A woman has sparked debate after revealing she paid £110 for a £40 meal when she split the bill with friends.
She wrote on parenting site Mumsnet that she’d gone out to a restaurant with some friends from her hobby group.
Three of the group ordered an ‘elaborate and unusual dish’ which cost £90 per person while she opted for something more affordable.
When the bill came, the three women offered to take one bottle of wine out of the total – but allowed her to pay towards their pricier main.
Several members on the forum said the mother should have raised the issue at the time – while others suggested it’s not too late to say something.
A woman explained on Mumsnet that she paid £110 after splitting a bill with friends at a restaurant but revealed her meal and glass of wine was only £40
The post read: ‘I’m in a hobby group and about every 2-3 months we treat ourselves to a nice dinner.
‘There’s usually 8-10 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 choose our food, but when ordering, the waiter managed to talk 3 of us into trying “the chef’s special”.
‘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 3 offered to take one bottle of wine out of the total and share it between them to make up for their expensive dish.
‘In the end we paid £110 each and they paid £125 each. However, my main was £25 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).’
Although the woman’s total should have come to around £40, she ended up paying almost three times that.
She explained that others in the group ordered an ‘elaborate and unusual dish’ which cost £90 per person
She continued: ‘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 itself out.
‘I was aware that the bill would be split and I was happy to do as usual (before knowing what their dish cost) so 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?’
Many claimed the people who had the more expensive meal should have offered to pay more.
One person wrote: ‘To be honest I would not have expected the situation to arise because I would expect the people who had the chef’s special to immediately say that they would pay their bill separately.
‘That’s what a decent person would do. It may have been unexpected to them but they shouldn’t expect other people to pay for their mistake in not enquiring.
‘Yes I would have said something but I’m old and not willing to put up with a lack of manners like this any more. I do recognise how difficult this is for many people though.’
Another said: ‘I think the ones who’d had the more expensive food really should’ve offered to pay more at the time – but it sounds like it was a genuine case of being caught on the hop (rather than anyone deliberately trying to pull a fast one).
Many claimed the people who had the more expensive meal should have offered to pay more
‘If you go out as a group regularly, I’d leave it on the basis that these things generally even out over time.’
While someone else wrote: ‘So they realised that they had increased the bill significantly, but instead of offering to actually cover it, they just ninnied around paying a couple of quid “for the wine” knowing they were sticking their “friends” with an eye-watering bill?!
‘Why on earth did they offer to share the wine between them instead of ponying up for the fancy food they ate? Was there not a “wow – that was expensive” conversation when the bill came?
‘I completely understand the awkwardness of bringing up the disparity in bills, but I cannot fathom how that doesn’t translate for those eating something so expensive and then brazenly expecting everyone else to pay for it!’
A fourth agreed saying: ‘If it was £90 each then yes that is sh** of the restaurant (albeit no one should order a dish they don’t know the price of) but I can’t believe they only took off a bottle of wine!
Others suggested that she should pay for her own meal the next time and stay out of the split bill
‘If I had been them I’d have been mortified and insisting on covering every penny. How did they think a bottle of wine made up for the fact they’d added £270 to the bill between them?’
Others suggested that she should pay for her own meal the next time and stay out of the split bill.
One person wrote: ‘It’s difficult when you get caught on the hop. Not sure there is much you can do now, but going forward, when the next meal is organised I would be stating my case – I can’t afford to sub anyone else’s expensive choices, so I am still happy to come but I will pay for what I eat and a contribution to the tip.
‘I bet no one else was happy with the size of the bill either.’
Another said: ‘I once went and everyone ordered cocktails and literally ramped it up – and was drinking alcohol – I was driving and recovering from hospital and split was like a £100 and mine was £20 and I simply said – “I’ve gone mega light as I’m driving everyone and if it’s ok – I’ll pay mine before you all split as mine was just a starter”. No one minded.’
While someone else wrote: ‘Way too awkward and puts everyone else under pressure. I would NOT take this approach… Next time order hard or state you will pay for what you eat.’