No matter how many times I write in this column that I truly believe the most appropriate way to behave when it comes to the check is by having one person pick it up and then figure out splitting it later, someone always tells me I’m wrong. “But what if the place offers to split the check,” they’ll say. “Or, what if I want to split the check because it’s easier than chasing my companion for their share?”
The arguments for those on the pro side of check splitting can often seem a bit endless. While I don’t think these points are totally without validity, I still think if you can avoid splitting it, then do so. It just makes the life of the restaurant easier.
That said, if you do wish to split the check, either because the server offered to or because you requested it, split it evenly and with as few cards as possible. Whenever you present a server with multiple cards, all with varying amounts to charge, it slows them down and creates a situation where a mistake could be made.
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It also looks a bit juvenile to have a bunch of adults out for drinks together, only to charge different amounts on their respective cards. If you have the means to drink out, you should accept that you will split the check evenly, even if you chose to have beers while your friends enjoyed cocktails. It’s tacky to nickel and dime your friends.