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Old 09-02-2009, 08:13 PM   #21
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I always split. If you are real friends no one will take advantage of the other. If they do, then they are not friends.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:21 PM   #22
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We do the same as Cliff, either we split the check or with couples we go out with regularly we take it in turns. Life is too short to worry too much about who had the garlic bread.

That said, if we have a lot more than the others we are out with, ie. if we have a bottle of wine and they don't drink, we would offer to pay more.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:30 PM   #23
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As I am generally the most expensive eater, I prefer to look at the bill and tell everybody what they owe.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:57 PM   #24
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[QUOTE=bbbamI;851962]Hey...maybe I'll go then too! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...right?

Well, no. Apparently you brought some sort of itch home with you. Maybe Rich in Tampa can prescribe you a salve.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:01 PM   #25
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Well, no. Apparently you brought some sort of itch home with you. Maybe Rich in Tampa can prescribe you a salve.
He's written one for me already on another issue.

I've got the good kind of itch...
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:03 AM   #26
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Rustic23: What does your SIL¨husband have to say about such an unseemly behaviour on his wife´s part?
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:14 AM   #27
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Virtually always split. Even at work with big groups of 10 or 20, we would usually just split things per capita. Once in a while there will be a poorly socialized outlier who either 1) orders something outrageously expensive and lets the group pick it up; or 2) nitpicks the bill to tease out his or her "share" to the penny and then insists on leaving that amount - usually without a tip. Those people compensate by providing everyone else the opportunity to gossip about what cheap-skates (sp?) they are
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:29 AM   #28
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We dine out every Friday with 5 more couples. We split.
We take a dim view on excesses, and nobody pays for exactly what they´ve eaten or drunk. This practice is considered rather unseemly here in Spain.
As someone said we get compensated for the excesses with rather caustic and scathing gossip. We almost wellcome the excesses
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:48 AM   #29
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we rarely get an appetizer or a dessert, and often don't order expensive drinks.
Seems as if you have only two choices:

1. Get a better different class of friends.

2. Get with the Program... live a little.

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Old 09-03-2009, 08:10 AM   #30
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No fixed formula, we usually get separate checks, but sometimes a single check and we put in what we think we owe plus tip. It varies with the friends and the occasion.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:02 AM   #31
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Vicente - SIL is divorced that is one of the reasons she seldom (I can't remember a time) pays. It has to do more with the 'customs of the family' i.e. Men pick up the check.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:20 AM   #32
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My husband usually tries to sneak away and pay the bill, but some friends have caught on and either ask for separate checks or sneak away some other time and pay the bill. It's become kind of a game which is fun!

Obviously our eating out budget is a little more generous than our friends.

Audrey
Ditto. The fun part is when the game involves creativity on the winner's part.
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:50 PM   #33
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We pick up the bill sometimes for everyone, but if I'm out with the girls, we always ask for separate checks. No one carries cash anymore, so it is easier to pay that way. Not a big deal in our crowd.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:16 PM   #34
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This isn't fair if you are like us - we rarely get an appetizer or a dessert, and often don't order expensive drinks. Yet, we don't want to look cheap, so we just go along with the flow.
We ask for separate checks or figure out what we owe and throw that much in with cash, and I don't worry about looking cheap - I know I'm cheap.

I always consider the price when ordering food and drinks, so going out with a couple that doesn't makes it really uncomfortable for me. We actually don't go out to dinner with one couple anymore cause it was so weird. (entree and a soda for us, they got appetizers, salad, entree, dessert and a couple of cocktails each).

That said, I always throw in a little extra for the tip, and DH is famous for his "add up what you ordered, then put in a quarter for every dollar for Tax and Tip" (8% for sales tax, %17 tip).
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:59 PM   #35
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With good friends (and these days, that's pretty much all we dine out with, and we don't do it often) we just split the check equally. We also tend to more or less equally enjoy the same number of courses (e.g. we'll share appetizers, and usually we'll all have wine, and usually most people at the table get dessert and coffee).

I never liked the whole "ok here's my share based on what I ordered" thing that people pulled all the time in college. Invariably, people would forget about tax ... and oh yeah, the tip. And some poor shmuck gets stuck collecting all the money and trying to keep track of everything. For what -- chump change, really.

Get separate checks if you must, that's between you and the restaurant.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:08 PM   #36
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Thanks for all the replies and varying opinions. It helps to see lots of viewpoints. We'll just keep going with the flow!
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:37 PM   #37
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I just get separate checks. If the friends won't go for that, just for fun one time, order appetizers and expensive drinks and spend as much as you can and see if they still like the idea of splitting it 3 ways.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:08 PM   #38
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I just get separate checks. If the friends won't go for that, just for fun one time, order appetizers and expensive drinks and spend as much as you can and see if they still like the idea of splitting it 3 ways.
And be sure to get a "to go" box to take the excess home. You could get several meals out of this!
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:22 AM   #39
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We usually get separate checks and almost always I pay with green money. There's just something that rankles me about getting a bill for a meal that was last month's.

If it's a large group and the restaurant won't give separate checks everybody just approximates and there's always more than enough to pay the bill and leave a generous tip.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:25 PM   #40
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We have several separate groups of friends and each is unique in how we handle these situations.

Some MBA school buddies and their wives join us for a rather extravagent night out each winter. It's the whole deal. Upscale restaurant, cocktails, bottles of wine, appetizers, high tier entree's, dessert, etc. We always just divide the total bill by the number of guys there.

On the other extreme, some friends we do outdoorsey activities with are, well, a little over the top with the LBYM frugality when they're providing the eats and go the opposite way when we're splitting the bill down the middle. It got tiresome having them get rather extravagent when we'd dine out together and split the bill yet get ultra frugal when paying their own way. A couple years ago I asked the waitress for separate checks and got 'em. We've generally continued that and we're more comfortable that way.
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