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Feb 7, 2007 08:19 AM

How to split the wine $, dining out w a group?

Sometimes when dining out with a group it makes sense to get separate checks. Someone orders the wine, and it gets put on that persons/couples check. Now what?

It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it seems like we have ordered the wine, and essentially just "comp" it to the table rather than make an issue of it. Usually someone hasn't had any wine, and it wasn't a pricy bottle, but....

Any experience or suggestions to share?

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  1. When we go out say with 2 other couples we split the check 3 ways. When someone gets detailed enough to add up "their" portion of the bill, that's the last time we go out to dinner with them.

    2 Replies
      1. re: FlyFish

        I don't disagree, except for the scenario of those who repeatedly over-order a great $ amount (compared to everyone else) and don't offer to pay extra. I'll take that a couple of times, then that's the last time for me too.

    1. I agree with the exception of dining with nondrinkers in which case we would offer to cover a larger percentage to cover alcohol unless it is minimal. I know of some people that have gotten a raw deal by dining with the "Opus One" crowd and they do not drink. That seems a bit unfair.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TonyO

        Or if that crowd orders a really expensive bottle of wine that not everyone can afford to pay for.

      2. Sometimes we're the drinkers, sometimes we're the couple that orders dessert. While we are perusing the menu we discuss who's having what casually and then the bill is already "understood" when it arrives.

        If you want to enjoy a meal with other couples, communication should be a no brainer!

        1. it doesn't sound like you're talking about a lot of wine, or expensive wine. say it's 3 couples and a $50 bottle. that's about $8 a person. if somebody is haggling over that, it would be my last dinner out with them. did everybody have the exact same number of courses for food?

          why does wine make people so uptight? i never ever order dessert, and don't expect to discount that off my portion.

          5 Replies
          1. re: hotoynoodle

            The jfoods do not drink and we also view this as a price of going out with friends. There are times when its just us and another couple where the other couple will drink >$100 of liquor and wine and we are hit with >$50 of their bill. At $10 who cares, when it starts moving to real money it does get a little annoying, but still it's our decision not to drink. To the person who does not order dessert, i have no problem ordering dessert when others aren;t to try to "even" things a little

            1. re: jfood

              i was using what seemed like the op's example. if my s/o and i ordered $100 worth of wine and our friends didn't drink, we would insist on paying for the wine. if this happens to you with the same couple often, i think they are taking advantage of you.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                In 25 years that has only happened once. My college roommate and his SO ordered a $150 bottle of wine. When the bill came he isisted on paying for the wine and splitting the rest. a real mensch.

                Maybe that's why i chose to live with him for three years.

            2. re: hotoynoodle

              I frequently dine with a few friends at "family" restaurants because some have kids, it's inexpensive and convenient. One of these people routinely orders an app (which I don't eat) a more expensive entree (I usually get a sandwich/salad type thing--I don't order high priced menu items at these restaurants) then dessert. His share of the bill is often around 25-30 bucks and mine is 12, plus tax/tip. Sorry, I'm not going to pay for more than half of his meal.

              Haggling over every nickel, I agree with you. But I'm not going to pay even 16 bucks/couple for something I did not partake in. I suppose some would consider that to be cheap, but I really don't care.

              1. re: marcia

                I agree with you, Marcia. I think some people on this board forget that not everyone has enough money to have the luxury of paying a big portion of someone else's meal. $16 taken out of one person's bank account, could equal the same percentage as $200+ taken out of someone else's bank account.

            3. Before ordering the wine simply say, "Wanna share a bottle of wine with us?" Split the cost of the wine accordingly.

              If it's going to cause any kind of awkward situation, order your wine by the glass and add it to your bill.