Splitting Dinner Bill

The meal has finished, the plates have been cleared and the glasses are empty. It’s at this point that the bill lands on the table, and so begins one of the more awkward situations of dining out: splitting the bill.

While bill splitting should be an easy enough affair if everyone splits the full amount plus the tip evenly among the amount of diners at the table, it can be an uncomfortable moment. This is because when we dine out, we often aren’t aware of what the others at the table are, or are not, consuming, especially when it comes to wine.

Having wine with dinner is one of life’s small pleasures, and ordering a bottle or two for the table is one of the best ways to affordably have a few glasses. But we have to remember that not everyone drinks, or at least not all the time.

Get the latest in beer, wine, and cocktail culture sent straight to your inbox.

If someone doesn’t drink the bottle of wine that’s ordered, it’s not right to ask those dining companions to help cover the cost of that pleasure. When you find yourself in a situation where one of your dining companions did not partake in the bottle ordered, the appropriate action is to subtract the cost of the bottle (or bottles) from the full bill, and split that cost only among the drinkers who shared it.

By doing this, you are displaying to your dining companions that you are thoughtful and aware. Plus you’re paying for your enjoyment of the bottle, not asking someone else to cover that enjoyment for you. Happy dining!