Wed10012014

Business & Real Estate

Who pays for lunch?

Jean on the Job

Here are my rules for who pays for lunch. I have been so surprised when someone asks me for lunch and then doesn't pay the bill or makes me scramble to pay half of the bill. Most restaurants take two credit cards for one bill. Just ask them to split the bill for you. Don't forget the tip!

Don't even think that if you are a woman, the man should pay. Don't even think that if the other person makes more money than you, he should pay.

The rule is: If you ask, you buy! Now, if the other person offers to pay, really check it out. Are they doing this because they feel older, richer, superior, stronger or quicker? Are they doing it because they have ego needs? I have heard the stories of those who will never, no never, let another person pay for a meal.

If you call, you pay. Or if you are asking for a favor, a contribution, a donation, a loan, you attempt to pay.

And if you ask me out for lunch, you can pay. Unless I ask you out. And I often do.

Now, for the friends who go out to meals together often. Take a business card and on the back of the card, write "YOU PAY." When you have the card, you pay. After you pay the check, you hand the card to your pal.

Now, what if you never eat as much as your lunch-date friend. So, he or she usually spends $3-$7 more a meal than you do. Multiply that by the number of times you have to pay. Is your friend worth $84 a year to you? Mine is!

Oh, one more issue. When six or more women go out to lunch, they seem to have a terrible time figuring out the bill. Ask for several checks or ask one of you to be the treasurer of that meal.

Jean A. Hollands is CEO of the Growth & Leadership Center. Write to GLC, 1451 Grant Road, Mountain View, 94040.

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