Separate Checks Please!


On a recent trip to Norway, I experienced something that would NEVER happen here in the States.  I was out for a working dinner with nine other people at a lovely sushi restaurant.  I assumed that our bill would be covered by the company who invited us, but we were informed during the meal that each of us would be responsible for our own portion of the check.  When we were finished, a very unexpected Norwegian phenomenon ensued…

The waitress literally walked around the table to make sure that she had everybody’s entrees straight (not so strange), and everyone of us told her how much of each appetizers and portion of each bottle of wine ordered that we consumed.   For example, I told her I had 1/4 of the seaweed salad and one glass of from the each bottle ordered at my end of the table.  And she went through this with all ten of us!  It ended with her bringing us all separate checks.

As an American, unless a diner or big chain restaurant was asked to do separate checks from the get go, I can not begin to imagine a restaurant in the States being willing to split the bill more than 3 ways – let alone allow people to say they ate a quarter portion of something!  Is this a brilliant concept that makes splitting the bill ultra fair and precise?  Or, is it just kinda cheap and cumbersome?  In the end, is it the restaurant that makes out the best?

Should we adopt this idea here at home?? Tell us what you think!

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3 Responses to “Separate Checks Please!”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Sounds great to me ~ I love the concept of separate checks without having to ask.

  2. Kellie Knapp says:

    In my opinion, this is a brilliant idea! It makes things fair (and precise) among all patrons, plus you don’t have to worry about a friend not paying you back if you cover the bill. This would remove some of the awkwardness such as tipping as well as figuring out tax. In the end, I believe the restaurant (and wait staff) would make out better. I know I’d be more at ease!

  3. Molly says:

    This would never happen in the US, and frankly, I would find it a bother to start divving up how much of the app I ate or how many sips of wine I had.
    Additionally, I find it rude that a company representative would invite people to a working business dinner and then tell them DURING the dinner that they are paying their own way. The company should have made it clear before the dinner in case someone didn’t have enough cash on them or enough credit on their credit card – or they had an AMEX card while the resto only takes VISA.

Any Thoughts?

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