If you invite others out, should you foot the bill?

If you invite others out, should you foot the bill?

Do you think you should pay for the entire bill if you were the one to invite others out? We want to know what you regard as 'proper etiquette'.

DisobeyArt / iStock

Ah, the age-old question that's caused countless awkward fumbles at restaurant tables: who picks up the tab?

Traditionally, the etiquette dictated that the inviter pays, but times (and wallets) are changing. So, should this custom stay or should it go?

An invitation can be seen as an extension of hospitality, like inviting someone to your home. Picking up the bill shows you value their company and want to treat them.

If you extend a specific invitation to a fancy restaurant, it implies you're prepared to cover the cost. This can be a nice way to celebrate a special occasion.

Remember that not everyone has the same budget and if everyone pays their fair share, you can avoid financial strain or awkwardness. In 2024, traditional roles are evolving. Splitting the bill reflects a more egalitarian approach to dining out with friends or colleagues.

Miss Manners, known as the 'Queen of Etiquette' herself, offered a different perspective in her column.

Miss Manners makes a valid point. Extending an invitation with the implicit expectation of others paying is not ideal. It's better to be upfront and realistic about your budget.

So, how do you go about celebrating an occasion with those closest to you in an affordable manner? We’ve got some ideas: 

  • Happy Hour Hangout: Many restaurants offer fantastic happy hour deals. Gather your colleagues after work for drinks and appetisers, enjoying a social atmosphere without a full meal expense.

  • Themed Game Night: Host a game night at the office or someone's place. Provide snacks and drinks, and let the friendly competition (and camaraderie) commence!

  • Park and Picnic: Weather permitting, pack a picnic basket and head to a local park for a lunchtime celebration. Fresh air, good company, and a delicious homemade spread create a delightful (and free) gathering.

Remember, the true goal is to celebrate your achievement and bond. Your enthusiasm and genuine appreciation for their support will shine through, regardless of the setting.


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Image courtesy of iStock


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