Dear Urban Diplomat: should my guests offer to split the bill when we eat takeout together?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife and I invited another couple over for dinner, and we agreed to order in from Amaya, with each of us selecting a dish to share. The food arrived and I paid the $90 bill for expediency’s sake, assuming our friends would reimburse me for half. However, they left at the end of the night without offering to pay. Yes, we hosted, but it’s different rules for a mutually selected, delivered meal, right?
—Naan Profit, The Annex
When you jumped up to pay the bill, your guests might have assumed traditional etiquette—where the host provides the food—applied. In this case, the meal planning was a group effort, so I think your friends should have at least offered to throw their credit card into the fray—at which point you could have waved it off and seized the opportunity to be the consummate host. But if you’re a firm believer in going Dutch, next time talk things over before money changes hands—or make sure the feast is at their house, and leave your wallet at home.
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