The weekend is here and you have plans to eat out with friends.  Everything is going great and then the check comes. AWKWARD!

It always seems that no one was thinking about the check as they were ordering bottles of wine and way too many appetizers; but now they ‘really didn’t eat that much’ or ‘only had one glass of the wine’.  What?!  I say that’s bull!  Don’t be the person that is adding every penny that you ate,  not adding the tax on, or not adding the tip to the gratuity total.  Granted, different situations call for different actions, but below is an easy breakdown for any situation.

The cleanest way is to ask the waitress if you can split checks before you order.  Most restaurants do this, but there are some that will not if your group size is too large.

Dining out for breakfast or lunch?  Luckily these meals are cheap enough and within a few dollars of each other, splitting the check is the easiest way to go.  Now, if someone in the group decided they had to have an appetizer for a few dollars more, just make sure that person adds more money on to their tip or picks up the whole tip.

Dinner is when things tend to get sticky, especially if you have a big group ordering every course.  If everyone in your group does not mind splitting because you frequently go out together-you are lucky to have found a great group of friends!  If there are a few people in your group that only drank water or stuck with a cheap entree, give them the bill first.  Let that person decide how much they are going to put towards the check.  The same holds true if one person ordered more drinks and dessert than everyone else.  Give that person the check first so they can decide how much they owe.  Everyone else should just split it.

Now, I know there are plenty of people who hate splitting the check.  If that is the case, you can tactfully suggest everyone look at the bill and write down how much they are going to pay on the back of the check.  Just make sure you round up to the nearest dollar amount.  If you don’t, the bill ends up short and that is when things get awkward.

Cheers, T