Every now and then, it’s fun to bring your whole group of friends to the most popular steakhouse in town. Perhaps someone in your group got a raise or is celebrating their birthday. More often than not, it’s probably just because you all want to enjoy good food and company.
There are plenty of reasons why a steakhouse is a great place for a group to visit and enjoy themselves. The problem is that dining out in good restaurants can be rather expensive for just one person to pay. So you may have to split the check properly, and that’s a perilous path filled with relationship landmines. You may not believe it, but this can lead to resentment and ruined friendships.
So what should you do? Here are some ways you can split the check properly.
- If no one’s footing the bill alone, plan ahead. Perhaps you may decide to rotate role of bill payer to one or two persons each time, if you go to the same restaurant each time regularly. You may decide to just divide the bill equally. One may pay with their credit card, while others pay that person back in other ways. Whatever the plan is, just make sure you have a plan.
- Check if the restaurant can provide individual checks. This works if there are only 2 or 3 of you in your group. But adding more people adds more work for the restaurant staff.
- Use some common sense. If you guys are all close, then it’s probably easier to divide the bill equally and that’s it. But if someone in the group is having money trouble and they didn’t order much, then don’t be angry if they insist on having their own individual bill if the rest of you ordered filet mignon and lobster along with expensive glasses of wine.
- Be ready with some cash. If a dinner at a steakhouse is considered a special event, then you all should extend that preparation to bringing cash. Maybe you can all pay cash for your share of the meal, or one pays with the credit card while the others fork their cash to that person.
- Use apps. There is an app for just about anything, and an app called Tab allows you all to split the bill properly without anyone doing advanced math. The app lets you snap a picture of the receipt, and then each person in the group can tap the particular dishes they had. The app then calculates the bill for each, and this can include the tax and the tip in the computation.
There are also apps like Venmo that lets people share payments with friends. Apps like these enable the easy transfer of money without having actual cash change hands on the table.
The simple rule here is that you need to remember that you’re all friends – don’t let the bill ruin a great evening. Either go with a plan or discuss the options amicably once you’ve finished your delicious meal.