I remember in college I had friends I had to virtually stop going out to eat with because of their inability to remember to include tax and tip more than a quarter. And then they still had the nerve to complain…loudly. It would be about anything and everything…they’re ice water wasn’t re-filled quickly enough, the seemed a little more medium than medium well, the appetizers took too long to reach the table…but honestly I think it would all be about building excuses not to tip. This is a former server’s worst nightmare.
I am a former server. I love a good meal with friends but it still makes me cringe when the bill is set on the table and people start forgetting they ordered a coke. I get really nervous and I instantly want to be the ringleader at the table and tell people how much they should pay. But that’s not always welcomed. Luckily at this age I have friends who make the process practically painless. Most of the time. But in the rare case you aren’t so lucky, here are a few guidelines you might be interested in.
*Whenever possible, split the bill evenly within your party. If someone had a side salad and water and someone else ordered lobster and a nice chardonnay, this may not be the best option. But if all your meals were in the same ballpark, I think this is the best option. So you might pay an extra couple dollars this time. The next time you’ll pay a couple less. It’s one of those things that end up all working out over time.
*Try to have everyone pay with cards or everyone pay with cash. Less headache.
*Make yourself the ringleader and be in charge of collecting from everyone. YOU tell THEM what they owe. (Good for math geeks)
*Go out with someone who thinks they’re a big time baller and likes to pick up the tab for everyone. Score!
If you’ve never experienced these issues with your friends when you go out to eat, chances are you’re the cheapskate! If anyone has any tips to add, please feel free.