Q. I made a friend and we decided to go to dinner and bring our husbands along. My new friend’s husband proceeded to order the most extravagant items on the menu with lots of drinks and then split the check in half. My husband and I ended up having to pay $180.00 which was half of the bill. We only consumed $80.00 worth of food and drinks. We didn’t know how to handle it and were just in shock to be honest. How would you recommend handling this. Also, what is the deal with people doing this. Are they just rude?
A. This is an ongoing problem for group dinners it somehow is never “fair.” You either have to know you are going to be paying extra to cover the cost of someone’s extra drink or more expensive entree, or you have to agree ahead of time that someone takes a calculator and divides up the bill precisely. An alternative is to go to a price fixed restaurant, or a buffet, or other place where the costs are the same and those who drink or order extra deduct and pay that amount before the bill is divided. Many people simply do not go out in groups anymore because of the acrimony that is caused when it comes to dividing the bill. The only way it is not acrimonious is if you all agree ahead of time exactly how you are going to organize who pays for what.
It was rude of your new “friends” to assume that you would be willing to pay for more than your share of the dinner.