Thoughts on splitting the bill evenly as a group after a meal

Just curious to know how others feel about splitting the bill evenly amongst a group after eating (dividing bill amount by number of people) despite people's meals not all costing the same, some people order drinks while others don't etc.

Comments

  • +15 votes

    Thought it was common courtesy to put in the money for what you order

    • +1 vote

      Common courtesy and common sense. Have never dined with people who wanted to split it evenly, people always put in enough to cover what they ate/drank.

      •  

        When I go out for work lunches, it is always "pay for what you've ordered".

        As with normal office lunches, some people have to leave earlier than others and they leave a certain amount of money for what they order and lunch continues.

        99% of the time, the person that's holding all the money at the end finds that they're about $15-20 short.
        I'm not sure what it is - it could be that people have ordered $41 worth of food and drink and then contributed $40 thinking it's only $1. With 10, 15, 20 people, that easily adds up to a shortfall for one person. Or it could just be someone being dishonest - I don't know the actual reason for the shortfall, but someone ends up forking out for it.

        • +1 vote

          I've always had the opposite problem… afterwards there's always too much money! I should really volunteer to do the money… guess I picked my lunch friends/work buddies a bit better :)

  • +5 votes

    Usually, when I'm out with friends, we each put in, "about that much" and that's it… It's not always the same amount as each other, but we're close, if someone has an extra something, it's no big deal (it all works out in the wash anyhow). I've seen people pulling out calculators to make sure everyone pays "just the right amount" and I couldn't imagine doing this.

    • +3 votes

      I'm fine with just dividing the total by the number of people if you're with easygoing people you trust and with whom you do this often. However, if this method gets suggested and ANYBODY objects or comments to the contrary, it's best just to immediately default back to everybody paying for what they had.

  • +2 votes

    One person pays the entire bill. Everyone else transfers funds to that person's account depending on the cost of what they ate.

    •  

      Everybody exceeds by about $5 too much anyway, and the one paying with the Credidt Card eats free. Old Trick.

      •  

        ha until you get stuck with a group who under pay.

  • +4 votes

    Usually people just put in for what they ordered and typically they round up, so we end up with a bit more than what is required.

  • +1 vote

    I always split the bill evenly when possible, and I rarely drink very much at all, so I'm probably overpaying most of the time.

    It's always appreciated when somebody drank or ate a whole lot more than others they offer to put in more.

    I just hate adding up totals for each person to the dollar and working the exact costs out. It's so petty.

  • +3 votes

    I'm one who will always work out exactly what I spent, but one thing I hate is when people put in a bit extra like rouding up to the next $5 or $10 just to make it easier, then one person says they'll put it on their card and take the cash. I've known people who do this and don't leave any tip so they pocket all the extra cash. (profanity).

    in saying that, i'm a big drinker so my bill is usually higher anyway

    •  

      Yeah, but sometimes it's short some dollars, so it's nice to have someone who will handle it either way. If it's not a tip, it should be a bonus for the next group outing.

  • +4 votes

    I prefer to go Dutch as i'm always conscious about what i order. I always feel ripped off we have to split things evenly and i didn't order a dessert or drinks.
    Seems petty but i have a budget. I always round up though if that counts…

  •  

    Many months ago I went out for lunch with 2 'friends'. We had the pizza and salad so agreed to split the cost. The 'friend' from Sydney brought a bottle of wine and charged us $8 each !!!

    Never again will I have lunch with these people. Seriously who expects their 'friends' to pay for the wine. Surely at the next meeting, someone else brings and offers the wine.

    But yes, each person pay for their meal but if its all the same price then split it.

    •  

      Wait, what? Nah… You mean BYO, right? So, we're going for pizza, I'll bring a bottle of wine and charge you a portion of it? Did I read that right?

      This is a nope, as you said, next time, someone else brings it.

      •  

        Yep the guy bought a bottle of wine.. say for example for $20 from the bottleshop then changed each person so he gets the money back.

        Hence… I no longer eat with these cheapskates. Oh lol this guy was on like $150K per year…

  • +1 vote

    Lots of thoughts in similar discussion last year: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/203991

  • +2 votes

    In my group, we take turns paying for the whole table.

    When it's all couples, the guys decide amongst themselves who will take it.
    Sometimes the table costs a few hundred, sometimes it's a couple of thousand. Admittedly, it's not always ideal for one person to pay it. We're not rich, but we appreciate each others company. If someone does end up paying a huge bill, we go outside later and each pass a few hundred to him when no-one's looking so that he doesn't take such a huge hit.

    It's been like this for 15-20 years and never have I heard of anyone complaining about how much they paid on a certain day - even when we have disagreements over other things.

    • +3 votes

      Holy crap, that's awesome and awful at the same time.

      • +1 vote

        All the dollars and cents seem to even out amongst us in the end.

        There's really not much worse than fighting or arguing over money.

        • +1 vote

          Oh I agree entirely with that. If you're all good amongst each other, it evens out well enough over time. I think it's awesome that you have such a large group of friends who are close enough for this to work. It's just the scale of it in your case is a little daunting. Thousands? That's pretty huge.

        •  

          @3 Hyenas:

          The dinners that cost thousands are usually the ones for birthdays or special occasions. We never let the birthday person pay, so when one of us pays, it's for them and all their mates too - we look at their mates that they've invited as the people who mean something to them.
          It's funny to think about the logic behind it, but at the end of the day, we'll do whatever it takes to keep the birthday person happy.

          It doesn't always work with every group - there are other groups where the bill is divided evenly.

          I look at it like this:

          1. A group of acquaintances only pay for what they order
          2. A group of friends will split the bill evenly
          3. A group of close friends - whatever goes because money doesn't matter between us.

          I think my asian mentality has something to do with the way I see these kinds of things.

  • +4 votes

    as a non drinker,I have started avoiding going out with friends who do drink.
    It always works out that I am paying for others and this is quite rude actually
    hence,i started socialising differently with my mates.

    •  

      I have been in this situation so many times. Alcohol can end up costing a lot more than the meal and the drinkers are too tipsy by the end to even realise that someone else has paid for their fun. Make friends with Asians they drink a lot less:)

      •  

        Make friends with Asians they drink a lot less

        That is definitely correct, but only if you're talking about volume.
        Asians here tend to love their spirits more than their beers. And they go crazy with the amounts they drink! :P

  •  

    Used to advocate dividing up equally but now, pay for what you eat and drink and 5-10% for tips. A couple friend who don't drink went to dinner where they ate about $70 but they had to leave early n the other 3 couples said they can settle the bill later. They were told it was $200 incl. drinks! Made socializing difficult because of the disparity in costs. Besides when one pay for ones choice, it'll fit everyone's budget. You can enjoy the company with whatever budget you have. Charging byo is a definite no no again unless you were requested to purchase the wine.

  •  

    It depends on roughly how equal in costs your meals were. If one person had a small entree while the rest pigged out on a three course meal then it's best for individuals to cover their own meal cost, but if it was a big tapas/Asian share dish situation then splitting is probably fine.

    Really, I'm of the view that as the host you ask your guests upfront if they're happy to split costs evenly and, if some people aren't happy, to allow people to pay individually. That being said, as a guest don't be scared of saying straight up that you're paying your own way and won't be subsidising others' food for the sake of 'convenience'.

  •  

    I'm fine to split the total evenly, but probably 90% of the time I eat as a group people put in the amount that their items cost and a little extra for some of the tip.

    Its interesting to travel overseas, such as Europe, where bill splitting is the norm and the expectation. Or where work place law and taxation dont allow for one person to pay for others in a work scenario and claim it back. In those countries it's normal for each person to be presented with an individual docket as part of the one order. I used to live and work in Germany and eat group restarant lunches every day. We would all just be given our own docket by the waiter/waitress and pay individually. It was so much easier than here.