Whether you're taking a client to dinner, grabbing lunch with a new friend, or sharing a meal with your in-laws, awkwardness can immediately settle in when the bill comes and everyone stares, silently wondering, "Who pays?"
Several potential scenarios can play out:
Should you split the check evenly?
Should everyone pay for their own meal?
Is it expected that your father-in-law will pick up the check?
Every dining situation, from a birthday dinner to a double date, commands its own nuances when it comes to handling the check.
We spoke with three experts Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, David Weliver, founder of financial advice website Money Under 30, and Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder and president of The Etiquette School of New York to definitively decide how to handle the bill in 10 common situations.
这次，我们与3位专家聊了聊如何解决10种常见就餐情形中的买单问题。他们分别是：全国礼仪专家及德克萨斯州礼仪学院的所有者黛安•戈特斯曼、金融建议网站Money Under 30的创始人大卫•韦利弗、纽约礼仪学校创始人及校长帕特里夏•纳皮尔•菲茨帕特里克。
"Other than business meals, there are no hard and fast rules for splitting the check," Napier-Fitzpatrick told Business Insider. In business, it's protocol for the person extending the invitation to pay.”
In terms of all other different scenarios, I would say there are certain guidelines, things one would do to make sure they didn't feel taken advantage of and that they're being considerate when it comes to paying for meals."
Read on to check out who's turn it is to pick up the bill when, and avoid those awkward "How do you wanna do this?" conversations for good.
Dinner with a date
Whoever asks for the date pays, regardless of gender.
Double Date Dinners
Split between couples, and whoever asked for each respective day pays.
Dinner with a boyfriend/girlfriend
Take turns treating each other, or split evenly.
The inviter should always pay. The businesses should pay when taking clients out.
Dinners with an acquaintance
Split evenly if the meals are closed in price. It’s okay to ask for separate checks if one person’s meal is much more expensive.
Dinner with a close friend
Split evenly if the meals are evenly in price. Sometimes close friends also take turns treating each other with the expectation that it will be one day reciprocated.
It’s the tradition for everyone to pitch in for the guest of honor, but if you throw your own celebration, other people are not expected to pay for you.
Dinners with a coworker
Each person usually pays for what they ordered.
Dinner with a closed family member
Parents usually pay for their adult children, unless a child wants to make a gesture and cover the whole bill. With your siblings, pay your own bills or take turns treating each other.
Dinner with in-laws
Handled on a case-by-case basis.
Typically, the most senior family member is expected to pay.
If the younger family members have much more means or want to make a special gesture, as in the case of meeting a boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents for the first time, they might pick up the check.