Lunch with co-workers – who pays?
November 28th, 2011
09:45 AM ET
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From the experts at

"If you're out with five co-workers and you're the sixth person, just take the full amount of the lunch total, add a 20 percent gratuity, and divide by six," Oliver says. "This will prevent all sorts of nickel and diming and help keep group morale high."

So despite the fact you had a $6 salad and your co-worker had a $15 pulled-pork po'boy, just grin and bear it — eventually you'll be ordering the high- ticket item, and it will all even out over time. It's not worth the drama between your co-workers and the hassle for the server to split the tab unevenly.

Read – Workplace lunch dilemmas: Who pays!?

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Filed under: Etiquette • Restaurants

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Sonia

    Just tell the waiter you want separate checks!

    November 30, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Wandering Fool

    I've never been in a situation where everyone expected to get one check and divide it equally among all parts. When I've eaten with co-workers, we've each paid for our own. If you tell your waiter when you order, they generally have no problem separating it for you.

    Knowing whether I was paying for just my own or a piece of everyone's would certainly change my food choice, though, especially if everyone else is buying $15 lunch platters and I'm considering a $6 burger.

    November 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  3. Andrew

    Creating drama when there really is none. Go out to eat with co-workers all the time and we each pay for what we order. If someone orders the expensive thing, they pay the full price for it. If someone orders something cheap, they pay the lower price. NEVER, ever, has anyone had any issues or complaints complaints with that. If someone ever did, they would not be invited again. Why did someone even bother writing this? If they are going out with people who do have issues, perhaps they should find new people to have lunch with.

    November 29, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  4. Ann

    This is why I like to go to the Asian buffet place when we go out to lunch (which is rare) – everybody's tab is the same!

    Of course, if we're celebrating something as a department, then, as the boss, I'll treat.

    November 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  5. Truthâ„¢

    If you cannot expense the lunch, then I am usually pretty selective over who I go to lunch with for this very reason. If you can expense it, then usually it is whomever is highest up on the food chain to pay.

    November 28, 2011 at 11:09 am |
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