Splitting the bill

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wowser Posts: 538
Probably done before, but just wandering what do you all do when out for dinner with a group of friends? We always split the bill, I think it is unfair as sometimes someone doesn't drink or would just have a main course+ coffe as supposed to having starters/main course/desert/irish coffe, but so far that's what we have done. We went out for a big birthday couple weeks ago, we were nearly 20 people. Lovely meal, although nothing AMAZING, there were lots of bottle of wine, and a lot of the lads had 5+ bottles of bear each, 5.50 eur) we were in there for hours. When the bill came it was roughly 85 eur each.. (most of the money of course was the drink). Now one of the girls started to complain that she only had a couple glasses of wine if that much, as she barely drinks, and 85 eur was ridiculous. In the end we still split the bill and that was it, but it has left me thinking that it was very unfair for her, and what should have been the best way to split the bill? Do you split food and separate drink bill?
whoop whoop Posts: 1616
We usually split it, but we're pretty good at not splitting it when there has obviously been a disparity in what people ordered. I agree that it's really unfair for someone to have to pay vastly more than what they ordered. I think this topic got a bit heated last time it came up as far as I recall. People were making the point that 'if they can't afford it they shouldn't go' (in other words 'if they can't afford to pay for the drink of other people, while those people pay less than what they ordered, they shouldn't go').
seedee Posts: 1017
i say split the bill. id hate to be sitting round with calculators adding up what people had consumed. normally, if there is one person not drinking at all, then we'd take the food cost from them and split the rest between the drinkers. i think normally, if you're going out in a group tho, you know that the bill will be split each way, and you prepare for that. although i will say, €85 per head is a LOT.
Anne Cordelia Shirley Posts: 4731
We split it, but if someone is not drinking they just pay their way. I personally hate having people whipping out phones and calculating their share to the nearest cent, not factoring in a tip and being a bit mean about it, so I'd rather just split things evenly. When we have dinner with other couples or me with the girls we all end up with a fairly even split of cost anyway. There is one person I really dread having to split with because she is a split it to the nearest cent person and every time the phone comes out, thereby always managing to leave herself out of the tip but we've copped on to her "strategy"! I really hate stinginess like that.
Tir na nog Posts: 740
If i'm going out for dinner we always just split the bill. It's so much easier than adding up what everyone owes especially if you order bottles of wine how do you add up exactly how much wine someone drank out of a bottle. I think if there is going going to be an issue it would be better to do up a food bill and a drinks bill.
highbeam Posts: 2578
Generally we just split the bill. Usually as a group we would all drink about the same and if I didnt drink much my OH might have drank a bit more so in general it all balances out. Have another group of friends and there is always a row over who drank what and who ate what and I didnt eat this or that and it ends up in such a mess I find it so annoying. I think it is fair enough to separate the drinks bill from the food bill and split them up. A few friends are pregnant so we might end up doing this more often. Usually I find when there is a big group you usually end up with quite a good deal, though maybe thats if everyone is drinking wine and not bottles of beer. €85 seems a lot.
zoesmama Posts: 2774
We used to split the bill evenly regardless of who had what but now people have different financial constraints and sometimes there are people driving/pregnant and not drinking at all so now we ask the restaurant in advance if we can have a separate food and drinks bill. Anyone who hasn't had anything to drink shares in the food bill only and anyone who has drank alcohol pays an equal share of the drinks bill. Everyone knows this before we go out so there is no hassle. Now that having been said we don't go out v often (say twice a year) in that larger group and if it were say 2 couples we still just split the bill - the above is for larger groups.
plainsconesonly Posts: 300
We usually split the bill if we are in a group, but if one person didnt have wine, desserts etc I think its unfair for them to pay the same price. When im with my girlfriends some prefer paying for themselves as they cant afford it and thats fine too.
tinyfeet Posts: 3482
We normally just split the bill too but it does annoy me on the times that you get caught out. For example myself and DH went out for dinner with 4 other couples recently & we paid €50 each for our meal when really what we ordered came to about €35 each & only DH was drinking... Kind of unfair in that regard but then again we were expecting it & I wasnt about the whip out my phone and start totting up what we owed, would have been mortified!
mshelly Posts: 746
I can't help but respond to this post. We are nearly one of the only countries in Europe that are obsessed with "splitting" the bill evenly. If you were in any other country in Europe and were out with a gang you would only pay for what you actually ate/drunk. We seem to think that by splitting the bill equally instead of paying for what we consumed it comes across as being mean and tight when in fact you are probably eating and drinking what you can afford to pay for. I have been in situations where I have had to pay more/less money for the food/drink that I actually consumed. Some I guess sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. However nowadays people have less money and I wouldn't bat an eyelid if someone suggested that we only pay for what we consumed and then take 10% of the bill and splitting it evenly to give a tip. We need to get over this negative view that it is unsociable to actually only pay for what you ate/drank when in a large party.