How do you split/pay the check with friends

posted 2 weeks ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
309 posts
Helper bee

i usually just offer to split unless someone has ordered significantly more expensive items than i have.  and then usually my friends will acknowledge that fact and offer to make it up (like, “hey i had wine and you didn’t, why don’t i pay the whole tip, etc.?”)

even if its not exactly down to the penny, i feel like it evens out over time, and my friends are all pretty reasonable/generous, so i don’t mind if sometimes i pay slightly extra.  if i had a friend who i felt was consistently being cheap or trying to take advantage of that, i would probably ask for separate checks when i was with them. 

Post # 3
680 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I was hoping someone would start this spin off thread, LOL. I was keeping up with the replies on the other and was definitely thrown off by how some people pay the bill in group settings. 

When out with friends, we ALWAYS split the check. I don’t think its fair to split it down the middle when our friends (most of the time another couple) may order more drinks or an extra appetizer than us, we didn’t consume it so why should we pay for it? Then again, its the social norm where we are at to split checks regardless… like its no huge hassle or super weird thing to ask servers to do. Of course if our friends order an app and we don’t they are like “here have a bite!” but most of the time we decline because we obviously don’t want to eat on something they pay for. 

When out with family, I don’t think we ever split the check. DH’s family is notorious for picking up our check and even if we insist, they don’t let us split it. If we’re out with extended family, then it kind of depends on the mood but most of the time we’ll pick up our own tab but its rare. 

Post # 4
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2021 - Dracut, Massachusetts

It depends on the situation. Most of the time my friend and I will have similar entrees/drinks and we split down the middle. If they or I weren’t drinking, then we just pay for our own portions. BUT! To make it easier for the waiter/waitress, we venmo the other person the money and someone else pays for it on one cards. I always venmo one of my friends bc she uses a specific credit card that has really good travel points haha.

If I am in a bigger group setting, separate checks is the way to go for sure.

Post # 5
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

it totally depends on the situation.I think if it’s merely acquaintances it’s good to just get separate checks (plus it allows me to slip away when I want.) If it is my closest friends or family we all just chip in to cover the cost equally. If it is me, my husband and our friends, we normally just get a check to ourselves but honestly the whole concept of separate checks was only adopted by us to adjust to norm here in America. In the UK they rarely even offer to do things by separate checks. 

Post # 6
7094 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’ve never actually split a bill. It’s either separate cheques or one person pays as a treat, either for a special ocassion (normally a friend), or we trade back and forth (normally co-workers). 

I remember seeing the whole “spltting the cheque” debacle on friends lol. I can honestly say this has never happened to me.

Post # 7
8520 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

mrstodd2bee : it really depends on the circumstance and the people. I’m the one that wouldn’t pay for my coworkers $100 champagne and that’s because it was our first time going out together and I felt used. My friends and I usually split down the middle since we all tend to eat/drink at the same pace anyways. We typically alternate paying the bill with parents. With my new coworkers everyone pays their own. With my absolute best friends we kind of do a combo – whatever is easiest in the moment particularly because we’re more likely to order takeout together, pick up a coffee on our way to meet somewhere, etc. We don’t keep track but our guess is that if it’s not about equal after 20 years we have another 50 years of friendship to balance it out. 

In the US waiters hate splitting checks and it’s always a pain in the ass. Whenever we go to Canada it’s totally the opposite! My husband and I always have to ask them to combine our checks so we don’t get hit with two credit card fees for one meal. 

Post # 8
536 posts
Busy bee

It depends on the situation and the friend group. 

I went out for dinner/drinks on Saturday with friends. We were sittting at the bar first. One person picked up the whole tab. We then moved to a table. I picked up the remainder of the tab for three (this situation was weird because one friend is a huge regular at the bar, and always gets staff/manager discounts… so for 9 beers and an appetizer the bill was $42). I then went to meet my boyfriend and his friend and wife. We got two separate cheques.

One-on-one my friends and I tend to “treat” each other. Bigger groups we have gone back and forth on separate cheques vs splitting (the more money we have made over the years, the more we have moved towards splitting).


Post # 9
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

Separate checks 100% of the time.  None of this splitting nonesense unless you got the EXACT same thing.  Where I’ve lived I’ve never once had anyone suggest splitting, we always get separate checks.


I mean–unless someone offers to pay of course.  I’ve taken friends out to dinner, they’ve taken me out to dinner.  But that’s different.

Post # 10
2738 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

As a former server from the US, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to separate a check. Unless you have a party of like 10+ people who want things split weird, it’s not a problem and shouldn’t matter. 

most of my girlfriends split checks. But with one specific girlfriend, we take turns. We go out once or twice a month and just swap who pays. But we always get similarly priced items so it’s no big deal. 

I don’t think anyone should feel slighted if someone only wants to pay for what they specifically ordered. My husband and I usually skip appetizers and expensive drinks so it wouldn’t be fair to pay for someone else at our table with fancy drinks, appetizers, desserts, etc. Unless it’s a special occasion 🙂 

Post # 11
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

LilliV :  


I live in the US and no waiter here (where I live) acts like it’s a problem to split the check.  They ALWAYS ask when it’s time for the check.  I think it’s regional rather than by country.

Post # 12
3249 posts
Sugar bee

We always just say, “Ours on a separate check please” when we order. Then it’s known to everyone right off the bat and there’s never that awkward silence when the bill comes. 

If it’s family, we usually tell them we’re treating before we order. 

I never split the bill down the middle. If anything, when it comes and it wasn’t separated out, I’ll ask for it to be. I’ve never had a waiter react poorly to that request. 

Post # 13
2151 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

It depends on the situation.  If we are sharing food then we split it down the middle. Otherwise we just pay for what we ate.

Post # 14
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

Always have done separate checks and everyone pays for what they ordered. 

Post # 15
1019 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I don’t split checks when I’m out with friends.  I always ask for my own check right up front when ordering.  With my husband and family, we just switch off with who pays.  

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