Splitting the Bill

polo lounge, nyc, dining etiquette, splitting the bill, manhattan

 

It’s happened to all of us : You’re out to dinner with a group when the bill comes. The person who ordered the Wagyu steak and the $100 bottle of wine – when everyone else had pasta – suggests to “just split the bill evenly.” So what do you do ?

First of all, whenever you agree to go to a fine restaurant with other people you are taking the risk of this happening. It’s just the nature of dining out and, in this case, I probably wouldn’t say anything. But here are some thoughts for future occasions :

1. Make sure you pick the restaurant next time .

2. It’s fine to suggest separate checks but ONLY if you do it when you first sit down to the table. It’s just not fair to the waiter otherwise. (If you don’t want to be super blunt, you could always say something like, “Can we put ours on a separate tab; we have may to jet out of here early to let the sitter go… ”) .

3. And definitely don’t be too persnickety about the bill; if it’s a minimal difference, by all means splitting is the way to go! No one wants to dine with a miser .

And to ensure you are not an offender of the worst kind, remember a gracious person always considers others before himself. In other words, don’t be a mindless orderer : “Four appetizers for the table and a bottle of Caymus, please” UNLESS you plan on treating the table to these things or you ask the rest of the group first .

I also think it’s thoughtful when friends say, “I had two glasses of wine; let me leave the tip.” It’s totally unnecessary, but a gracious gesture .

What are your thoughts or have you had a terrible experience? A friend told me one instance where she and her husband paid $240 for their portion dinner with another couple and all they had were entrees (and no drinks!)…Aye Aye Aye….

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(This post originally appeared on my “What to Do” series on Instagram.

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