California Woman Warns About Paying for Group Meals

A California woman has warned about the horror stories that can take place if you choose to put your credit card down for your friends’ group dinner.

Group dinners are a staple part of birthdays and an enjoyable way to hang out with friends, but what happens when the server brings over the check?

According to TikToker @MareyaAsacia, that’s when you should never, ever offer your credit card.

Asacia posted a recent video explaining exactly why you should never be the credit card friend.

For her, the realization occurred when her best friend from out of town was having a birthday brunch.

Asacia drove the three hours for the brunch and met many of her friend’s other friends. The entire birthday meal was going perfectly until the check came, Asacia said.

“Some people are asking, ‘Can we split this?’ and the waiter’s like ‘Oh, you can’t split it at all,'” Asacia said.

A few people had left the event early and opted to leave cash for their part of the meal. But there still needed to be one person to put their card down for the group, with everyone else paying them back afterward.

“Everybody was really cool, so I really didn’t think anything of it,” Asacia said. “Everybody got really silent when we were talking about the bill, and personally I’m not the type of person that wants to sit in a situation like that.”

She put her debit card for the tab, expecting to pay only for her and the birthday girl’s portions of the meal. In the end though, Asacia said she was slighted well over $100.

Even though all the other brunch guests had access to her Apple Pay and Cashapp, many decided to leave without paying their portion of the taxes or tip.

Asacia said the people that left their cash did not leave anything for taxes or tip either.

“The point of this post is I think we need to bring back shame,” Asacia said. “How are you not ashamed of me paying for your portion of the bill when I barely know you and I’m the only person from out of town?”

“Moral of the story: I will never be that girl again.”

While refusing to pay your portion of a bill’s taxes and tip is a breach of typical group dining etiquette, it’s a common occurrence. While many peer to peer payment apps are available, people who have poor communication and know they can easily get away with not paying their full portion after the dinner make it likely.

According to Brent Metcalf, a licensed clinical social worker and owner of Tri-Star Counseling in Kingsport, Tennessee, these types of situations often lead to resentment and strained relationships within a group.

The only way to avoid these situations is to establish clear communication and expectations beforehand, he said.

“If no one wants to put their card down, addressing this hesitancy is essential,” Metcalf told Newsweek. “Suggest alternative solutions, such as everyone paying in cash, using a bill-splitting app, or designating a person to collect individual contributions before paying the bill.”

Friends dining out together should also consider the potential costs before choosing a restaurant. In some cases, it might work best to rotate the cost of the bill each time if the group dines out often and already trusts each other.

Thriveworks counselor Alexandra Cromer said the best option is usually just to ask for individual checks. But because that’s not always an option, communicating beforehand will be necessary.

“I always recommend discussing personal financial limits and spending preferences prior to going out,” Cromer told Newsweek. “You can also discuss the group’s comfort level with totalling receipts after the event and requesting money afterwards. Discussion and not being afraid to be direct and willing to compromise will help you preserve and protect boundaries and your friendships.”

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This story was originally published December 21, 2023, 4:10 PM.

source: star-telegram

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