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Apr 14, 2007 05:54 AM

Another one of those split the check issues

Tonight we are going to dinner with another couple to a very nice place where the tab (with wine, etc.) will probably be $500 or so. We have a $200 gift certificate which was a birthday gift from our daughter to my husband. Most likely we will apply the gift certificate to the tab and split the remaining balance 50/50 but while thinking about it I wondered if it would be considered rude to split the total bill and then apply the $200 to our half?

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  1. First of all WOW for your daughter giving a $200 gift certificate. I guess she likes him. :-))

    First choice - If you could I would use the cert when only the Richmonds go out. Seems to avoid any ill-feelings with another couple. Why not have her included in the festivities. Sounds like a neat kid.

    I think it all depends on the relationship with the other couple. If they are good friends they will completely understand your using little richmonds cert. If they are newish friends they may feel a little awkward if you use it (FTR - I do not use the "R" word).

    Under no circumstances would i offer it up for a reduction of the total bill and then divide. That would not be fair to your daughter, she gave the gift to her dad, not her dad and another couple. Keep it for another time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jfood

      completely disagree. She gave the gift to you, presumably, to contribute to a pleasant evening. I would love to share a gift with my friends and if you are the same, I'm sure your daughter wouldn't mind.
      Using it just for you would appear, um, tight..imo.
      If you don't feel good about sharing your daughter's gift, then by all means save it for when you are dining alone.

    2. Personally, yes I think it would be rude. If you are going to a nice place like that, and you're only going with one other couple, you're probably good enough friends where you will consider the evening an experience. If you want to apply the $200 more to just your part of the bill, go alone.

      1. From a server's perspective, it would not be rude. I actually had a table do this last night - bill was $200, one couple paid with a $50 gift card and put $50 on thier Visa, and the other couple just put $100 on their credit card. I don't particularly care how you pay your check as long as you pay it in full and tip well. ;)

        From your dining companion's perspective, I think it depends who you're with. Most of our friends wouldn't care; I can imagine there are some people who would think it the height of rudeness to "treat yourself" by using a gift certificate and not them.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jnstarla

          I agree with those who advise using the gift certificate when it's you and your husband dining only. If you do decide to use the gift certificate tonight I think you need to fill your friends in on your plans to use the gift certificate and exactly how you plan to apply it to the bill BEFORE dinner so there are no misunderstandings when the bill arrives.

          1. re: Axalady

            If it's not a bonus certificate, that is, if it comes with restrictions, it's as good as cash. If the total bill is $500, but your potion is only $165, I would use the $200 certificate as your portion of the bill. ($165+$35 tip)

            I have never understood the hand wringing displayed in numerous threads here about the use of gift certificates. If the gift certificate purchaser paid $200 for it, it's as good as cash.

            II can't imagine the other couple not understanding and accepting that.

        2. It ended up being just the two of us because the other couple couldn't get a babysitter. And the venture was specifically to use this gift cert which expires on May 1st and the invite was one of those "We're going to The Fox Head Inn to use this gift cert, would you all like to come?". I'm sure we would have deducted from the full amount and then split the check, but it ended up being a non-issue and a medicore, overpriced meal (but that's another thread <g>).

          4 Replies
          1. re: Janet from Richmond


            Sorry that the meal was medicore (sic). On a rainy sunday morning i got a chuckle from this typo. Hopefully you meant mediocre and you and hubby were not medi-vac'd out from a medi-core meal. :-))

            1. re: jfood

              Glad I could give you an early am chuckle :-) It's rainy here also.

              1. re: Janet from Richmond

                Think of the $200 gift certificate as a 2 $100 bills your daughter gave as a gift. If you had 2 $100 bills instead, would you still pitch in the $200 then split 50/50? I wouldn't.

            2. re: Janet from Richmond

              I was going to ask about the terms of the invitation. If it was, as you note, "hey, we're going to use this GC, want to come?" then i'd deduct from the whole tab and split the rest. Too bad the meal didn't turn out well.