A California woman warns against paying for group meals

A California woman warns against paying for group meals

A California woman warned of the horror stories that could happen if you choose to leave your credit card for your friends’ group dinner.

Group dinners are an essential part of Christmas and a fun way to spend time with friends, but what happens when the server brings the check?

According to TikToker @MareyaAsacia, at this time you should never present your credit card.

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

Eat in the restaurant
A group of people gathered around a wooden table under the shade, surrounded by lush greenery, near a body of water with a mountainous backdrop, Cafe o Lei restaurant at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu, Maui County, Hawaii, July 20, 2023.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

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

Asacia drove three hours to get lunch and met up with several of her friend’s other friends. Essentially she said the entire Christmas meal was going well until the check came.

“Some people are asking: Can we split this?” “Oh, you can’t split it at all,” said the waiter.

A few people left the event early and chose to leave cash for their portion of the meal. But one person still needs to put their card into the pool, and everyone must then pay it off.

“Everyone was really cool, so I didn’t really think anything of it,” Assia said. “Everyone got really quiet when we were talking about the bill, and I personally am not the type of person who wants to sit in a position like that.”

She put her debit card in the tab, expecting to only pay for the birthday girl’s portions of the meal. But in the end, Asacia said she was insulted by more than $100.

Although all the other lunch guests had access to Apple Pay and Cashapp, several decided to leave without paying their share of taxes or tips.

People who left money left nothing for taxes or tips, either, Bassia said.

“The point of this post is that I think we need to bring back the shame,” Essentially said. “How can you not be ashamed of me paying your share of the bill when I barely know you and I’m the only one from out of town?”

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

Although refusing to pay your tax and gratuity portion of the bill is a violation of typical group dining etiquette, it is common. Although many peer-to-peer payment apps are available, people with poor connectivity who know they can easily get away with not paying their full share after dinner make it bearable.

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 the group.

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

“If someone doesn’t want to give up their card, addressing that hesitation is essential,” Metcalf said. Newsweek. “Suggest alternative solutions, such as having everyone pay in cash, using an app to split bills, or appointing someone to collect individual contributions before paying the bill.”

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

Usually the best option is to just request individual checks, said Alexandra Cromer, a Thriveworks consultant. But since this is not always an option, communicating in advance will be necessary.

“I always recommend discussing personal financial limits and spending preferences before going out,” Cromer said. Newsweek. “You can also discuss the group’s comfort level through gross receipts after the event and asking for money afterward. Discussing and not being afraid to be direct and willing to compromise will help you maintain and protect your boundaries and friendships.”