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Group Dinners

GolfARGH

Passed Driver's Ed
Location
Chicago
Car(s)
2016 Golf R
I was having a discussion with the wife about group dinner etiquette, particularly when it comes to the bill. When it comes to events (e.g. birthday parties), we have differing opinions. I believe if I'm throwing a birthday party at a restaurant, I would foot the bill as the host. She's of the opinion that everyone is responsible for their own tabs.

Curious what most others think about this particular situation.
 
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aaronc7

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Clovis, NM
If I were going to a party that you were throwing, I would definitely not expect you to foot the bill or majority--going in I would expect that I would be paying for my family/kid etc. But if you offered to foot the bill as the host, I think that would be pretty awesome and be a very nice gesture.

In your shoes I'm not sure what I would do and maybe it depends exactly where/what it was etc. If it was like hey I'm buying a bunch of pizza for everyone I would definitely pay for everything as the host as a thank you coming etc.
 

MonkeyMD

Autocross Newbie
If you INVITE people to dinner for a birthday, then you're paying. If it's just, "let's go out". Then it's assumed everyone pays for him/her self.

Like inviting to a kids birthday party at trampoline park or Chuckecheese. Host buys the food and gives every kid tokens or a certain amount of play time. Not to say unlimited but at least something.

Of course, every person/family/group has different criteria.
 

GolNat

Autocross Champion
Location
Delaware
If you INVITE people to dinner for a birthday, then you're paying. If it's just, "let's go out". Then it's assumed everyone pays for him/her self.
I agree with this. Because it’s a birthday party I would pay the bill for everyone. It’s the same as inviting them to your house for a party and having snacks,drinks and pizza ordered. As the host you pay for everything.

Now say if you and your siblings are taking your parents out for their anniversary then I would split the bill with my siblings. Taking a friend out for a night with a group of friends.
 

Charlotte.:R

Go Kart Champion
Location
Charlotte
Car(s)
'18 Golf R 6MT
I think it's situational dependent.

My immediate family is 15 people. No way I'm picking up that tab, especially since my sister/brother in law are a bunch of deadbeats and her and her husband have a tendency to order multiple entrees because they "can't decide" and want to take one home for leftovers.

If I was just taking out my MIL and FIL for an anniversary or something, I'd pickup the tab.

We tend to host parties instead of going out as it's significantly cheaper, albeit a lot more work.
 

csumt76

Autocross Champion
Location
TX
Going out with people and having them pitch in on the bill is the worst..... They always seem to forget how much their food was and can't seem to add a tip.
 

Faceman

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Long Island
Car(s)
'17 GSW 4Motion
Going out with people and having them pitch in on the bill is the worst..... They always seem to forget how much their food was and can't seem to add a tip.
When we go out with friends, unless someone is drinking heavily or orders something outrageous, we always split the bill evenly.
 

JC_451

Autocross Newbie
Location
NJ
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
As an adult I would expect to shell out cash at any of my friends birthday dinners. Even if they or their spouse invited me I would not be expecting a "hosted" party.

Usually (in my experience) the birthday boy or girl ends up eating for free as the rest of us cover their portion even if they were the party organizers.

Otherwise, I'm down with splitting the bill evenly but only if alcohol isn't involved. I'm not gonna get bent out of shape cause you got Filet mignon and I got roasted chicken but I'm not paying for you to drink 3 bottles of wine while I have soda though.

Luckily here in NJ many restaurants are byob so splitting the bill is generally pretty easy.
 

oddspyke

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Nazareth, PA
If there are formal invitations, you are officially the host and should expect to pay. If it's just a group of people going out for a birthday and meeting up but you helped organize, I would expect to split the bill. If you are hosting and concerned about the bill, discuss with the venue before hand; most will do a pre-fix menu at a price per head and cash bar to avoid any awkward interactions or people taking advantage. A good server will even explain the setup to your guests if you're uncomfortable doing that. Not the route I would go with my friends (they're considerate people) but some of my family will definitely look to take advantage and it avoids the drama to plan ahead.
 

Jovian

Drag Race Newbie
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
Car(s)
2016 VW GTI
Being a guest I always plan on paying for myself and the person who's birthday it is. As a host I plan on paying for the whole thing, I also dont host much for this reason.
 

The Fed

Old Guys Rule
Location
Florida
If you INVITE people to dinner for a birthday, then you're paying. If it's just, "let's go out". Then it's assumed everyone pays for him/her self.

Like inviting to a kids birthday party at trampoline park or Chuckecheese. Host buys the food and gives every kid tokens or a certain amount of play time. Not to say unlimited but at least something.

Of course, every person/family/group has different criteria.
That's the proper etiquette but I don't expect Gen Y's+ to follow it. Many don't even send thank you notes for gifts, even by email.
 

9uns

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Anaheim
In the extremely rare case that I do decide to do anything for my birthday and invite friends, then I'll pay for the bill. Interestingly enough, not many of my peers feel the same so I always go to dinners expecting to pay for my portion (including tip) and the birthday boy/girl's meal/drinks/dessert. However, I try not to go to dinner functions anymore because people can't remember how much they ordered and I'm usually the one ending up picking up the unpaid portion because nobody wants to man up and pay. Happens much more often with wealthier people. I guess the rich stay rich by being cheap asses.
 

Chad13762

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Henderson NV
As a guest, don't be "that guy."
1) Bring cash, so you don't need to send the server back to split the bill or manage multiple cards.
2) At least reach for your wallet (come-on!)
3) Regardless of the ensuing friendly argument, at least toss in the cash for the tip.
4) If you do pitch in for the meal, don't scrutinize the bill down to the penny. Round up your share to the nearest $5 or $10.
 
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FlyingMU

New member
Location
USA
I agree with this. Because it’s a birthday party I would pay the bill for everyone. It’s the same as inviting them to your house for a party and having snacks,drinks and pizza ordered. As the host you pay for everything.

Now say if you and your siblings are taking your parents out for their anniversary then I would split the bill with my siblings. Taking a friend out for a night with a group of friends.
I agree with this as well. Everything depends on who organizes the party. If I was invited to a party that usually means I'm gonna eat for free, though I would still carry some cash there just in case. And if I organize a birthday party for someone, then I pay for all the expenses. For example, a month ago I was having a party I ordered all the drinks and make own homemade pizza with an oven like this one here. Everyone was happy, the money wasn't the issue.

As a guest, don't be "that guy."
1) Bring cash, so you don't need to send the server back to split the bill or manage multiple cards.
2) At least reach for your wallet (come-on!)
3) Regardless of the ensuing friendly argument, at least toss in the cash for the tip.
4) If you do pitch in for the meal, don't scrutinize the bill down to the penny. Round up your share to the nearest $5 or $10.
As I said, having some extra cash is always a good idea so nobody gets hurt.
 
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