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Hostess Etiquette

Do You Treat When You Have Guests in Town?

Last weekend, while my boyfriend was hosting a couple of his good friends, the four of us went to dinner. At the end of the meal, the check came, and one credit card went down — my boyfriend's. He jumped to pick up the tab, and, to my surprise, his guests didn't fight him on it. The next day for brunch, the same thing happened. At the end of the weekend, he had picked up several meal tabs for his guests, and by the end of it, I was a little confused — as far as I'm concerned this isn't totally typical.

When I asked him about it, he replied that he thought it was the right thing to do, since they had paid for plane tickets to come and see him. While I understand the logic to some degree, I've never expected a friend hosting me to cover meals during my stay. If they're cooking at home, fine, but otherwise, I usually split meals out. On some occasions, I'll treat the host as a thank you for letting me stay, but I don't anticipate having my expenses covered. Tell me, what's your take — if you're hosting, are you also treating?

Join The Conversation
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 7 years
I am kind of in between seeing as I am playing host next week! My gf is coming from across the pond for the first time in i think 5 years! So i am making all but one meal and I am for sure paying for all the food. We are going out one night and I am probably going to get her to chip in on the bill, but I am FOR SURE going to try to buy all the drinks when we go out later! I would want the same back if I visited her - so treat others the way you would like to be treated!
Kellanawida Kellanawida 7 years
I'd pay for a couple of meals, but I doubt I'd pay for anything else unless it was a special occasion like a birthday.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Usually we'll pay for a meal or two, but we wouldn't probably treat them to EVERY meal. That seems a bit excessive in my opinion.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 7 years
I'm in the both camp, I usually offer to pay regardless if I'm the guest or host and then we decide how to split it for the visit...
amber512 amber512 7 years
I could see paying for dinner that first night, but otherwise I wouldn't.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
With my husband and I, generally, yes.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
When I go visit my friends, especially who live in vacation destinations like Hawaii, LA, or new york, I feel like I should pick up the tabs (and usually do) because they are the ones hosting me... weird.
LilaD LilaD 7 years
My friend came to visit last weekend and I had this same dilemma. On the one hand, the friend had bought a plane ticket, but on the other, I'm not rich! So I paid for several things, we split others, and then I tried to keep costs down in general. It's a good idea to pay for a couple of meals, tickets, etc. but I don't think you should feel obligated to pay for it all.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
If they have flown in or driven a great distance, like bigestivediscuit, I would maybe treat for one meal, maybe two. Or if we all go grocery shopping for dinner ingredients I would also try to pick up that tab (though I know my girls would never go for it, or would at least insist on buying the booze to be fair). But I agree, after 1-2 meals out, that's just taking advantage. I can't believe the friends wouldn't have jumped in. and I certainly also think that as a "thank you" for having the guests, they should at least offer to foot one bill, as well. that's what I would do.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 7 years
I think for one meal, definitely, yes. Maybe even two. At least, that's my opinion. But for all? That's a bit much. After 1-2 meals, it's taking advantage. Guests who are staying over should factor in food + activities expenses into their trip. Just because they've paid to come see you doesn't mean you have to foot the bill.
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