Love to spend time out with friends? Ordering lovely meals at fancy places? Drinking bubbly and delicious wines? Sound familiar?
Often, a good time can, in fact, mean: an expensive time.
There are a few easy tips and tricks you can follow to make sure the fun doesn't end when the bill arrives:
- Browse the internet for restaurant websites to view the menu and prices. This way, you won’t get any nasty surprises when you go out. You can also plan ahead and decide what to order, so you keep within your budget.
- Take your own wine – there are still restaurants that don’t charge corkage or charge a minimal corkage fee. Most restaurants put a huge mark-up on beverages, so taking your own can save a lot. Don't be shy.
- Ask about group deals when going out with friends. Some restaurants offer a discount for confirmed bookings of six or more people. Also find out if you can pay separately – some restaurants don’t let you run individual bills or pay with separate credit cards.
- Create a menu. If you’re footing the bill for a large group, ask the restaurant about creating a special menu. This way, guests can experience the best of the restaurant without too much freedom to run up a tab.
- Pre-arrange payment. It’s a smart idea to decide in advance whether the group will be splitting the bill evenly, or asking each person to pay for his own meal. This way, you can avoid the unfairness of people who order expensive items on the menu and expect you to split the bill evenly at the end. It’s also helpful to ask diners to bring cash if possible.