Author Topic: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner  (Read 12547 times)

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VorFemme

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2010, 05:18:17 PM »
I went to MY birthday party with a group (okay, two of us were having a birthday but that was announced when the event was planned and at the beginning of the party) - I ordered within my means (cash on hand - they didn't take checks and I was running too late to run down the street a mile to the ATM & back).  

The check was split and we were told that we "owed" about a dollar and a half more than I had planned to spend - not much but enough to be embarrassing when I was about 40 cents short (found some loose change in the bottom of my purse).  My neighbor remembered that it was my party, too, and put in the extra change - grinned & told me it was my present.

I've gone out again with that group - but only when I was going to be able to pay for myself as we went into the buffet or I had arranged with the waiter to "secede from the group's check" (I like that turn of phrase from the article).  

I know almost exactly how he felt that night because I felt the same way (got there after the people I knew were already seated at the other end of the table & surrounded) so I took a seat at the end of the table where I knew no one.............I was lucky enough to learn my lesson for about a tenth of the cost, though.  No one ordered expensive wine!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Squeaks

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2010, 05:20:26 PM »
It sounds like what he has a problem with is equally splitting a check.  That being the case, he needs to learn to speak up and request an "every (wo)man for her/himself" setup, as his other friend did.

I've actually tried this more than once and have been told (more than once) that the restaurant would not split the checks that many times. They'd be happy to do it if people were asking to split checks 2 ways, but not 10 ways.

So, the inability to split the check sometimes leads to trying to split the check yourself which inevitably leads to disputes as one person with a cell phone calculator tries to figure out who ordered the 3 long island iced teas.


Nothing wrong with that.  At all.   Restaurants are being lazy (or they know they get more money) by not splitting the check.  If it take an extra half hour of debate and holding a table to get it worked out, that is the restaurants problem, not yours. Let them reap the the consequences of their policy.  As far as i am concerned if they wont do it than they are expecting us to do it ourselves, if it takes time it takes time.  

Frankly if more people would just follow through and do this, I suspect many restaurants would rethink the no separate checks idea.  

  




Allyson

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2010, 05:21:25 PM »
Luckily my group doesn't seem to operate like this--birthday happenings range between the party, clubbing, or dinner (for my last birthday, my best friend cooked dinner for 6 of us, it was amazing!) At the 'dinner at a restaurant' we always get our own meals, and I've never had an issue with the staff not wanting to let us all pay separately. Maybe it's different in different areas? What if you mention beforehand 'and we'll all be paying for our own food'. That seems to be the norm among my friends/age group (mid twenties). I don't think I've ever seen everyone split the check!

lolane

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2010, 05:23:14 PM »
It sounds like what he has a problem with is equally splitting a check.  That being the case, he needs to learn to speak up and request an "every (wo)man for her/himself" setup, as his other friend did.

I've actually tried this more than once and have been told (more than once) that the restaurant would not split the checks that many times. They'd be happy to do it if people were asking to split checks 2 ways, but not 10 ways.

So, the inability to split the check sometimes leads to trying to split the check yourself which inevitably leads to disputes as one person with a cell phone calculator tries to figure out who ordered the 3 long island iced teas.


Nothing wrong with that.  At all.   Restaurants are being lazy (or they know they get more money) by not splitting the check.  If it take an extra half hour of debate and holding a table to get it worked out, that is the restaurants problem, not yours. Let them reap the the consequences of their policy.  As far as i am concerned if they wont do it than they are expecting us to do it ourselves, if it takes time it takes time.  

Frankly if more people would just follow through and do this, I suspect many restaurants would rethink the no separate checks idea.  

  

While I definitely agree with you on this, and believe me, I've taken as much time as I've needed to get things like this worked out, it's still not how I'd wish to spend my evening. I think the best solution is, for those of us who hate this sort of thing is to try and attend as few of them as possible. For those who don't mind them, have fun!


WillyNilly

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2010, 05:27:49 PM »
It sounds like what he has a problem with is equally splitting a check.  That being the case, he needs to learn to speak up and request an "every (wo)man for her/himself" setup, as his other friend did.

I've actually tried this more than once and have been told (more than once) that the restaurant would not split the checks that many times. They'd be happy to do it if people were asking to split checks 2 ways, but not 10 ways.

So, the inability to split the check sometimes leads to trying to split the check yourself which inevitably leads to disputes as one person with a cell phone calculator tries to figure out who ordered the 3 long island iced teas.


Nothing wrong with that.  At all.   Restaurants are being lazy (or they know they get more money) by not splitting the check.  If it take an extra half hour of debate and holding a table to get it worked out, that is the restaurants problem, not yours. Let them reap the the consequences of their policy.  As far as i am concerned if they wont do it than they are expecting us to do it ourselves, if it takes time it takes time.  

Frankly if more people would just follow through and do this, I suspect many restaurants would rethink the no separate checks idea.  


It might be regional but I think if people started holding up tables for half an hour with a large group trying to nickle & dime a bill plenty of restaurants in my area (NYC) would just stop seating tables of 10 unless they had secured the table with a credit card (as many restaurants already require for large groups).

Its not a restaurant being lazy to have a limit to how many checks a table can have, its called business - extra checks take time, are more work for the staff (timing one check to have all the food at once is less communication to an already harried kitchen staff, whereas making sure the kitchen knows these 5 separate bills all have to be ready at the same time...) plus it means they can't as easily add on the large group gratuity, which means the waiter, who is working extra hard, because yes one table of 10 is more work then 5 tables of 2, might get royally stiffed.

Squeaks

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2010, 05:28:19 PM »
It sounds like what he has a problem with is equally splitting a check.  That being the case, he needs to learn to speak up and request an "every (wo)man for her/himself" setup, as his other friend did.

I've actually tried this more than once and have been told (more than once) that the restaurant would not split the checks that many times. They'd be happy to do it if people were asking to split checks 2 ways, but not 10 ways.

So, the inability to split the check sometimes leads to trying to split the check yourself which inevitably leads to disputes as one person with a cell phone calculator tries to figure out who ordered the 3 long island iced teas.


Nothing wrong with that.  At all.   Restaurants are being lazy (or they know they get more money) by not splitting the check.  If it take an extra half hour of debate and holding a table to get it worked out, that is the restaurants problem, not yours. Let them reap the the consequences of their policy.  As far as i am concerned if they wont do it than they are expecting us to do it ourselves, if it takes time it takes time.  

Frankly if more people would just follow through and do this, I suspect many restaurants would rethink the no separate checks idea.  


While I definitely agree with you on this, and believe me, I've taken as much time as I've needed to get things like this worked out, it's still not how I'd wish to spend my evening. I think the best solution is, for those of us who hate this sort of thing is to try and attend as few of them as possible. For those who don't mind them, have fun!


Guess I am just more stubborn and patient I guess.


I did have another idea as to how to possibly convince them to do separate checks.   Say "Ohh well in that case ill just not order,  if i get thirsty i'll go to the bar and pay directly there for a drink"  Seeing their tip not only evaporate but go to someone else, might cause people to pause.  

And again, I'm stubborn, I would have no issue with this.  Nor do I find it rude.



immadz

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2010, 05:31:34 PM »
One answer for this. Use the billmonk service to share the bill after one person pays. I think dutch parties are the norm in my group and as long as you knew before hand what was going on, you can always decline the invite rather than have a miserable time.


Squeaks

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2010, 05:35:03 PM »
It sounds like what he has a problem with is equally splitting a check.  That being the case, he needs to learn to speak up and request an "every (wo)man for her/himself" setup, as his other friend did.

I've actually tried this more than once and have been told (more than once) that the restaurant would not split the checks that many times. They'd be happy to do it if people were asking to split checks 2 ways, but not 10 ways.

So, the inability to split the check sometimes leads to trying to split the check yourself which inevitably leads to disputes as one person with a cell phone calculator tries to figure out who ordered the 3 long island iced teas.


Nothing wrong with that.  At all.   Restaurants are being lazy (or they know they get more money) by not splitting the check.  If it take an extra half hour of debate and holding a table to get it worked out, that is the restaurants problem, not yours. Let them reap the the consequences of their policy.  As far as i am concerned if they wont do it than they are expecting us to do it ourselves, if it takes time it takes time.  

Frankly if more people would just follow through and do this, I suspect many restaurants would rethink the no separate checks idea.  


It might be regional but I think if people started holding up tables for half an hour with a large group trying to nickle & dime a bill plenty of restaurants in my area (NYC) would just stop seating tables of 10 unless they had secured the table with a credit card (as many restaurants already require for large groups).

Its not a restaurant being lazy to have a limit to how many checks a table can have, its called business - extra checks take time, are more work for the staff (timing one check to have all the food at once is less communication to an already harried kitchen staff, whereas making sure the kitchen knows these 5 separate bills all have to be ready at the same time...) plus it means they can't as easily add on the large group gratuity, which means the waiter, who is working extra hard, because yes one table of 10 is more work then 5 tables of 2, might get royally stiffed.

Getting a credit card up front might go a long way to people not doing this in the first place, but it can still lead to debates of who owes what.    

And to be honest your reason for them doing it this way is actually in deed laziness. . . i.e. trying to do less work.  It may be more work to co-ordinate, but it still can be done, I also don't see why they can't still add on the tip on separate bills.    Do I want the waitress to get stiffed?  No, not at all,  but if some cheep skate does not pony up and i get stiffed because the restaurant will not do separate checks, im sure not going to tip more than a penny more than the mandatory cuz i am already paying too much.  Had i had my own check, i would have been far more generous.




 

WillyNilly

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2010, 05:40:30 PM »
Quote

Guess I am just more stubborn and patient I guess.


I did have another idea as to how to possibly convince them to do separate checks.   Say "Ohh well in that case ill just not order,  if i get thirsty i'll go to the bar and pay directly there for a drink"  Seeing their tip not only evaporate but go to someone else, might cause people to pause.  

And again, I'm stubborn, I would have no issue with this.  Nor do I find it rude.


Again might be regional but in NYC many places will charge you for just sitting at the table.  Lots of restaurants have discreet signs or notes on their menus saying that even if you don't order if you are sitting there, there will be a plate charge.  Many have plate sharing fees too.

This is their business and every seat is their real estate that should be making them money.  Its not a public atrium - if you want to sit you are welcome to find an atrium, there are lots throughout the city, but in a restaurant you are expected to buy something... or barring that, at least pay something.

So you could sit there and only order drinks, or even only order an appetizer, but if you are sitting at their table, especially if its busy night, you will get a check even if you order nothing (and in reality the person who orders nothing probably eats the table bread, and partakes in having their water glass filled numerous times, and the flatware and glass and napkin still need to be cleared and cleaned, etc, so its not like "oh its free for me to sit here!" because its not, its costing the them the seat which could go to a paying customer, an its costing them in they are still serving you and providing for you).

C0mputerGeek

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2010, 05:42:11 PM »
Getting a credit card up front might go a long way to people not doing this in the first place, but it can still lead to debates of who owes what.    

And to be honest your reason for them doing it this way is actually in deed laziness. . . i.e. trying to do less work.  It may be more work to co-ordinate, but it still can be done, I also don't see why they can't still add on the tip on separate bills.    Do I want the waitress to get stiffed?  No, not at all,  but if some cheep skate does not pony up and i get stiffed because the restaurant will not do separate checks, im sure not going to tip more than a penny more than the mandatory cuz i am already paying too much.  Had i had my own check, i would have been far more generous.

I've always assumed it was a limit of whatever software the restaurant used to manage the checks. I've eaten at places that would not split the bill. I've also eaten at places that would not provide more than 4 separate bills for the table.

MadMadge43

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2010, 05:44:44 PM »
I am so glad I am past the birthday DINNER phase. We are now mostly grown up and have our own houses and actually host our own parties.

But during this phase I was mad after every single one I went too. Me and two other friends got stuck with an additional $480 tab we had to split. The birthday girls work friends came, ordered and each threw in a $20 to the pot. But they had each ordered $60 worth of food once it was all tallied.

And for the love of all that is holy, why does no one ever remember to add the tax to their total??? $50 check plus $10 for tip is NOT enough, you need to add another 10% for the tax.

WillyNilly

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2010, 05:47:47 PM »
It sounds like what he has a problem with is equally splitting a check.  That being the case, he needs to learn to speak up and request an "every (wo)man for her/himself" setup, as his other friend did.

I've actually tried this more than once and have been told (more than once) that the restaurant would not split the checks that many times. They'd be happy to do it if people were asking to split checks 2 ways, but not 10 ways.

So, the inability to split the check sometimes leads to trying to split the check yourself which inevitably leads to disputes as one person with a cell phone calculator tries to figure out who ordered the 3 long island iced teas.


Nothing wrong with that.  At all.   Restaurants are being lazy (or they know they get more money) by not splitting the check.  If it take an extra half hour of debate and holding a table to get it worked out, that is the restaurants problem, not yours. Let them reap the the consequences of their policy.  As far as i am concerned if they wont do it than they are expecting us to do it ourselves, if it takes time it takes time.  

Frankly if more people would just follow through and do this, I suspect many restaurants would rethink the no separate checks idea.  


It might be regional but I think if people started holding up tables for half an hour with a large group trying to nickle & dime a bill plenty of restaurants in my area (NYC) would just stop seating tables of 10 unless they had secured the table with a credit card (as many restaurants already require for large groups).

Its not a restaurant being lazy to have a limit to how many checks a table can have, its called business - extra checks take time, are more work for the staff (timing one check to have all the food at once is less communication to an already harried kitchen staff, whereas making sure the kitchen knows these 5 separate bills all have to be ready at the same time...) plus it means they can't as easily add on the large group gratuity, which means the waiter, who is working extra hard, because yes one table of 10 is more work then 5 tables of 2, might get royally stiffed.

Getting a credit card up front might go a long way to people not doing this in the first place, but it can still lead to debates of who owes what.    

And to be honest your reason for them doing it this way is actually in deed laziness. . . i.e. trying to do less work.  It may be more work to co-ordinate, but it still can be done, I also don't see why they can't still add on the tip on separate bills.    Do I want the waitress to get stiffed?  No, not at all,  but if some cheep skate does not pony up and i get stiffed because the restaurant will not do separate checks, im sure not going to tip more than a penny more than the mandatory cuz i am already paying too much.  Had i had my own check, i would have been far more generous.
 

I guess we have a different definition of "lazy".  I think not wanting to do your job is lazy.  But I think not wanting to a whole lot extra work for no more compensation to not be lazy, but rather quite reasonable.  Splitting checks and getting the kitchen staff on board with that, is not a default part of a waiter's job, its an above & beyond.  Its nice if they do, but one table is one table, is still just one table and expecting it to be one check is not unreasonable of the person waiting on you.

Now I have been to many restaurants who are happy to give multiple checks... for a fee.  Which is to say 1 check, is just the check and maybe a gratuity.  But if you want multiple checks you need to pay a split check fee (I've seen this range for $2.50 per check to $10 per check).  So thats a possible consequence too - too many large parties holding up splitting a check will end up just creating a situation where everyone gets a separate check and has to pay extra anyway.

MadMadge43

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2010, 05:48:54 PM »
Quote
And to be honest your reason for them doing it this way is actually in deed laziness. . . i.e. trying to do less work.  It may be more work to co-ordinate, but it still can be done, I also don't see why they can't still add on the tip on separate bills.    Do I want the waitress to get stiffed?  No, not at all,  but if some cheep skate does not pony up and i get stiffed because the restaurant will not do separate checks, im sure not going to tip more than a penny more than the mandatory cuz i am already paying too much.  Had i had my own check, i would have been far more generous.

It's not laziness, believe me, there is nothing lazy about waiting on 12 half drunk 30 year old that are all trying look posh and don't really know how to do it.

The problem comes with the ordering. Trying to keep track while 12 people are all randomly ordering, or people ordering for other people causes a mess. And then trying to figure out mistakes, "I didn't order the salad, she did- well, yeah I ordered it, but it was for her. Oh she already paid and left? well too bad I'm not paying for it." Happens way more than you'd ever think.

MadMadge43

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2010, 05:51:45 PM »
Oh and by the time you enter the first order and by the time you've entered the 12th, the first order is already up and then you get complaints that the food is cold or you served at different times. And if there are multiple registers other waiters are entering food in the kitchen and their tables will be prepared between your orders really throwing of the timing.

Squeaks

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Re: Under no circumstances will I be attending your stupid birthday dinner
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2010, 05:57:19 PM »
Quote

Guess I am just more stubborn and patient I guess.


I did have another idea as to how to possibly convince them to do separate checks.   Say "Ohh well in that case ill just not order,  if i get thirsty i'll go to the bar and pay directly there for a drink"  Seeing their tip not only evaporate but go to someone else, might cause people to pause.  

And again, I'm stubborn, I would have no issue with this.  Nor do I find it rude.


Again might be regional but in NYC many places will charge you for just sitting at the table.  Lots of restaurants have discreet signs or notes on their menus saying that even if you don't order if you are sitting there, there will be a plate charge.  Many have plate sharing fees too.

This is their business and every seat is their real estate that should be making them money.  Its not a public atrium - if you want to sit you are welcome to find an atrium, there are lots throughout the city, but in a restaurant you are expected to buy something... or barring that, at least pay something.

So you could sit there and only order drinks, or even only order an appetizer, but if you are sitting at their table, especially if its busy night, you will get a check even if you order nothing (and in reality the person who orders nothing probably eats the table bread, and partakes in having their water glass filled numerous times, and the flatware and glass and napkin still need to be cleared and cleaned, etc, so its not like "oh its free for me to sit here!" because its not, its costing the them the seat which could go to a paying customer, an its costing them in they are still serving you and providing for you).

Depending on the plate charge there is a good change id just ask "so can i get that on a separate check?"  And yes, there is a good chance i would pay it.  Also, i did mention going to the bar to buy drinks directly, hence they are getting money from me and i am indeed a paying customer.  No i would not eat the bread in this circumstance it would not feel right.  I promise you I am not all evil.  

Also, the seat could not go to a paying customer if it is already at that table.  If they give me crap about a plate charge ill happily leave if that is really what they want.  It is not like they are going to fill the seat at a group table.  In fact id likely push for the entire group to leave then they really have lost money.  I just would not feel comfortable in many cases with the joint check. If that means walking out, I walk out.  If they really want to say "we won't let you pay but you have to leave if you will not order" I'll leave.  I am not going to be bullied, and i just don't see having an empty chair at a table being good for them.  

Or, they can just split the check make money and keep a customer happy.   This is not a case of not wanting to buy something, it is a case of wanting to pay for only my order on my credit card.  If it is really too much work to accommodate that ill grab something on the way home and the caveman's "I don't have much of an appetite thank you" line.  Heck id likely toss out the line "If i agree to an automatic tip of (higher than the group charge) will you give me a separate check?"  Not not to be snarky, but to acknowledge that it is additional work, and work I am actually willing to pay for.  

Another thing i might try is to see if they would waive the sit fee if i purchased a gift certificate on my own card of a greater value. Which would seem fair and reasonable to them.  Then they are guaranteed at least the cost of the plate fee and may end up with more as we all know people tend to spend more than is on a gift certificate.