woman speaking with caption 'Never eat in a group without discussing the budget first.' (l) hand holding dinner bill (c) woman speaking with caption 'Never eat in a group without discussing the budget first.' (r)

Lesterman/Shutterstock @remiandaryan/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘That’s not a friend’: Woman shares group dinner nightmare, says you should always discuss how the bill gets handled beforehand

'She was irritated with me.'


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Jan 18, 2024   Updated on Jan 18, 2024, 3:21 am CST

In a compelling TikTok video, viewed over 1.5 million times, user @remiandaryan shares a cautionary tale about a birthday group dinner gone awry. This scenario highlights the complexities of social dining experiences, mainly when financial constraints are involved.

The story begins with a former friend’s invitation to a birthday group dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. As a single mother with limited financial resources, she prepares for the event meticulously, leveraging a buy-one-get-one-free coupon to manage her expenses. The cost of the meal was set at $50 per person, exclusive of drinks and dessert, which she consciously avoided to stay within her budget.

The evening turned unexpectedly when several guests left without settling their bills. Assuming they had left money with the host, she later finds herself in a predicament, being asked to contribute far more than anticipated. “They wanted me to pay $150,” she recounts, “When I just got the base basic, $50 meal.” She is left bewildered and financially burdened, able only to write a check for $50, uncertain if her account can cover it.

Her narration is emotionally charged, reflecting the distress and humiliation of being financially blindsided by her former friend. “She was irritated with me… but I was like, this was not my thing. I am a single mom. You did not clear this. We did not talk about this,” she expresses her frustration with the group dinner situation.

This incident underscores discussing financial expectations before dining in a group. She emphasizes, “Never sit down to eat with a group without first clearing that with everybody.” This advice is a reminder to establish clear communication regarding how the bill will be handled to avoid similar situations.

Her experience sheds light on the social and financial intricacies that can arise in group settings, resonating with many who have faced similar circumstances. It is a cautionary tale about the need for upfront financial discussions in social gatherings.

“Damn, I guess I’ve got a solid group of friends,” said one commenter. “We always assume we are paying for our own meals unless someone says otherwise.” Another wrote: “I am not discussing nothing I am paying for what I ate.”

Some had valid concerns and questions about the group dinner. “What?? Who leaves and doesn’t pay?” one person wondered. “Unless your friend told them you’re paying.”

@remiandaryan I always ask before we even order how the bill will be handled or I dont order at all. #birthday #dinner #resturaunt #ettiquette #groupdinner #large #groups #fyp ♬ original sound – 🦕Raising Autistic🦖

One woman was responsible in her actions: “I invited my friend and her man and their daughter to dinner for my son’s birthday (he wanted them to go with us) and I literally told them ahead of time that I was paying for everyone. I always try to verify who is paying what when going out with other people.”

“I wish people would realize that if they want a bday dinner, they need to HOST their bday dinner, meaning PAY,” said another person.

In group dinner situations, especially for birthday celebrations, etiquette often suggests that guests, excluding the honoree, should split the bill evenly. This arrangement typically balances out everyone’s share of the meal, including the birthday person’s portion. However, in cases where the birthday person is the host, they are generally expected to cover the expenses, a convention not always known or adhered to, leading to uncomfortable and financially straining situations.

She also posted follow-up videos going into more detail for certain commenters, and detailing what she’s learned with the experience.

Her group dinner story highlights the importance of communication about financial boundaries and the need for empathy and awareness in social interactions, considering the varying financial capacities among friends.

Through her group dinner video, the TikTok user highlights the challenges of balancing social expectations with financial realities. Her experience underscores the significance of clear communication regarding financial expectations to prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone enjoys the social experience without undue stress or embarrassment.

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*First Published: Jan 18, 2024, 5:00 am CST