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Mar 26, 2010 04:45 PM

Splitting the bill -- tipping question

When you go out for a meal with someone, do you add the tax/tip of what you owe when paying or do you split the total bill's tax/tip evenly with the other person, even if he/she owes significantly more than you on the meal?

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  1. if you're splitting, the split includes the tip&tax. typically, the only way to separate out things is to separate the bar/beer/wine bill from the food bill. But not the tip/tax from the food.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      Thanks. I guess I don't mean splitting in the 50/50 sense, but rather if I owe $25 on a $75 bill and my friend owes the other $50, I'd expect to pay tax/tip on the $25 while he cover the rest from his portion. My friend expected that we split the tax/tip on the $75 equally. I wasn't sure which is the norm.

      1. re: arvi

        Friend's like that who needs enemies.

        1. re: arvi

          I have split the bill many times with other people. We always 'split the difference', 50-50.
          However in any dinner situation, there is a variance of less than $10 dollars usually. So, I never quibble, ever.
          However, your case sounds very odd to me. It's very wide difference in a meal tab.
          I would give what I felt is fair.

          1. re: mcel215

            You dine in a rare group. I've often seen much greater differentials in different groups. People eating one or two less courses, people who are not drinking alcoholic beverages (for a variety of perfectly valid reasons), et cet. But we've had many hashings out of the etiquette of even splitting in other threads.

            1. re: Karl S

              I suppose...... ? But, I no longer go out with business people, just really good friends. Perhaps, that may be the difference Karl.

              1. re: mcel215

                Mine are almost always friends, but people have different diets, appetites, prescriptions, whatever. There's a lot more variety.

          2. re: arvi

            Your expectation is the norm for that scenario.

            1. re: arvi

              Your "friend" has quite a nice racket going. Free money if they go to dinner with you.

              1. re: arvi

                You are correct. You should tip on the amount of your share.

            2. Splitting the tax and tip on the entirety of a meal when there's a $25 difference in orders makes no sense.

              Mathematics is your friend in this case. Your friend's effort to simplify things is actually rude and reeks of being cheap. It's perfectly alright to whip out a calculator at this point.

              1. When we go out nowadays, the bill (and tip or service charge) is invariably divided equally amongst the payers. It matters not that I don't drink alcohol and rarely have dessert - or that someone else has had chicken, while I've had the most expensive steak on the menu. We are friends or family - simple as that.

                When I was working, there were a number of tight-fisted, mean-spirited colleagues who would always resist this equal distribution - saying " I only had one drink and no dessert". Great fun evenings they were with this bunch of no-mark tossers. Not.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Harters

                  The most recent, I believe, flame-fest on this distinct albeit somewhat related topic, dormant for about 2 years:


                  1. re: Karl S

                    No intention of flaming. Just a statement of fact that the company I keep always splits evenly (and that I prefer that - even though most times it costs me more than a "fair share". And a statement of fact that I did not enjoy it when folk want to get out the calculators at the end of the meal. What other folk do with their friends/family/colleagues is entirely a matter for them.

                    1. re: Harters

                      I see. Well, your prior comment was overflowing with judgmentalism about other folks, so I just thought you might be interested in a thread where that was hashed out in finer detail.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        Well, no, not really interested in the opinions expressed two years by other people. But am interested in the opinions expressed on this thread, of course.

                        And, yes, absolutely judgemental about a couple of my former colleagues. I said "no-mark tossers" and I meant "no-mark tossers".

                  2. re: Harters

                    I totally agree Harters, not fun at all. And having it said "up front" would give those people who don't agree, to have a chance to turn down the invite....

                    1. re: Harters

                      I think some of us "no-mark tossers" are probably the ones who for whatever reason always order less than everyone else. It may make sense when your orders are different each time, but if you can't drink alcohol or have certain dietary restrictions that limit how much you can order, it gets tiring have to pay extra every time.

                      1. re: queencru

                        Agreed. I worked for a company where we had frequent company lunches at god-awful restaurants like buffets and pubs, and several of the high-paid managers would order multiple drinks while lowly peons like I would order an appetizer and a glass of water. At the end of the meal, the managers would try to split the bill evenly between the group. Thank goodness for my outspoken friend, who had no problems loudly and publically standing up to the managers on two occasions and boldly stating that no, she would not leave $25+ when her share came to $10 (which is what she put down): that's all it took to shame them out of it and establish it as the norm for everyone to pay their share.

                        And it's not like we could get out of it, because if we didn't go, we weren't being very team-oriented. *rolls eyes*

                        1. re: vorpal

                          In my experience, this egregious abuse is far more common than the occurrence of miserly fellow-guests who calculate their portion down to the nearest dime, nickel or penny.

                    2. Thanks everyone! I thought my way was the norm but just wanted to make sure I wasn't violating some social etiquette all these years. I tend to just pay what is asked since I don't want to quibble about it.

                      I understand the impulse to split equally, but I think it can be rather presumptuous when you're out with friends of varying means.

                      1. Dude, who's your friend? Bernie Madoff?