VeggieBoards banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,660 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I go to a meeting about once a week at the office of a nonprofit organization I'm affiliated with. After the meeting, the people generally go to dinner at various restaurants. And some people not at the meeting join us for the dinner.

So we went to one restaurant about two weeks ago, and I was one of the last to arrive and one of the last to finish eating. There were about nine people at our table, and by the time I got up to pay, everyone had left but one lady. We go up to the counter to pay, and the manager is telling us that at least one and possibly two people from our group had left without paying. The waiter had put several orders onto one ticket, so the manager was trying to figure out who had what, and who had paid, yadda yadda. The lady figured out that the guy who left without paying was her friend R, so she paid his tab. I had an individual ticket, so just paid for my food.

Is there any "etiquette" to deal with this type of situation? Or any method to prevent it?
If I am one of the last people to leave a group dinner, do I have any obligation to pay for other people in the group who have left without paying?

Yes. our group would like to go back to this restaurant from time to time.

Any thoughts or advice?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,026 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe View Post

Is there any "etiquette" to deal with this type of situation? Or any method to prevent it?
If I am one of the last people to leave a group dinner, do I have any obligation to pay for other people in the group who have left without paying?
I would pay it and then at next meeting ask the group if anyone "forgot to pay last time." Tell them how much it was and hope someone steps forward. Even if no one admits it, they're probably less likely to do it again.

To prevent it, call the restaurant beforehand and ask for separate checks. Remind the server when you're there that these are all on separate checks.

Always, always, always tip well.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
136 Posts
It's the restaurant's responsibility to collect-I would never pay someone else's tab.

That being said I doubt I'd break bread with a deadbeat more than once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,609 Posts
That's either really crappy of your co-workers to do, or they didn't know they were responsible for paying their own way at this dinner. I think you should mention it sometime, or send an e-mail around, bringing the issue to people's attention. You can definitely word it in a soft way, like someone said, and not immediately accuse these people of wrongdoing on purpose. If nobody says anything about it, it might happen again.
 

·
Give peas a chance
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
In my experiences, certain members of the group underpaying has been more of an issue than not paying at all. I think that's an issue the restaurant needs to address if they want to avoid problems. They give you the menu, which has all the prices on it, then take it away when you are done ordering. During the meal people might get a refill, which may or may not be an additional charge. Some restaurants bring a dessert cart around afterward, none of which usually has price tags on them. Then some people might have coffee with that. As a patron, how are you supposed to track all the charges you might be accumulating if you don't have the price list in front of you?

At the end of the meal, people try to do the math and end up guessing, and every time I have been there they have guessed low. Usually, very low.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,067 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe View Post

Any thoughts or advice?
When you meet those people again, tell them you have a medical condition where you throw up in anyone's face who doesn't pay for their food. And then start making a sick face and put a hand over your mouth, to show you mean business.

Hope you found this suggestion helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,134 Posts
Bringing it up at the next meeting sounds like a good idea. I don't think you want it to go completely unchallenged, as it would only encourage the poor behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,222 Posts
Many years ago, I went out to dinner with a group, "splitting" the tab at the end. The thing is a lot of alcohol was on the tab. I didn't drink. Lesson learned. I don't like split tabs. Just ask for your meal to be on an individual bill and don't give a second thought as to what anyone else may think. This would be my solution anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,728 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa View Post

Many years ago, I went out to dinner with a group, "splitting" the tab at the end. The thing is a lot of alcohol was on the tab. I didn't drink. Lesson learned. I don't like split tabs. Just ask for your meal to be on an individual bill and don't give a second thought as to what anyone else may think. This would be my solution anyway.
That's a real peeve of mine, when people want to "split" it in that way. No. If I ordered a $5 side item and y'all got entrées and drinks, how does this work fairly? It doesn't.

I ask for a separate check, even with good friends a lot of the time. Keeps things simpler.

Funny story: I went out to eat with 2 friends, both with PhD's and it was ridiculous when the bill came, they were clueless about how to divvy it up. Uh, calculators, people! They're on your phone! Even though y'all have math and science degrees and I'm dyslexic/dyscalculic, no worries, I can do this!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,217 Posts
I agree that saying something before the next group dinner is a good idea. But I also like the separate checks idea. It does make things simpler. If people complain when the OP brings up the subject, then at the next group dinner he should simply tell the server that he wants his order on a separate check. Let somebody else deal with the headache of paying for multiple orders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
My post was deleted I think.


I had basically stated that it depends on your relationship with the people who left without paying, like that one woman who paid for her friend. And, your relationship with the restaurant. ...whether or not you are the host... ...do you ever plan on returning to that restaurant vs. is it your favorite place to eat...

I really don't feel like retyping everything. I just hope the OP read it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34,591 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

I would pay it and then at next meeting ask the group if anyone "forgot to pay last time." Tell them how much it was and hope someone steps forward. Even if no one admits it, they're probably less likely to do it again.

To prevent it, call the restaurant beforehand and ask for separate checks. Remind the server when you're there that these are all on separate checks.

Always, always, always tip well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

That's either really crappy of your co-workers to do, or they didn't know they were responsible for paying their own way at this dinner. I think you should mention it sometime, or send an e-mail around, bringing the issue to people's attention. You can definitely word it in a soft way, like someone said, and not immediately accuse these people of wrongdoing on purpose. If nobody says anything about it, it might happen again.
It sounds like separate checks are the way to go. Just let your server known in advance and stay in one spot. It's very hard for a server to split checks when people are moving around. (My PSA for the day
)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,728 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post

Just let your server known in advance and stay in one spot. It's very hard for a server to split checks when people are moving around. (My PSA for the day
)
I'm always embarrassed by it when people I am with ask for a separate check at the end. It makes me mad! So clueless. It bothers me so much that I ask before dining if people want separate checks, and ask them to please ask at the beginning.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34,591 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by *AHIMSA* View Post

I'm always embarrassed by it when people I am with ask for a separate check at the end. It makes me mad! So clueless. It bothers me so much that I ask before dining if people want separate checks, and ask them to please ask at the beginning.
Our restaurant uses seat numbers, so it makes it easier to separate checks if the people stayed put. The other night I had a party of 7 who moved around so much (only 2 people stayed in one spot, the other 5 played musical chairs). Usually I can tell who's going to ask for separate checks and plan for it. It's pretty easy for me to split checks otherwise, it's the payments that get hairy. When they're all cash and need change (especially when they're big bills), that takes a long time. Credit cards are best for separate checks
I like the way our computer system is set up.

One of my coworkers had a table give her attitude after they waited until after they were done to ask for separate checks. When she didn't bring them right away (they moved around a ton, she was trying to figure out who had who), he complained to the management (she had 6 other tables as well). The person (college student) then told the manager that time in money (yeah, at 1am, you've got a lot of things to do...). So rude.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,217 Posts
Oh, I hate it when people in a party play musical chairs like that. I once had to leave the table before I finished my meal to use the restroom. When I returned, somebody else in my group was sitting in my chair yakking with whoever was sitting next to me. I had to chase him away so I could finish my meal!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Hmm.. I've never had this happen before. With the people I usually accompany on dinner parties, we all pay with separate checks from the beginning. My husband and I share a check, of course, but all of the rest of the people (his classmates) all tell the server immediately that the checks will be separate.

I'm just still in shock that people actually LEFT without paying. For me, knowing who is responsible for the tab is important. Firstly, I never go to a restaurant, even if invited, unless I can afford to pay my own way. That is being responsible - for me. Second - if someone plans a restaurant visit and extends an invitation, they are responsible for the check. That is being responsible - for them. And third: who goes to restaurants and doesn't even know/care about the bill, or who is supposed to pay it? (Unless their name is Ernest.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,950 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by *AHIMSA* View Post

That's a real peeve of mine, when people want to "split" it in that way. No. If I ordered a $5 side item and y'all got entrées and drinks, how does this work fairly? It doesn't.
Ugh same. I'll get cheap food and a coke. someone else will get starter, steak, dessert, and several glasses of wine... then act like i'm awful for not wanting to split the bill and spend the rest of the night giving me evil looks. I dont ask for split bill from the waiter just get a menu back and work it out haha.

Still I cant believe that co-workers would leave without paying. How do you forget to do that?! No helpful advice really, but I'd definately mention it.
 

·
Give peas a chance
Joined
·
1,715 Posts
How much of a pain is it for the staff to do separate checks on a big group? I've always heard it was something to be avoided because of the nuisance.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top