While some people will gladly allow others to pay for them in a restaurant, no matter the circumstances, many of us occasionally will want to pay for a meal ourselves. Most of the time, it’s more cut-and-dry who’s going to pay: If someone is hosting, or if they’re on a date. But in some circumstances, receiving the check at the end of a meal can lead to a major disagreement when more than one diner wants to pay for the meal in full. For some reason, this issue usually crops up when the in-laws are involved, making an already awkward meal even more uncomfortable.
Instead of dreading the moment when the check is put down, however, there’s one easy trick that will completely avoid any arguments: Arrange payment in advance. Right after the group is seated, find the maître d’ and tell him that after the meal is complete, you’d like it to be put on a credit card that you give him right then and there. That way, when the bill arrives, it’s actually just the receipt — and if anyone starts in, you can just tell them that it’s already been taken care of. Another option for the more tech-savvy? Download an app that lets you leave without paying at all.