Ask Dear Prudence: Splitting A Check

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All this month, Emily Yoffe, Dear Prudence columnist for Slate takes listeners questions on thorny ethical and etiquette questions and offers her advice.

This week: Does "hosting" imply picking up the tab for restaurant meals and is there a good way to handle check-splitting when people of different means ... and different tastes are involved?  

  • Have advice about this situation? Post it below!
  • Need advice?  Post your own dilemma here and maybe you'll join Emily on the air next week!

Some of the advice that came in during today's conversation about the bill-splitting conundrum. 

  • Emily: When you hear that the event is at a restaurant, you should try to get the payment policy clarified.
  • Emily: At the restaurant, talk to the waiter, explain the situation, and ask for a separate check. (Only if you don’t think lots of others are going to do this as well)
  • Caller Karen: You have to ask, even though it may be uncomfortable: “are you asking me as your guest, or are we splitting the check.” 
  • Caller Jackie: “Be honest, and just put your money on the table and move on.” Emily agrees: You can proactively say how much you think you owe by giving the money you think you owe to the host before the check arrives or the awkward situations arises.

Got more advice? Keep posting yours in the comments.