Dining out with a group of friends or out of town relatives is supposed to be a fun experience - until the check comes and we all start itemizing what we ordered to split the check. That's when the evening turns into a crying, arguing mess.

To avoid any tears or hard feelings, here are some simple tips on check-splitting etiquette:

If someone offers to treat:

If someone in your group offers to pick up the tab, always offer to tip the server. Your host may turn you down, but at least the offer was made.

Warn your server:

If you know the check will have to be split between multiple people, make sure you let your server know before you even order drinks. This can be a pain at some restaurants, so giving the server a heads-up can save you a lot of time and make his or her job a lot easier.

Pick the math wiz of your group to split the check:

If you know someone at your table is great with numbers elect him or her to do the math after the check is brought to you. Don't forget to include sales tax and tip.

Agree to an even split:

If everyone in your party orders about the same priced entree and had the same amount of equally priced drinks, make the decision to just split the bill evenly. Again, don't forget tax and tip. You can make this suggestion to your crew as you sit down.

Surf & Turf vs. Chicken tenders:

Sometimes someone in your party might not be able to afford an expensive meal, but still wants to enjoy the company of the group. In this case they decide to order one of the less expensive menu items. Don't punish these people because they wanted to spend time with you. If this is you, make sure to let everyone know before the meal and tell your server to bring you a separate check.

Your phone is a valuable tool:

Don't forget your phone does more than let you post pictures of your meal to social media, it also has a calculator to help you split up the check or calculate the tip.


  • Never tip in coins - you're not a child buying candy.
  • Never under tip because you expect everyone else to over tip - everyone should leave an equal amount.
  • Never argue with your server to try to change a restaurant's policy - the server didn't create the rule and therefore can't change it. Plus you make yourself look bad by arguing something that everyone has to abide by.

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