Last week I was out to sushi with a large group of people. When my friend suggested that we share a bunch of rolls and equally split the bill at the end of the meal, I hungrily agreed. The majority of the table was in, but the lovely couple seated to my right preferred to order on a separate bill. While this can lead to an awkward meal, the duo knew exactly how to handle the situation. To check out their advice to elegantly get out of the group order,


  • Upon arrival at the restaurant, tell the hostess or waiter you want a separate bill. Splitting bills at the start of the meal, instead of the end, is much easier on the waitstaff.
  • Don't feel the need to reveal your reasons for a personal bill to the group. No one wants to hear about your acid-reflux problem, disgust for mushrooms, financial instabilities, or loss of appetite.
  • Take part in the group conversation. Speaking with only the person you are sharing the bill with will further isolate you from the group.
  • Tip the waitstaff well. They took the time to accommodate your needs as a customer so reward their kindness with generosity.

Did I forget something? Share your tips for gracefully requesting a separate bill below! Or simply get that group-dinner-bill-nightmare off your chest in the comments below.