Is it Rude to Ask For a Separate Check When Dining Out?

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What would you do in this scenario? You’re out to dinner with friends and order a $17 salad and drink water. Your friends, on the other hand, all treat themselves to $36 in drinks and a $50 steak. The bill comes and your friends suggest you split the bill four ways. Your portion of the check is $70 plus tip totalling a whopping $84. Remember you had a $17 salad.Is it Rude to Ask For a Separate Check When Dining Out?

Would you say something or just pay the bill? A night out can be more about the company you keep and less about the food so it can seem petty to ask for a separate check.

But isn’t it rude of others to expect you to foot the bill for what they ordered?

When is it appropriate to ask for a separate check? 

  • You order significantly less than everyone else.
  • You’re on a budget.
  • You have debt.
  • You’re leaving early.
  • You don’t drink alcohol.

When is it inappropriate to ask for a separate check?

  • You invite someone out (work event or date night).
  • You share food and/or order a bottle of wine.
  • Everyone’s portion of the bill is pretty even.

What should you do?

You don’t want to ruin the fun by seeming like a penny pincher so how can you painlessly walk away from a pleasant lunch or dinner feeling like you weren’t taken advantage of?

  1. Get there first and ask the server to split the check. Make sure you ask before the meal starts. It’s rude (to the server) to wait until the end of the meal and expect them to divide everything.
  2. Bring cash and fork over your portion of the check. Typically when you use a credit card it’s split evenly to make it easy on the server. My favorite method!
  3. Speak up. If you’re consistently ordering less than everyone else let them know you’re not okay with it.
  4. If you go out with the same group of people and frequent the same type of restaurant take turns paying.
  5. Divvy up the check with apps like Venmo, Tab and Splitwise.

Remember you’re actually the smart one for managing your finances. How do you deal with splitting the check? Leave your comments below.

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Is it Rude to Ask For a Separate Check When Dining Out?