Sharing a meal with friends can be great fun, but nobody enjoys those last 10 minutes when we have to split the bill. Read on to see which character you are.
This friend will take control of the bill, sorting out exactly what each person consumed and in what fractions. Armed with a calculator and mystical formulas, the Minister of Finance will tell you that you owe exactly R165.36 because you had a burger, chips and a third of the bottle of water, plus a 12.5% tip for the server. He will also inform you that this is 7% more expensive than lunch the last time you met up, and that the bill prediction for next quarter is not looking positive.
Does anyonelike the Picky Eater? Their order is broken down into the tiniest slivers of instructions, while the poor waiter takes down the order. The Picky Eater brings the same attention to detail to the bill, and because they know exactly what they ate (and when and how), they know the correct amount to contribute. Nothing more and nothing less.
The Billionaire wants to pay the full bill for everyone, but only if everyone knows that they are paying. They will snatch the bill from the waitress, insist loudly and with a nervous laugh that “it’s my treat”. Then they will wave the bill folder violently in the air like airport ground control so that the whole restaurant can witness their generosity. A nice friend to have? Perhaps…
A nice enough friend to have around, but as soon as the bill comes around things can get ugly when the Social Drinker is involved. She is only too happy to accept your offer of a splash or two of wine, but she lives by the rule “If I didn’t order the wine, I don’t pay for any”. A strange logic, so keep an eye out for the Social Drinker in the earlier parts of the meal. That’s where the trouble starts.
Some say that Lenin is the best kind of friend to have, while others (we’re looking at you, Picky Eater) may not agree. Comrade Lenin dictates that the bill should be divided equally between all friends so that everyone contributes exactly the same amount of money to the bill. This is certainly the fastest way to sort out the bill, but is it the best?
The Gambler came here for a good time, not to squabble over the bill. She reclines in her seat as the Minister of Finance pours over the details. She is only too happy to let the others sort out the money stuff: she’s got better things to do than count pennies. She throws down a debit card, nonchalantly as if she’s just won at blackjack and this is Monte Carlo. Take my money, she seems to say.
The Business Owner is an affable chap – great company, a generous tipper and probably knows all about the wines of southern Portugal. He’ll contribute fairly to the bill without a second thought, but as soon as he sees a flutter of a white thermal bill printout his eyes glaze over: the monster is unleashed. Must… keep… the… slip, he grunts as he lurches for the receipt, stashing it away for his tax returns, guarding it jealously. Weird.
The Codebreaker is closely related to the Picky Eater. He must and will decipher and translate the bill to the whole table. No line item will escape his scrutiny, not even the added VAT at the bottom. With suspicious eyes, he will ask the waitress to explain every line item, even the one that reads “Xtra Avo”.
Which character are you when the bill comes around? Chat to us on Facebook where we continue the conversation.