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Etiquette For Splitting the Bill

Out to Dinner Etiquette: Do the Parents Pay?

When it comes to eating out with a group, families, significant others' families, etc., things can get tricky when it comes to picking up the check. In fact, a friend recently had her parents in town and asked a group of us to dinner to join them. When the check arrived, I think half the table just expected our friend's parents to have at it and made no effort to pull out their wallets or cards, while the rest of us did.

In any case, the division at the table became a little awkward till the rest of the group got the hint that just because they were the parental party didn't mean they were treating and threw in their cards to split the bill. In this case, it became apparent pretty quickly that these parents weren't hosting the dinner so much as joining the group. Still, I've been to plenty of dinners with friends' parents where parents take hosting duties pretty seriously and might even be insulted by an offer to split the check. So, ultimately it can be a tough situation to navigate — though I do suggest making the offer or attempt, even if you're refused. Now, I'm wondering what's your take — when it comes to dinners with your friends and parents or friends' parents, who's paying?


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