Social Question

janbb's avatar

Would you order the more expensive or the less expensive dish?

Asked by janbb (44811 points ) June 23rd, 2012

I was out with friends last night at a Chinese restaurant. Some in this crowd are on a very limited budget. I knew we would each pay what we owed; would not be splitting the bill evenly as I often do with other friends. I wanted and ordered something more expensive than the rest – knowing I would pay for it. Then I wondered whether I should have been more considerate and ordered something more in line with what they were spending. Your thoughts?

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32 Answers

ucme's avatar

I’d have whatever I fancied at the time regardless of price or what my mates chose to eat.
“Let them eat cake”

Judi's avatar

I usually go with the more modest meal if I know the others can’t afford it. Either that or pick up the tab.

6rant6's avatar

As long as you pay your share, please order what you want. When I’m flush, I want to be able to order what appeals most to me. Your willingness to step up to something higher price means that’s okay with you. Plus, you could offer me a bite. Of the food I mean. We can talk about the other later.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I have several friends on fixed budgets. I puchase what I want to eat, and offer to share. Since my budget isn’t as tight, I make certain to pay for my meal plus the full tip.

janbb's avatar

@Judi Even if you are each paying only for what you ordered? And yes, I did share and put in a generous amount for the tip but paying the full tip would have been an insult to some.

Judi's avatar

I rarely go to restaurants because I have a tendency to eat everything they put in front of me and I struggle to keep my weight down. In this situation I might use it as an excuse to just get a large bowl of soup or something. When everyone around me is ordering the larger full meals I am more inclined to do so as well. It probably has more to do with trying to control my impulses than anything else, (I think anyway. It might also be wealth guilt. )

Coloma's avatar

As long as you were paying your own share have whatever you like.
I’d order what I really wanted, and not worry about it. If you can afford it or just want to be generous on occasion you could always order a couple of extra appetizers for the whole gang.

bkcunningham's avatar

I ate lunch with two of my friends Wednesday. I know they are both on a tighter budget than I am. We were each paying for our own meals. I ordered first and ordered a nice inexpensive chef’s salad with an ice water. Don’t ya’ know they both ordered the most expensive items on the lunch menu. I sort of laughed to myself but I hadn’t given it a second thought until I read your question. C’est la vie.

wundayatta's avatar

Is this a woman thing? Wouldn’t occur to me to order something I didn’t want at a restaurant out of imagined sensitivity for the feelings of a friend. If money is a problem, I’ll pay for his meal. I often have. Shit! He would complain about the ridiculous amount I was willing to pay for a hot dog! But he ate it.

We don’t spend much time on this planet. Food is one of the greatest pleasures there is. If I’m at a restaurant, it seems foolish not to get something good. It’s not like I’m at a restaurant every day.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I wouldn’t normally order myself a pan tossed lobster in the presence of friends eating soup and an appetizer. It’s not so much the money as the shared space and me not wanting to flaunt my entree, offering a little taste or not. I rarely find myself flush enough to pick up for 3 or 4 people to where we can all have more than a little bite of the good thing so I refrain.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’ve had similar discussions about ordering an appetizer for yourself when you are with a large group and nobody else at the table orders an appetizer. Do you share or just sit there and eat it by yourself?

DrBill's avatar

If you’re buying, you should have what you want.

Fly's avatar

If in a group and you’re paying for your own meal, order what you want!
If it was with just one other person, I would probably offer to treat them so we could both feel comfortable and order what we really wanted.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

If I’m paying for what I order, then I order whatever I like.

@bkcunningham If I feel like ordering an appetizer, then I order it and offer to share. Doesn’t bother me. I do the same thing with dessert.

Kardamom's avatar

The other people (with less means), trying to be polite, will often want to share the bill evenly, so that they don’t come across as being rude or poor. That’s an embarrassing position to be in (I know it all too well). Me knowing that, I would not order something on the more expensive side. Even though you might want to pay your fair share, it kind of makes the other person look cheap or petty, if you all don’t simply split the bill evenly.

There will be other times when you can order whatever you want and order bottles of wine and do whatever you want. When you are dining with people of less means It’s polite to order a little bit more in the reasonably priced range and save the expesnive stuff for another time.

Ponderer983's avatar

Eat whatever you damn please if you are paying for it! You only live once, so chomp it up!

@ucme We’re going to run out of cake at this rate

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Ponderer983 I thought there was cake in the frizzer!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Screw it, I’m paying I get what I want.

janbb's avatar

@Kardamom I knew from being with these group before that we would each be paying for own and the poorer folk in the gang are close friends and very upfront about it.

marinelife's avatar

I think in the circumstances you describe, you should order what you want.

downtide's avatar

If I’m paying the whole of my meal myself I have what I want. If we were splitting the bill evenly I’d have something cheaper.

ucme's avatar

@Ponderer983 I was referring to the historical definition, as opposed to a dumb fluther meme….well, you know.

Ponderer983's avatar

@ucme I was referring to Eddie Izzard :/

Judi's avatar

@downtide, I have noticed that men usually just split the bill without regard for who ordered what, while women dicect the bill to the penny. in a general sense of course.

janbb's avatar

@Judi I have groups of friends of either sex that fall into each camp. I think in my cases, it depends more on how careful the friends need to be with their money.

Blondesjon's avatar

Life is entirely to short to stress over a situation like this. Being a prominent member of the Very Limited Budget Club I can assure you that we don’t give a fuck what you eat.

unless it guilts you in to picking up the tab. we are on a very limited budget after all . . .

janbb's avatar

@Blondesjon Hardly stressing -believe me, I know what stress is. Just thought it was an interesting question to raise.

Ponderer983's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate know what I am talking about! Tea and cake or death? Thank you for flying church of England, cake or death?

Haleth's avatar

It sounds like next time, you should all just do a potluck or something. Eating at a restaurant isn’t all that.

augustlan's avatar

I’d order what I wanted, but not something that’s wildly out of line with everyone else’s order. If everyone else is having a sandwich, I might order an entree, but not surf and turf.

PurpleClouds's avatar

In a restaurant I usually choose three things I would like to have w/o attention to cost. Then I order the least expensive of the three.

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