The Lunchtime Conundrum

The CheckWe’ve all been there.  We go out to lunch with some co-workers, go to dinner with some buddies, go to a bar with the gang.  The check comes and everyone’s eyes glaze over.  First off, when you’re with your boss there’s that moment where everyone is wondering if the boss is going to pick up the check.  After that’s passed (and everyone realizes they’re paying their own way) someone will generally grab for the check and start to figure out what they owe.  Invariably one of two scenarios occurs:

  1. You’ve got WAY too much.  The bill comes to about $60 and all 8 guys throw in a $20 since they don’t want to deal with the concept of making change and then someone is forced to dole out the overage.
  2. You’ve got WAY too little.  Some dude that ordered a $16 steak, 4 $3 beers and a $9 desert decides that he’ll throw in $25 and call it a day.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why this happens.  I hang out (or at least have meals with) some pretty bright folks.  And each and every time we turn into a “how many guys does it take to pay the bill” joke.  I think there are a couple of reasons that this happens.

  1. People don’t want to “be rude” and ask for their change back.  Fuck that.  If I ate $12 worth of food, I’m not putting in $40.  Actually, I normally do… my wife gets pissed at me for just this behavior.
  2. People tend to forget about “the change”.  Something that costs $8.99 won’t be covered by $8.  That $.99 cents actually counts there killer.  Throw $.99 on three or four items and you’re looking at another $5 when you factor in tip.
  3. People forget about the tip.  Folks… if you bill comes to $50 please don’t just leave $50.  Your wait staff works hard for their money.  Give them 15% – 20% for decent service and more for great service.

OK, Im done babbling… I’m going to have some happy hour beers.  They’re only $4.99 a piece and I’ve got a $5 burning a hole in my wallet!

2 thoughts on “The Lunchtime Conundrum

  1. I work with accountants. If the office does not pick up the tab, one of them will bust out a calculator and tell you your total with tax and tip included. They will make change.

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