Adulting moment coming on. You’ve just had a fantastic dinner out. Maybe with your significant other, maybe with your girlfriends. You’ve been ordering whatever cocktails, appetizers, and dinner suited your fancy. The evening is winding down, and the server comes back to your table with the check. Everyone freezes. How are you all going to pay the bill?
Obviously, you have enough money to actually pay the restaurant in this scenario. No diner-dashing allowed. Twentysomething, working women today don’t have hard and fast rules for the best way to handle the check. When it comes to splitting the bill, NYgal is here to break it all down and make it easier for you.
Think back to when you went out for dinner in college. You probably wrote your credit card numbers next to the food you ordered and gave the servers hell on earth trying to figure out who to charge for what. That’s one way to manually separate the check, but again, hell on earth. With separate checks, everyone pays only for their own food and beverage.
In the Adulting version, let your server know at the beginning of the meal, before anything has been ordered, that you want separate checks. Oftentimes, if you let them know at the beginning of your meal, it’s an easy few taps in their system, but it gets much harder once more orders are selected.
If you forget to let your server know at the beginning, tell them as soon as you remember, but you really should tip them extraordinarily. If today’s standard tipping is 18-20 percent, we’re talking about 22-25 percent of the bill. It’s the right thing to do.
While this method doesn’t seem sensible to us today, we’ll bet your parents swear by it. When you split the bill evenly, you divide the bill by the number of people attending the dinner, and each person pays the same amount, regardless of who ordered what. Make sure your even split includes the tax.
For groups who all have relatively similar, stable incomes, or for parties out for a shared, family-style dinner, this method works well. However, if you’re out with friends from all economic backgrounds, make sure everyone is on the same page. You never know if someone is having a tough month financially, and ordered accordingly.
One Person Pays
Sometimes, it might just be easier for one person to pay the check in full, and everyone pays them back for their individual orders. That’s what apps like Venmo are for, to pay your friends back instantaneously. If your group forgets to tell the server early enough that you want separate checks, or someone miscalculated their cash, this method is the easiest. This is also the fastest course of action if people in the group need to leave earlier than others.
What’s The Best Method?
There’s really no option better than the other. All of them work best when suited to the specific situation. Maybe you and your partner prefer to do an even split. Maybe your friends from college all have different incomes, so paying separate checks works out best when you all get together. Or, maybe you always pay the bill when you’re out with your best friend because your credit card earns extra points, and she always pays you back.
No matter how the bill gets paid, what’s important is that you’re spending time with people you love. That’s the best part.