Going Out With Friends Etiquette | Alyssa J Freitas: Going Out With Friends Etiquette

September 12, 2018

Going Out With Friends Etiquette

It has been far too long since I've published an etiquette post, and I'm especially excited about our topic today: going out with friends. There are a myriad of challenges that can come up when going out with a group of people: splitting the bill, deciding where to go in the first place, figuring out a designated driver, the list goes on and on. Today I'm going to dive into some of the topics I've experienced and welcome you to leave a comment if you have any questions/scenarios I haven't addressed.
Click to read now or pin to save for later! Ever wonder how to split the bill, or choose a restaurant, with the right etiquette? Here's your guide on going out with friends

Selecting the venue

"I'm up for anything." "Yep, doesn't matter to me either." And on and on the cycle goes when trying to decide what to do. Let's break this down into two circumstances:

  • When you're the host/someone is coming to visit you, take their taste into account and give them two options, instead of opening up the entire city. This will ensure that you can vet restaurants/bars/etc beforehand (for price and location and all that), and make it easy on your guest.
  • When you're going out with friends in your area, it is best to narrow down to a type of cuisine or music, or what have you and then pull out the Google stars. Whichever place that matches the desired price and has 4 stars or above is a go. 
We can so easily get caught up in making a decision and not wanting to make a bad choice that may make our friends think, "We should have gone with my idea," so prioritizing speed and stars will get you to the fun of being out - and the people you're with ends up being so much more important than the place you are.

If you're going with a large group, make this decision ahead of time and make a reservation!

Rides

Ah, the fun of getting there and getting home. If you're in a city you'll most likely be on public transportation or using Uber (splitting the bill among riders is so easy, though I usually go by the mentality of "you can get me next time" and it all evens out). If you are in an area where you have to drive, making sure that someone is a designated driver and that the group rotates fairly is essential. If you're often with the same group you can go in alphabetical order to ensure the driving is equitable.

Splitting the bill

I can vividly remember going to the Cheesecake Factory for my birthday as a teenager with a group of girlfriends and when it came time to pay the bill, we were a nightmare for the waitress. When she brought the bill we gave her a variety of cash and cards and tried to mark off on the receipt who was paying for what. Plus, all of my friends wanted to contribute to my dinner, so when you add that into the equation it gets exponentially worse.

Here's the deal: if there is a huge discrepancy in the price of your meal versus another's, make it up in the tip. I don't drink, so I often won't be expected to contribute to the tip when I go out with others. If you see people enough, it all ends up evening out. Ask the waitress or waiter if you can use multiple cards, or have one person pay and then settle up with them. 

And back to the birthday thing real quick, if you are going out to celebrate a special occasion, don't allow the person of honor to pay! One person can take care of their meal as a gift, and if you really want to split it among the whole group, take care of it outside of paying the bill.

Phone usage

If you're out with your friends, you don't need to be on your phone. Make sure you ask others if you want to put anything on social media, but I'd highly encourage you to spend a night out without using your phone - you won't want to turn back.

Common subjects

I have friends in different circles and when I bring them together, I always focus on common topics that everyone can contribute to. How frustrating is it to go out with a group of people and then find yourself with nothing to say when they talk about a mutual friend? Make sure to draw everyone into conversation and focus on commonalities.

These are just some of the situations where we will do well to remember what etiquette is all about: putting others at ease. As long as you keep this essential sentiment at the forefront of your mind, you'll be able to have a pleasant time with friends, every time.

Any other situations your curious to know about? Let me know in the comments and I'll address it!

-AJF

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