4 Common Restaurant Faux Pas

If most of us are honest, we’ll fully admit that we love eating at restaurants.

Going out to eat is one of the biggest issues for people when it comes to tightening up their budget. That’s why some budget-conscious people will do anything to keep from giving up their eating-out habit—and that includes breaking some basic rules of money etiquette in restaurants.

So, if you’ve adopted one of these habits as common practice in the name of saving money, then it’s time to come to the realization that you simply can’t afford to eat out right now.

1. Undertipping

If you tip less than 15% for standard, good service, then you’re a bad tipper.

Most restaurant servers don’t make the federal minimum hourly wage of $7.25. The minimum wage for workers who make more than $30 a week in tips is only $2.13 an hour.

Waiters and waitresses live off tips. If you receive good service, then tip well. If you can’t afford to tip well, then you can’t afford to eat out. It’s as simple as that. 

2. Splitting the Bill (Unfairly)

There’s always one in every group. You order a salad and a glass of water. Your friend orders a burger, fries and a milkshake. When the check comes around, he pipes up and says, “Let’s split the check!”

Come again?

Your order cost $6, while his order cost $18. Split the check? No way! Trying to split the bill without agreeing to do so before you order is just bad form. Don’t do it.

3. Paying for the Group

Use common sense here. If you invite a bunch of friends out to dinner, you shouldn’t be expected to foot the bill—unless you’ve set that expectation in the past.

But if you invite that potential special someone on a first date, then it’s just basic, common decency to pick up the tab. And if you can’t afford that, then you might need to settle in for a date night of ramen noodles and Netflix.

4. Taking Advantage of the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

In other words, you enjoyed four slices of pepperoni pizza, and you think it’s perfectly fine to put four more pieces in a to-go box for lunch and dinner tomorrow.

We don’t think that’s what they mean by “all you can eat.” If you disagree, go ahead and grab a moving truck, back it up to the front door, and load up the entire buffet. It is all you can eat after all!

As long as you’ve budgeted for restaurant meals and they aren’t breaking your bank, then there’s nothing wrong with eating out. Just make sure your thrifty spending doesn’t include forgetting these common courtesies. You can get out of debt and be a nice person too!