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Bill splitting etiquette and how to avoid the awkwardness

Let’s set the scene, you’re out at dinner with a group – maybe it’s a work lunch, maybe they’re your besties, and maybe it’s a six-way blind date (you do you). You’ve had a good evening, but now the time has come to pay the bill. There are a few acceptable ways to handle the next few moments. Let’s run through some scenarios and discuss the etiquette and ease behind each bill-splitting method. 

The itemised split 

Combing through the bill and covering only the items you’ve had is a great way to ensure everyone pays their way. After all, if you had a salad and everyone else had a porterhouse, you’d be out of pocket on an even split. 

That being said, it can be tricky to handle, and many venues might not offer itemised bills due to the extra admin it involves. And the etiquette of this move depends on the group you’re with. It’s best to establish early on that it’s the preferred method to avoid an awkward calculation spree at the end.

Even split 

The egalitarian way. An even split sees every guest pays the same amount. It’s typically easier for venues to manage, but they still might limit how many ways a bill can be split, especially if you have a large group.   

Even splits are best practice with a group when you’ve more or less had the same items. It’s not ideal if some people had lobster and the others only had entrees.

The bank transfer 

Every group has that one person who shouts bills and you all pay them back (funny transfer description mandatory). 

This form of payment is the most straightforward for venues to manage but can be a pain for the person who always shouts the meal. Inevitably they will be out of pocket when someone forgets how much they spent. 

The tit-for-tat 

Going meal for meal with a group is an excellent way to evenly doing things, but it’s best kept to close friendships. In terms of etiquette, it’s not a great move to shout fast food and then expect a high-end meal in return. Keep an eye on the friend who suggests cheap eats on their round.

However you like

The hospitality industry has seen a massive swing towards tech in recent years. In part, this was accelerated by Covid, when different ways to order and pay became a necessity. Now that life has somewhat returned to normal, the ease and benefits of these technologies haven’t been forgotten, and venues and customers alike are reaping the benefits. 

Hospitality tech has helped destroy the social awkwardness of bill splitting for diners and removed the admin hassle for venues. Mr Yum’s platform supports a Split & Pay feature, because everyone deserves a meal without a side of maths. After scanning a QR, guests can pay the bill in full, split evenly, pay for selected items or a custom amount via their preferred payment method. 

If you’re keen to see Mr Yum in your venue, be sure to book a demo