Years ago, I was on a business trip. The people I was meeting with were coming to town well after dinner, so I was on my own. The hotel had a nice little happy hour, and I was making small talk with a number of people that I learned were there for the same reason, a real estate conference. They worked for the same company, but hadn’t known each other as they were from different parts of the US. The happy hour came to an end, and I was thinking of where I’d be eating when the group said I was welcome to join, they knew me as well as anyone else there.
I was at dinner with 11 Realtors, long before I had my license, but I had always found the industry interesting. We were ordering drinks when I heard someone tell the waitress, “We’d like separate checks.” I knew this would pretty awful for the waitress, and tried to talk the group out of it. The first objection was easy to address, what if someone had an extra drink? I said I only planned to have one, but even if two people decided to get two drinks each, my share would be less than $2 extra. Then, how, exactly, do we split the check? I thought realtors knew a bit of math, at least the easy stuff. With 12 people, I said it would be easy, we each pay 10% of the check, resulting in 120% of the money including a decent tip. As a group, they weren’t having it. Funny thing, in the end the range from low to high was about $2, not as if a dieter ordered a $12 salad, and someone else, a $40 steak.
When you go out with friends, how do you split the bill? Separate checks, 50/50, or do you do the math to nearest penny?