EST. 2009

January 6, 2011

That Better Digestion

SOMETHING WE NEVER TALK ABOUT WITH CO-WORKERS AND FRIENDS in fear of seeming too frugal or exacting: how to handle the bill when group dining.

In many countries, splitting the bill means dividing the total cost equally amongst the number of diners, regardless of how much or how little each has consumed. In the Philippines, it's more common to do K.K.B. or kanya-kanyang bayad which means each person pays only for what they ordered.

But even with this setup, when ordering together at a restaurant or through delivery, someone usually gets stumped with handling the bill. And more often than not, that person also usually gets stumped with paying for part of everyone's share.

So how to go about dining in groups without placing someone on the losing end of bill-handling?

By actually being exacting. The prices of the items on the menu are not the only things we owe from the total. There's service or delivery charge, there's VAT, there's EVAT and there's the tip. Paying only the sum of the items we order doesn't cover for those. So before handing in exact amounts or taking change from the pot, it may be best to first take all other charges into account.

Of course, with friends or acquaintances, someone may, as someone always does, offer to shoulder the extras. But in the same way that it's violating for a cab driver to take his own tip before it is given, it's only courteous to save someone the aggravation of having their offer taken before it is made.

Once in a while is fine to let things slide. But if, with my terrible math, I fail to give enough to cover my share, I'd appreciate being told. I'd also appreciate a friendly offer to shoulder the tip or hand over an unbroken bill as change.

And I'd be happy to offer the same.

We're friends after all. We're acquaintances after all. We're adults after all. We owe it to each other to have a good meal. And end it well too.

Illustration by Paul Blow,


naomuack said...

i love the photo :)
so sweet <3


Joyti said...

'The Bill' always a bit awkward, isn't it?
The illustration is so cute.

Ms.S said...

it reminds me on one of the episode from Friends
where Joey, Phoebe and Rachel only want to pay the share cus they were broke. :-D

In Jakarta, we only pay for the meal you order and I always add more for service charge and tax.

nonetheless.. it is always awkward feeling at the end of dinner when we get the bill.