bill was high because of our martinis. I let him know we'd more than covered the amount. Now, I go by drink and tip the bartender with each round instead of pooling it together for a tab.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:30 AM
 
15,784 posts, read 9,529,458 times
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It can be different depending on whether I'm with one (or two) friends - or with a group. With a group we tend to just split it evenly amongst us. Sometimes if it'd be clearly unfair because most of us ordered dinner but one only had a salad, for example, we'll have that person put in enough to cover themselves and the rest of us will split the remaining balance evenly.
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Astoria, NY
3,053 posts, read 3,597,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exscapegoat View Post
You may think the calculator is "tacky", but some of us have trouble doing math in our heads. The reason I pull out my calculator (on my phone) is because I want to make sure I'm not undertipping the waiter/watress.
Calculating 20% of the bill is easy and here's a shortcut. Move the decimal one spot to the left and double the resulting amount..
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:56 AM
 
15,784 posts, read 9,529,458 times
Reputation: 68329
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxbabeechick View Post
Calculating 20% of the bill is easy and here's a shortcut. Move the decimal one spot to the left and double the resulting amount..
Right but some people still have trouble adding those amounts together - especially with carrying numbers over. Then there's also the problem of dividing the result by two or more. This is no big deal to people who do it all the time or who have decent math skills - but some people just don't do math in their heads - especially not as fast as a calculator.
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