'I went out and had to pay three times as much as I ordered - I'm furious'

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A woman was left fuming when she had to pay three times the amount for a meal she had with friends (Stock Photo) (Image: Getty Images)
A woman was left fuming when she had to pay three times the amount for a meal she had with friends (Stock Photo) (Image: Getty Images)

Going out with friends is the perfect way to unwind and catch up with those you're closest to, and it's always lovely to do it over dinner and drinks - but dinner etiquette can be tricky when the bill arrives. Whether you just pay for what you had yourself or you split the bill, it's inevitable there will sometimes be awkward conversations and you can be left reluctantly paying for more than you consumed.

One woman was left furious after she shared she had to pay three times the amount than what she'd had, due to friends in her group ordering an extravagant meal, costing somewhere around £90 each when what she ate only totalled £25.

Sharing her situation on Mumsnet, she asked others what they would do, as she wrote: "I'm in a hobby group, and about every 2-3 months we treat ourselves to a nice dinner. There are usually eight to 10 of us and we always split the bill. It's normally around £50 per person.

"This week we went to a restaurant which was more on the upper end of what we usually go for. Mains were £25 - £45. We all chose our food, but when ordering, the waiter managed to talk three of us into trying 'the chef's special' and this was a rather elaborate and unusual dish, he didn't mention the price but I would have thought it would be between £55-£60 at least from the description. When the bill came, they realised that it was over £90. The three offered to take one bottle of wine out of the total and share it between them to make up for their expensive dish."

The woman was left shocked when she had only ordered a main costing £25, whereas some of the others had also ordered starters, leaving her paying a lot more than she'd imagined.

'I don't want children staying up late at weekends - I really need adult time' eidexiqreiqtrinv'I don't want children staying up late at weekends - I really need adult time'

She added: "In the end, we paid £110 each and they paid £125 each. However, my main was £25 and plus drinks (I only had one water and one glass of wine from the shared bottle, others had much more to drink, and most had a starter but I didn't) I would have paid around £40. So I ended up paying three times as much.

"We all really don't mind if we pay a bit more than we consumed and we regularly go out eating together so things balance themselves out. I was aware that the bill would be split and I was happy to do as usual before knowing what their dish costed."

Unsure what to do, she explained how she paid the staggeringly high bill, but asked others what they would have done: "I couldn't really say anything and I just paid, but I feel that £40 compared to £110 was just too big a difference on that occasion. Would you have said anything, even though everyone knew in advance that the bill would be split?"

One Mumsnet user suggested: "I would have said look I know we usually split but money is tight and I can't justify spending £110 when my share was only £40", whereas another commented: "It's very easy to sit here and say 'of course you should have said something!' But it's a lot harder to actually say it. I think I would have said something, but I've got a lot more thick-skinned in the last few years."

Someone else suggested: "Absolutely no way could I have just sucked that up and I'm very passive with this kind of stuff normally. That's just too much of a difference. The people who were daft enough to agree to an unknown-priced meal should've had the decency to pay for what they actually had on that occasion."

Niamh Kirk

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