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View Poll Results: Your upper $/person limit for a restaurant dinner (OTHER than special occasion)?
$20/person or less 51 25.12%
up to $30/person 40 19.70%
up to $40 34 16.75%
up to $50 40 19.70%
up to $60 12 5.91%
up to $70 5 2.46%
up to $80 4 1.97%
up to $90 3 1.48%
$100/person or more 14 6.90%
Voters: 203. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll:Restaurant Meal Upper Guideline (NOT special occasion)
Old 09-18-2018, 12:14 PM   #1
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Poll:Restaurant Meal Upper Guideline (NOT special occasion)

We dine out a lot, so I keep track, and lately many of our restaurant tabs have seemed a little higher than we're comfortable with. So I thought it might be a fun poll for some, and I know this crowd varies from foodies to folks who rarely dine out, all good.
  • Since we're singles, couples and families I used $ per person
  • This is more routine dining out, please exclude special occasions where many will splurge.
  • I assume no one has a strict limit, just what's the $ limit after which you'd often conclude 'that was more than it was worth to us' and maybe not go back anytime soon unless for a special occasion.
  • Total tab with everything including taxes and tip.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:42 PM   #2
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We don't eat out very much when at home. When we are traveling, sky's the limit!

I cook a great deal when at home. We eat very well esp. compared to local restaurants.

I don’t skimp on the grocery budget either.

I have to say the seafood restaurant prices in Washington state makes the prices here look like a steal. I never thought I’d think Pappadeaux menu a bargain!
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:56 PM   #3
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We usually go out for ethnic food like Thai or Indian with a buy one get one free coupon so under $20 for 2.
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Old 09-18-2018, 12:56 PM   #4
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I possibly participated in the poll under false pretenses - we (almost) never eat out, (and never say 'dine'), and regard being waited on as an intrusion and a bit of a PITA.

However, like many things, it's sometimes unavoidable, but if necessary we pay as little as possible.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:01 PM   #5
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If we can find someplace with a pleasant atmosphere and good food, then $40 per person is about where I feel I MIGHT get my money's worth. However, my definition of "pleasant atmosphere" is a place which is quiet and good food needs to be better than I can make at home. So it is increasingly hard to find a place that warrants the effort, let alone the $$.

If I could find my ideal restaurant - the music is Mozart, or maybe some Cole Porter, diners are leaning toward each other speaking in whispers, the food is well prepared, then I could see going to $75 per person once a month or so, but this place doesn't exist, so my vote at $40 reflects more the reality of places that are "acceptable" but not what I would really like to have.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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Want a complete break down? I love this. I keep meticulous records of what I ordered and how much I spent every time I go to a restaurant and have this information at my fingertips. So anyway, here you go, my break down for August:

We eat lunch at restaurants every day together, and I almost never eat breakfast or dinner out. In August, I took F to Outback for his birthday lunch and spent $42 there for both of us. Other than that, my average (including tax and tip) was $8.03 for my lunches on the other 30 days in August. My highest for those 30 lunches was $11.00 including tax and tip. That was just on one day when left a 45% tip due to extraordinary service, and with a normal sized tip (for me) I'd say my upper guideline with tax and tip is $10.00 . An upper guideline for just the meal without tax and tip would be $7.00.

We go to inexpensive mom'n'pop restaurants that serve home cooked food, never fast food. Going to this type of restaurant helps to keep the costs down. Also I ordered just water to drink on every day in August, and no sides, no appetizers, no desserts, no extras, so that keeps the costs down too.

On 11 of those 30 days I ordered just soup.
On 15 of those 30 days, I ordered just a small side salad (green with vinaigrette or Caesar, 5 of them with grilled chicken added).
On the other 4 days I ordered a grilled chicken pita.

So these choices keep costs down as well. These are normal sized meals for me now that I am older and eat less. I can say with some certainty that never in my life (even when younger) have I spent more than $30 for just myself at a restaurant, even on per diem when traveling for work to high COL locations. However I have partaken in more expensive restaurant meals many times when relatives or others who were footing the bill pushed me to spend more.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:17 PM   #7
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I tend to over order when we eat out. Especially in Europe because I never know what kind of portion we get, plus what kind of vegetables they serve. We eat a lot of vegetables and avoid a lot of cheap carbs like mashed potato or fries. So the bill could be high sometimes and my husband and I don’t mind paying for it, as long as it’s good. Plus, I like to sample different dishes on top of our regular favorites. I voted for $60 per person. We don’t usually drink wine, we drink sparkling water so it’s not free either.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:28 PM   #8
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I voted $100. we do have breakfast and lunch on occasion, and do so at local eateries where we get out for ~$10 or less per head.

When we "dine out" in the evening, we run about $70-ish per person. The wine tab gets us north of a hundred bucks **"quick, fast, and right away."

**As quoted by Major Payne
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Badger View Post

When we "dine out" in the evening, we run about $70-ish per person. The wine tab gets us north of a hundred bucks **"quick, fast, and right away."

**As quoted by Major Payne

Yes, and those specialty cocktails add up too. They just sound so good, and usually they aren't something I can easily make a home without buying a bunch of specialty ingredients. They are pricey though. If we go someplace with a special cocktail menu, I'll usually order a drink from it.


I used to eat at fancier restaurants, but I kind of prefer the less pretentious places these days. Our bills for three people run around 60-70. If my husband and I go someplace nice, it runs around $120-150 (cocktails, entree, coffee, dessert).
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:38 PM   #10
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Wow, I consider $20 per person when dining out a splurge and special occasion. Of course, when we travel, many times it can run that high or higher, but week to week, very rare to break $15 per person. Helps that we don't drink anything but water and never order desert (seldom even have one with dinner at home!).
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:40 PM   #11
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I have no limit except for not stuffing myself.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:40 PM   #12
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This is upper limit, not as usual.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:08 PM   #13
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We generally eat out 3-4 times weekly, mainly after the gym so we can get needed electrolytes. These should be medical expenses. Normally eat at a local Mexican place and drop $~50 with drinks and tip(We will be eating leftover carnitas tomorrow).

Guess Robbie is rubbing off on me.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:19 PM   #14
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We go out twice a week and spend 40 each time for 2 for dinner, drinks and tip.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:24 PM   #15
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I voted 40 per person as we will on a semi regular basis eat out at a semi higher price restaurant chain like Bonefish grill. We do eat out 4x weekly, so keep it cheaper otherwise.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:27 PM   #16
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Normally in the $25 per person range, but you asked about upper limit. For us, I'd say $40 a head. Anything higher and it's gonna count as a special occasion, even if there isn't one on the horizon.

I consider vacations special occasions. I love to eat what the region may specialize in.

So, here's a question; what's the MOST ever spent on a meal dining out? Went to Mama's Fish House on Maui a few years back. A magical evening, pulled out all the stops with cocktails, hordurvers (sic), salad, entree, wine, dessert, coffee and maybe a few more cocktails. Right at $285 with tip I believe....


Photo of dessert
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:28 PM   #17
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since we quit drinking it's easy to go to a very nice place for under $100
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:31 PM   #18
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We go out 3-6 times a month, depending on our schedules. The places we typically eat have entrees between $8 and $29. Most of the time our bill is < $30 per person, but on occasion, it has gotten up to $60 per person. This is usually due to a generous tip and/or ordering enough food that we end up taking 1/3-1/2 of it home and being able to make an additional meal out of it.

We almost always drink only water when eating out, and DW almost never gets dessert, so that helps keep the bill down.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:34 PM   #19
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150 for 2 is the most we have ever spent.
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Old 09-18-2018, 03:49 PM   #20
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We average about 80 for two at our local sushi place, our most frequent nice-ish dinner out. A nicer steakhouse can run to $120-$150 if we get a bottle of wine and a nice appetizer to start.

But travelling? Don't care, and it's higher. In Japan, a really good sushi dinner can easily break $300.
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