Dear Snarky – Separate Checks Anyone?

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I have a group of girlfriends that go out to eat lunch together every Wednesday. My problem is one of the woman never pays her fair share of the lunch tab. We go out to eat at fairly nice places and when the bill comes she always says, “Let’s just split it.” That might work if she didn’t order the most expensive entrée on the menu and always has at least two glasses wine. Even when we ask for separate checks she makes up some excuse that she has to leave early and throws down a ten-dollar bill on the table like that’s going to cover her meal. It’s not like she doesn’t have the money either. Should we start being really blunt about it or just change our lunch date to Thursday and not tell her.

Signed,The Lunch Bunch

Dear Lunch Bunch,

My husband and I had this same problem with another couple. We would go out to dinner and they would have a whole lot of cocktails and lobster while we would share a pasta entrée and drink ice tea and then lo and behold they would always say, “Let’s split the check.” My solution was to quit going out to eat with them and invite them to our home for dinner. Sure, it was the chicken way out but we really liked their company just not their math skills.

My advice to you is to say upfront before anyone has ordered that everyone is getting separate checks AND I would ask the server for the checks as soon as all the orders have been placed so she gets it before she has a chance to make a run for it. If she does make a run for it – call her on it, like on her cell phone and ask her how she would like to pay for the rest of her bill. Hopefully, she will get the hint that you and your friends are done donating to her lunch fund.

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