POPSUGAR Food Dinner At a Birthday Dinner, Who Should Pay For the Meal? by partysugar 4/03/08 0 Shares Like us on Facebook Sign up for our daily newsletter > Source Read More EtiquettePartiesRestaurantsDinnerBirthdaysPoll Dinner 45 Late-Summer Dinners to Make Before the Season Ends Got 30 Minutes? Make This 5-Ingredient Summer Sauce The Lazy Girl's Guide to a Low-Cal Dinner Ditch the Pile of Dirty Dishes and Make This 1-Pan Vegetarian Meal Instead POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests. Get inspired with our daily newsletter DIY Food Vegetarian Home Love and Sex Tech Sign up with By signing up, I agree to the Terms and to receive emails from POPSUGAR. 5 years My father's 50th birthday is coming up and my siblings and I would like to take him to a higher end restaurant. We would also like to have some of his close friends attend, but neither of us have enough money to pay for everyone's bill. I would prefer just everyone pay their own way and my siblings and I would cover my father's bill. How should I go about inviting people? Is this a tacky idea? 6 years I ALWAYS pay for my own birthday dinner! It never fails! It's not that I want to pay for it, I guess I just have cheapo friends or something. AND If I didn't say HEY, were all gonna go get some dinner for my birthday, then there would be NO celebration whatsoever. I have good friends too, and no one will ever step up and pitch in a little to help. EVER! It hurts my heart cause if it were me in their situation, I will always step up and not make them pay! sharshar 7 years It's always been a tradition with me and my friends that the birthday guy/girl would pay for the dinner, and so far we've had no arguments about it (except maybe which restaurant we'll be booking and how many people should we invite when there are two birthday guys/girls). But it's also okay to call it off once in a while. There's not much pressure about birthday celebrations with my friends, which is why I love them. Haha. JaimeLeah526 7 years I think all the guests should pay their part and split the birthday girls portion of the bill. She shouldn't have to pay on her big day. jessy777 7 years On my 17th birthday my two best friends and I went out to eat dinner. They had offered to pay for me as a gift. When the bill came they fought over who had to pay the extra penny from the uneven split. I finally became so irritated that I paid the whole bill and left. I mostly spend my birthday with my family or boyfriend and they usually pay. If it is a group of friends I will offer to pay and I have always been turned down, since that night. My birthday is coming up on the 17th and I intend to spend a quite night with a few close friends and family. I am inviting people and I will pay for the meal because many of my nearest and dearest are traveling to be with me for my 24th birthday. yayITZdre 7 years when i have birthday dinners, i pay for it (or my parents=) bec. i invited them plus they give me gifts so its like im giving back to them, but if it is thrown for me...then i should be paid for. i-am-awesomeness 7 years Well I suppose it depends. Ya'll that answered before me are probably professionals and have good or acceptable jobs. College students just don't have the same amount of money to throw around, for lack of a better term. Why should someone who bought five different things pay the same as someone who bought nothing, or vice versa. And it depends on the place too. I don't think you would be all reaching for your wallets at a highbrow restaurant. But that's what we do at my school. We just all pass around the bill and take out our money and add it to the book, rounding up for tip. It's very fair that way. And we're all honest and not moochers. If someone tries to(it has been very rare), we call them on it. You pay your share. It's just good home training. i-am-awesomeness 7 years This happens a lot. In fact just last Friday I went to a birthday celebration for a friend who turned 21. We're all broke college students, but we're honest haha. We pay for what we ate and drank. I have never been in a situation where we split the bill equally amongst everyone, even people who didn't eat or drink. NEVER. We pay for what we want. Some of us who feel like being generous will chip in for the birthday boy/girl, so they don't have to pay. I don't see why people even bother to split the bill among everyone. People stop being cheap. That's not fair. If you can't afford something, don't go. It's that freakin' simple. Don't try to spread it out among everyone. uptown_girl 7 years When my friends and I go out for birthdays, usually it's the significant other that pays for the birthday person's meal. But if there is no significant other, SOMEONE always offers. That's just how we are. With my work buddies. It's all girls & 1 guy. And whenever it's one of the girls' birthdays, he buys that girl lunch. He does that he says because us girls take turns baking the cakes for the birthdays (his included!). cvandoorn 7 years With my friends in Indonesia and Singapore, the birthday girl/guy pays. With my friends here, we either split the bill and pay for the birthday person, or we each (including the bday person) pay our own share. I personally don't want the bday person to pay for anything. But I hate freeloaders at parties. AmberHoney 7 years Everyone split the bill except the bday person. Have we all lost our minds? sfbutterfly24 7 years This is why I only to go to big dinner's with really close friends! All of my friends hate the calculating the bill part (it so can kill a good time) so one of us just throws down our card and the next time someone else does it. Kimpossible 7 years I also agree with the others who say it depends on who set up the party and who invited who etc. Of course even if the birthday girl/guy invited everyone out, it's a very nice and generous offer for the guests to split the bill, it should not be expected. aimeeb 7 years Split it between everyone. :) nancita 7 years I'm a fan of everyone splitting the bill and covering the birthday boy or girl's meal. However, the birthday dinner recipient needs to express the appropriate amount of gratitude! I've been at dinner where the bday guy didn't really seem to care or really say thanks. Berlin 7 years If it's an extravagant restaurant that the birthday guy/girl choose, then they may be paying their own way depending on who is invited...that is if it's the sort of place you don't usually frequent. But if it's the type of place you would go usually, then yes I feel that everyone should pay their own way and then split the birthday's one. sonnabobble 7 years i agree with silly3. it depends on who did the inviting. j2e1n9 7 years I agree that it depends on the organizer or the inviter! SillyGirl 7 years Depends on how it was organized. When I organized a birthday dinner for myself last year, I put all the drinks on my tab, and everyone split (including me) the meals for what they ate. But at party people organized and threw for me I let them pay for my meal. If there is an actual invitation/host (aka more than an evite), then that person pays and one should not be expected to chip in. Renees3 7 years Ooooh worst thing happened at my birthday a couple yeas ago. With my friends we always pitch in for the birthday person. Always have. So we go to dinner, big party and have a great time. Food comes out, and my boyfriend doesnt get his. We wait for a while and finally ask the waiter what's going on and he plays like he didn't notice that Brendan didn't have any food. Needless to say, his meal was comp'd. Well everyone is done and some people start to leave. a couple that I thought were cool, left $20 on the table. For both their meals, both their beers, tip. That was MAYBE half their bill. When I called her, because I thought maybe another $20 fell or something, she said Oh No, we ordered the cheapest things on the menu, that covers us. Uhm the cheapest thing on the menu was $15 how could that cover both of them? Anyway, the night ends with just a couple of us there. Somehow we got screwed and between my boyfriends free dinner and it being my birthday, we should have only had to pay for drinks and tip and such. We paid $150. and then the waiter accidentally double charged his CC. it sucked. Random2 7 years For my last birthday, my parents paid for Chinese (it was a family supper and my boyfriend was there), but generally, if I go out with friends, we all pay for our own meals. If the birthday girl/ guy has a date, the date generally pays for them and if not, we all chip in for their meal. fashionhore 7 years I am a firm believer in whoever asked or (is throwing the party, in this case) should do the paying. You can't take full responsibility for planning a dinner or party and wimp-out when it comes time for paying the check! MsMO 7 years I agree with everybody, if it's friends wanting to take the b-day person out they should pay, if she/he invited you then it would be nice to pick up the tab for the b-day person but shouldn't be expected. I do think each individual should pay for themselves (b-day person excluded) it just makes things less awkward. mjane79 7 years Yep, I agree with ilanac, it depends on who invited whom and how the invitation was worded. If you told someone, "Hey, let us take you out for your birthday", then I would expect those people to pay for the birthday person. If the person who was having the birthday said they wanted to meet up at a restaurant/bar for their birthday, I would expect either everyone to pay for their own or the birthday person to pay, depending on how they told everyone about it and where they were going. randomname12345 7 years I think it depends on where you are in life, too. In college, my friends and I would go out to a restaurant to celebrate birthdays. Everyone would pay their own way, but buy the birthday person's dinner (and/or drink it was their 21st). If you're earning an income, I think it's more appropriate to pay for your guests.