I recently went out to dinner with a large group of my sorority sisters. We’re used to sharing –– 12 women and two bathrooms made for close quarters in college. So on this particular trip, we visited a local Mexican restaurant that charges for chips and salsa (another pet peeve for another blog post). With seven of us, we ordered two apps of chips and salsa and an order of guacamole.
What immediately flashed through my head? I don’t have cash to pay whomever puts the appetizer on their credit card. It’s a common problem, and sometimes causes headaches when ordering with a large group.
In these instances, I usually offer to purchase the appetizer. “Just put that on my card,” I typically tell the server. I never have cash, but that’s my fault and my problem –– we live in a plastic world, after all.
When it came time to settle our tabs, our server had been nice enough to separate the checks despite the large party. I glanced at mine, and was surprised that I had been charged for 1/7th each of the two orders of chips and salsa and the order of guacamole. It amounted to $2.57. That? Was awesome. We had split the appetizers fairly evenly (well, one pregnant friend probably ate more than her fair share of guac, but we’ll let it slide).
This makes me wonder –– what do you do to accommodate large parties? Are you willing to do separate checks? Split an appetizer across the table? Do you have a mandatory tip percentage for large groups? We want to hear your thoughts.
Mandy Wolf Detwiler is managing editor at Pizza Today.