You by no means know what another person is monetary place is and even when it is in a enterprise assembly, it exhibits discernment and discretion. For higher or worse, individuals will decide you on the way you deal with this easy determination.

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  1. Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

    Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.

    If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn’t help you in any way, please downvote. If you don’t care, leave it for the others to decide.

  2. Its what I did throughout dating. I never assumed any of my dates were paying, and if they were I’d try to keep it around the same price. Drove my husband nuts when we were dating because he knew exactly what I was doing lol

  3. I hate it when I know someone else is paying for me before I order because I normally like ordering expensive things and ordering a lot. If I know someone else is paying I end up getting something cheaper or not getting everything I want. I rather pay myself so I can order what I want.

  4. And if you are the host, you can subtly indicate your expectations by making a couple of “recommendations” especially if you decide to order something less expensive.

    “I’m going to have the chef salad today but the ribeye steak and the grilled salmon are both excellent here.”

    I work at an organization where I take job candidates and other guests out for meals. We have a set limit by meal per person attending (different for breakfast, lunch, dinner) and a policy that if the bill including tax and tip is over the limit, the host has to pay all of the excess. The limits are moderately generous and there are plenty of places where you’re in almost no danger of going over but if you choose to go to nicer and more expensive places, you can definitely exceed the limit if the order is extravagant.

    When I was younger I didn’t want to make any issue of it and had to pay excess a couple of times when taking out job candidates who ordered a lot. Frankly it wasn’t a good look on them. Now I’m much more comfortable explaining our allowance if I think it might be an issue. “Our dinner allowance is $55 a person, which should cover most of the menu here.” Hint: but not the $65 twin lobster tail plate!

  5. As someone who often picks up checks, this is a really bad practice. You should order as if you are paying for it whether someone else is picking up the tab or not. They wouldn’t be offering to pay if they didn’t want to pay for it. And they don’t expect you to splurge on their account either.

    This is especially true if you have a boss buying. Get something cheap and it looks like you are sucking up. Get something expensive it looks like you are taking advantage of them. But if you order like it is what you always get it just seems normal.

    The only time I ever vary this is if someone insists on repaying me by taking me for food because I helped them with x, y, or z. Then I generally try to pick a place that is less expensive but is somewhat different. Favorite local dive burger place or the like. Then you can still get what you normally would without overtaxing someone’s wallet.

  6. If someone else offers to buy your food then you order what you want to eat. What’s the point in them paying for something you may not be that fussed on eating just because of the price when you could just order what you actually want instead and pay for it yourself.

    Inversely if you offer to pay for someone’s food let them order what they want to eat and don’t let them feel as though they have to order based on value and eat something they may not even want.

  7. If you want to pay, don’t say anything, and once you’ve confirmed that nothing else is going to be ordered, excuse yourself and pretend to go to the bathroom, then go pay. Don’t say a word. If anyone takes offense, they can pay for dessert or something.

  8. I had a buddy whom I invited to go get some KFC. He took it as an invitation that I’d pay. After I ordered and discovered that he had no money, a little annoyed, I offered to pay. He then proceeds to order at least two meals worth of food, then has the nerve to tell me that he’s stuffed, can’t finish his meal, and would have to save it for dinner. Beyond pissed at that point, never invited him out to eat again. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, a lesson I’d learned the hard way.

  9. I tried this once when meeting the fiances family for the first time. Unfortunately I misheard the order for the brother, and thought I’d ordered the same thing.

    Turns out whilst he head a steak salad, I’d got myself the juiciest steak on the menu.

    Only about a £20 price difference.

    During the same meal, I also accidentally let out some of the worst smelling gas in my lifetime whilst nervous laughing.

    All in all a first impression was made that I’m sure lives on to this day. Bet they can’t wait for me to be the son in law.

  10. I was on business travel for a week and the client took me out for lunch. He insisted I order first so I did. Then, to my surprise he paid without ordering anything for himself.

    So I’m awkwardly trying to eat my lunch while he’s sitting there watching and talking to me. This happened every day.

    I tried to avoid it. I’d tell him I wasn’t hungry and he’d say “you gotta eat!” I wasn’t in a position to argue with him and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, and I actually was hungry. So I’d just order something small and try to get through it as fast as I could without looking like an animal.

    It was very uncomfortable.

  11. If someone else is paying I always get the cheapest thing on the menu. Im grateful for anything and will always repay any kindness back double. I cant stand people who go out of their way to order something expensive just because they know someone else paying.

  12. If I’m paying I always get them to order first so they get something they actually want instead of something they think is acceptably priced. Though the only people I pay for are the people I trust not to take the piss, so I guess that’s a huge factor.

  13. “Are you ready to order?”
    “Yes, I’m having the tuna steak with the salad. What about you?”
    “Let me check….. Just a moment… Already there….ahhh, tuna steak! 12 dollars. But that’s with rice. Mhh.. salad, salad, salad… There it is! 13 bucks. Now, what do I want to eat? This sounds nice, but 15 dollars…uhh, I think I need a moment…”

  14. Our boss took us to a new restaurant we just helped build to thank us, he got the 15 dollar burger, I got the 13 dollar sandwich, as did most of us, but one guy decided to get the 30 dollar ribeye. Come on man, be more respectful than that.

  15. I was visiting a friend with my wife in Long Island, NY for a baby shower. He said that his dad, whom I’ve never met, was gonna take us all to dinner. Dad came out and said he had the bill and not to worry. I saw the menu at this place and I couldn’t fathom how expensive it was. I’m more of a chain restaurant kind of guy, so my meals typically range from 14-18 USD. The cheapest meal was 34$. I said I’d probably get that and he made it a point “don’t get it if it’s not what you want. I know what this place costs, don’t worry about it”. I got what I wanted, but ordered a water. “You don’t want a beer?” “Well I mean…yeah but…” He calls the waitress over. I felt so much gratitude for this guy, he spent well over 800$ on the meals for the table. He is a retired NY firefighter, was on scene for 9/11, and owns a used car dealership in Florida, so I suppose he’s doing alright. It always makes me feel awkward when people want to pay for my meals.

  16. Good tip and good comments. It’s always good to be socially aware. On one occasion I bought lunch for some co-workers and as soon as I said I was buying, one of them ordered a meal to go as well.

  17. i wish my fucking friends did this im at mcdonalds am im like “can i get a water and a double hamburger” and everytime my friends like “can i get two sandwhiches” and then also orders a drink and large fry. shit really does piss me off how are you going to get a meal more expensive then the one im buying when im paying does that not dawn on everyone as a not cool thing to do?

  18. This works just in countries where it’s not culturally common to share food from the same plates on the table.

    I go with a friend in Vietnam. He orders 3-4 different dishes. I wonder but he’s a person that likes to eat and is not really slim, so I don’t judge it.
    I order my dish plus an appetiser.

    At half of the meal I realise he’s not eating everything and is leaving stuff for me to eat.
    I start to wonder if that was all for both of us, and I come out saying it.

    He confirms. I feel ashamed I ordered so much (and ashamed we are not going to finish the food; that I hate to trash/waste). He understands the misunderstanding, and still wants to pay for everything.
    I feel even more ashamed.

    Then I also remember that his business is frozen by the pandemic and is loosing lot of money, and I still have a decently paid part-time remote job with no pandemic-related crisis and no big issues in paying more.
    My shame levels become really high.

    I offer to pay instead, but he insists in paying everything, mentioning that *”sometimes you give more, and in the future that will come back”*.


    **Note:** this just to mention that that life pro tip works just in our western individualistic society.

  19. I have said ‘There are things that look good but I don’t like the price. I don’t want to seem as if I am abusing our friendship.’ Several times they have asked what it was I wanted and said yes. Other times they have said ya, that is a bit much and I have ordered other options.

  20. My husband always makes me order first, which I usually pick something mid priced then he will get something elaborate and expensive. You would think after 20 years I’d learn and consider getting something fancier to try on menus.

  21. Or just ask them before hand if they have a price range?

    What’s so hard about being straight forward?
    It’s possible to do that without pulling too much attention to it.

    People always make a big deal out of basically everything.

    If you struggle with social anxiety then stuff like that for sure helps, especially when you’re out and about with people you’re not as familiar with.

    Try to practice with people you feel comfortable with if you can. Or do scenarios like that over and over in your head.
    It’s okay if it doesn’t work right away (I still struggle with this step myself, I give up a lot)

    But please try to practice to be honest about what goes on in your head especially towards important people in your life.

  22. When I was 20 I was working with this guy in the service field, we stopped to get food at mcds and he kept insisting on paying for my food and I kept saying no. He said that’s how it works we take turns paying for food. Then when I ordered he jumped in and added his order while handing the money to the cashier. The next day we had time to kill so we went to outback steakhouse. When the bill came he said, you got this since I bought yesterday. I laughed and said no man. Threw him a $5 bill for the mcds the day before and paid for i ate at outback. I can’t stand that whole I’ll pay today you get tomorrow crap. I eventually packed my lunch daily.

  23. I try this and they always make me order first. So I get the cheapest thing I can find and then I’m usually told to not be modest and order what I really want 😂 These are my dads cool work friends and sometimes I get to tag along. I’ve just learned at this point to order what I really want and sometimes they even tell me to order something to go plus some dessert when I already have leftovers 😭 it’s a dream

  24. I have a great somewhat related story. We had a casual business trip once. It was solely for having fun together as a department.

    Just before we went home, we decided to get ice cream. I’m an ice cream addict and thus I went straight to the counter to order my kick ass 3 balls cup. Of course with all the extras: whip, waffle, heck, even sprinkles on top.

    Just when they went to prepare my order, a manager announced that he was paying for all of us. Well, you can imagine who was standing there with a fancy diabetes cup surrounded by people nibbling on their one 2 $ ball.

  25. At my job, one of the bosses used to take us out to lunch every Sunday during our break (on the company dime, not their money). Someone once ordered a surf and turf to eat; and a surf and turf to take home. We do not get taken out to lunch every Sunday anymore.

  26. You shouldn’t tell someone you’ll pay for it beforehand unless you are very close, so both of you know it’s fine. Otherwise the other person will either feel bad about it and order something cheaper or the person in an asshole and will abuse you by ordering something more expensive they wouldn’t order normally.

  27. I’m not a picky eater, so I will always say:

    *Double whatever you are getting*

    That way I can never purchase something too expensive and it makes ordering super easy.

  28. My now boss took me to lunch for my first day with the team. He said it was on him before we walked in, and i still offered ONCE when the bill came. Only pulled out the wallet and asked what my fair share was. When he said don’t worry about it i let it die there.

  29. Ok, but if that person tells you to order whatever you want then order whatever you fucking want. I hate feeling like I can’t order the meal I want because I’m worried that the other person will feel that they need to limit their selection based on my choice.

  30. If someone offers to pay upfront, I usually shoot for the middle. Usually makes them feel like youre appreciative, not taking advantage by ordering the most expensive thing.

    Unless it’s the company, then I’m getting whatever I want.

  31. I am allergic to gluten and of course gluten-free products tend to cost way more than their “normal” equivalent. Thus, I often tend to be the one spending more when going out and eating with my friends/family, and that really feels very uncomfortable.

  32. Don’t agree to pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant you can’t afford. You can show people you care in other ways, without spending money you aren’t comfortable spending

  33. Sorry, you offer to buy someone dinner, you buy them dinner. Don’t make a social contract dictating prices.

    For example if I go to a steak house I’m getting a rib eye with a shrimp skewer, loaded potatoes, the extra side and an add on caesar salad and a couple martinis. I will buy my own meal before I down grade to NY strip shoe leather and a water.

    The REAL social contract you should be pushing is “Don’t order out of your usual price range.” If you usually order a bud light and a burger and fries you don’t be an asshole and order a $40 meal with two $12 cocktails.

  34. I think it’s better practice to simply not go to a restaurant that you can’t afford when your picking up the tab. Champagne taste and a beer bottle pocket will get you into trouble every time!

  35. This may be an unpopular opinion, but this is a shittyLPT imo.

    If someone is offering to pay for your shit yeah don’t be an ass and order the whole bar, but at same time just order what you want. If I’m going out to eat I want to order what the hell I want most and not something knock off or cheap just because someone else decided to pay. So I’m going to do so. Your argument on so and so not being able to pay is on so and so for being irresponsible and not me for ordering what I want.

    No one forced so and so to offer and being an adult you should be able to make “simple decisions” (you mentioned simple decisions) like not pretending to be a big shot when you can’t afford it. LPT: if you’re in no position to pay for others meals financially then simply don’t offer to do so. They are adults that can pay their own way. Simple decisons right?

    >For better or worse folks judge you

    Let em fucking judge then. Oh George ordered the steak. He must be a meat and potato type of guy. Sure am. Most of the time I will say I’ll pay it myself, but if you **insist** after I already told you multiple times I can pay my own way hell I assume you actually don’t mind then. If you’re immature and judge people based on whether they ordered a salad or steak then you should fix yourself. “Oh you ordered the *red* potatoes instead of the white? Hmm, how telling!!!” Gtfoh folks.

  36. If someone offers to buy you dinner and they pick the place then order what you want. They know what it costs. If you pick the place then order an average priced item. Usually someone invites you out though so just order whatever.

  37. On business trips, if I’m covering dinner for others I’ll order first and order an expensive dish so they feel comfortable ordering whatever they want.

    Also, I’ll order a drink and a dessert even if I don’t want it so others at the table feel comfortable doing so as well.

  38. I had a friend growing up who’s family was very wealthy. I was a little older than him, so I would drive for a while. He offered to take me to dinner for driving him and a girl around all day. He ordered a steak, and I literally said “I’ll have the same” because I grew up poor and didn’t know what cut of steak was good. He got really pissed that I ordered an expensive steak. He did stuff like that all the time.

  39. Related question… What are the related drinking rules?

    I’m like 6 months sober. Not paying for alcohol is a super nice positive benefit on top of everything else. I’m cool with picking up the tab occasionally, but the check is usually super high with drinks on it. I feel really angry paying for alcohol for some reason when a 2 person tab at 80 bucks.

    I am totally okay with people drinking around me, I just don’t want to pay for them to do so. Seems morally wrong for some reason.

  40. I’m a little envious that people might find this helpful. When I was a kid, my parents would just order for me. Since then, I’m the one that pays. That advice is very considerate.

    Edit: It’s curious that this has been downvoted. I’m the dad now. I’m divorced, so I’m the person taking people out on dates. What is the situation where I am going to be sitting across from someone paying for my meal? I’m 61, and have never dealt with that. I wouldn’t even know what to say.


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