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Oct 03, 2008

Comments

Anil Dash

Guess what city has restaurants that are already doing this? I will give you one guess!

Michael Sippey

Dubai? Harrisburg, PA?

Jason Untulis

I've definitely seen 15% and 20% numbers on some bills. Not broken down per person though. Of course this doesn't help with asymmetric ordering.

Michael Sippey

@jason -- i wouldn't solve for the case of asymmetric ordering; if you just provide the general guidelines people can do the quick adjust up or down based on what you order.

Robin Capper

Or, imagine a world where tipping is something you only do in response to great service. It's not calculated, expected, result of providing the goods being sold to an acceptable standard.

Visiting the the US from New Zealand I find the whole tipping "as part of normal business" weird and when/where it's expected, or not, confusing.

Michael Sippey

@robin now that's just NUTS. tipping for good service? that's heresy. ;)

Walt Grayson

Tipulator for iPhone. Enter the price of the meal, select the tip percentage and how many people are splitting the bill... and boom. :)

Gen Kanai

In Japan, when you pay at the register, especially at lunch, the option to split the bill is given to the group. The fact that there is no tipping makes it easier to calculate.

some guy

I don't think that's a great idea. Sure, if everyone orders the lunch special and drinks iced tea, ok. But what if someone orders the prime rib and two cocktails and someone else orders a side salad and water?

Also, as already stated many point of sale systems already provide a guide of amount for 10, 15 and 20 percent.

If you could combine it with the system which says
"Guest 1 total: $10.75, Guest 2 total: $8.25." then I'd say you have a pretty good idea.

peterme

I prefer what I've seen in Vancouver, where each individual's order is tabulated separately, so if you need separate checks, it's a snap. That way, the non-drinkers and lighter eaters don't feel cheated.

Phil Harnish

Dude, do the waitress a favor. Take the first receipt they give you, pay your tip in cash (some states tax credit card tips, YMMV), and put the bill into BillMonk.com

I've done thousands of dollars worth of transactions on BillMonk and it will figure out the proportional tax and tip amount due per person. It can even shuffle debts between people in your social spending graph. Need it in a restaurant? Use SMS to figure out who should pick up the tab.

Seriously, sign up now and check it out!

Clint Ecker

Restaurants do this all the time in Chicago. They show 15/18.5/20 breakdowns.

foljs

I don't think that's a great idea. Sure, if everyone orders the lunch special and drinks iced tea, ok. But what if someone orders the prime rib and two cocktails and someone else orders a side salad and water?

Well, what we do in Greece most of the time is someone just pays the whole bill.

Next time someone else of the group can have a go at it. In the long term, some kind of balance emerges.

If someone regularly avoids paying when it's his turn, he is considered "el cheapo" and is subsequently avoided.

However, asking for absolute balance in payments (as in "hey, I paid last time, hence you MUST pay this time") is also considered "el cheapo" (e.g not exactly a class act). The same holds for arguments like the above ("hey, I only ordered a side salab and you got lobster and imported wine").

So, we are quite laid back about who pays what thing.

Maybe you should try it.

Edward Vielmetti

sixty freaking three dollars for dinner, and you can't pull out your calculator and divide?

i solved the lunch divide by n problem with a set of colleagues by assuming that one lunch is pretty much the same as they other, and doing accounting on a balance beam to note who owes who lunch. lunches are assumed to be transferable within the group, so if I buy you lunch, my tag moves towards the plus side, and yours towards the minus side.

(this derives from a similar scheme that a trading firm i worked at had in the late 80s on a white board)

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