Sharing Restaurant Dishes Is Becoming Slightly More Acceptable

Good news thrifty diners, you’re not the only ones asking to share dishes at restaurants these days. Thanks to the recession, it’s becoming acceptable for everyone to split their dishes, and restaurants aren’t complaining. “Now all bets are off,” said David Pogrebin, manager of the snazzy French restaurant Brasserie. “People are not ashamed of being frugal.”

“I do worry sometimes about people thinking we are being cheap, but I tend to feel that I am still spending money there over eating at home, and I try not to worry about it,” said Marcy Robison, a stay-at-home mom from Columbus, Ohio. “In the end, we are trying to be wise stewards of our finances and if someone finds fault with that, so be it.”

Robison, who writes a blog called “Stretching a Buck,” said she and her husband typically eat out two or three times a week and frequently split an entree or order two entrees and split them with their 3-year-old daughter.

She said that by sharing dishes, the family saves $5 to $12 each time.

Of course, the savings can dwindle at restaurants that charge a splitting fee, which can go as high as $5 for an entree.

If you’re going to split a dish, remember that you’re not the only one grasping for every dollar. Help out your server with a slightly larger tip.

Splitting that spaghetti? You’re not the only one [AP]
(Photo: sleepyneko)

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  1. Aladdyn says:

    Hmm, personally i think that if your eating out up to three times a week then you are being cheap if your splitting dishes. Why not eat out less and get each person their own dish and save money by eating the leftovers for a meal the next day. As far as kids go though it can be a waste to buy them a whole dinner, just let them graze off your fries then feed them a real dinner when you get home.

    • formatc says:

      @Aladdyn: My thoughts exactly. If you order two meals like anyone else and take leftovers from both, you still get two meals for two people for two days. There’s no doubt that taking leftovers is socially acceptable, and I’d much rather do that. You can even mix it up and swap the leftovers for the next day, if you’re worried about repetition.

      • I_have_something_to_say says:

        @formatc:

        I don’t get why so many people are worried about being socially acceptable about something as minor as this? Is this highschool or something?

        • pollyannacowgirl says:

          @Colage: Ooooh, I was thinking that, too! When we made the decision for me to stay home, that meant that we sacrifice things like eating out all the time, sending shirts out, having a housekeeper, etc.

          I do understand that some meals are cheaper eaten out than prepared at home. Usually it’s much cheaper to take out the occasional ethnic meal, because buying all the ingredients and spices, etc. costs more unless you’re making it all the time.

    • Kishi says:

      @Aladdyn: It’s cheap to split something, but it’s frugal to let kids “graze off your fries”? =)

      My wife and I will split entrees sometimes, though it’s less financial, and more the fact that they serve about three times as much food as one person needs to eat in a single sitting…

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Kishi: I guess a better alternative would be to order your meal and instead of ordering another meal for your kid, or even ordering a child’s size (cause kids are fickle and will most likely not even eat what you order them) just use an appetizer plate or something and separate part of your meal for them and give them more as they want it.

        Most restaurants aren’t going to charge for that anyway. They make very little off the scraps they pass as the children’s menu.

      • HogwartsAlum says:

        @Kishi:

        That’s just what I was thinking. The average portions have doubled from what they used to be. I can almost always get two meals out of whatever I order in a restaurant anymore.

    • miss_roxxan says:

      @Aladdyn: i’d rather not eat leftovers though. if i can split a meal with someone a couple times a week rather than eat out each having an entree one night and having to reheat leftovers for another night, i’d GLADLY split two meals. reheating sucks yo.

      • erratapage says:

        @miss_roxxan: @Aladdyn: What if you enjoy the experience of eating out? I enjoy going to a restaurant, having a drink… enjoying the company and not having to clean up. I don’t see why I can’t save a few bucks by sharing a meal with my husband at the same time.

        I would do it 3X a week if I could.

    • Gann says:

      @Aladdyn: Some foods are not very good reheated. There’s also the added inconvenience of bringing the food back home, giving your car that leftover food smell, reheating the leftovers, sending the take-home styrofoam container to a landfill, and doing dishes.

    • ScottRose says:

      @Aladdyn:

      Agreed. Eating out is a luxury to begin with. I find it weird and a bit ridiculous that someone with a blog on frugality would eat out 2-3 times per week and then write about how they’re saving money by splitting an entree.

      If saving money is a top concern, eat out once a week instead.

      Though of course they’re free to do as they please.. It’s their money and their free time. I just won’t abide their advice.

      • ScottRose says:

        And I’m sorry, but one more thing: If that extra $5-12 is making or breaking your budget, seriously don’t go to restaurants. I know eating at home is more work, but it’s probably 5x less expensive.. unless your “restaurant” of choice is McDs or Arby’s.

  2. microcars says:

    my wife and I have always wanted to “split” meals not because of thrift but because we are normally served double the amount we would ever eat!

    yeah we can take it home, but it usually does not taste as good the next day (or whenever it is we get around to finishing it, if we don’t toss it…)

    We actually have avoided restaurants that my wife thinks “serves too much”.

    We don’t chow down when we eat, we normally nosh all day and eat small portions more often.

    • ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

      @microcars: Word. Portions at restaurants are out of control. Not everyone wants to eat 4 cups of pasta in one sitting.

    • Vhalkyrie says:

      @microcars: This is exactly what we do too. We usually order a number of appetizer plates and share them ‘tapas’ style.

      • AdvocatesDevil says:

        @Vhalkyrie: Yep, same here. We go out to these restaurants that give you 3 or more SERVINGS on your plate of each item and even if you could eat all of it, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I really don’t need 3,000 calories in one meal, thanks. And we always tip the server appropriately for the service they provide, so it’s totally up to him or her to earn a good tip. None of this “they deserve a big tip because it’s such hard work” whining. My job is pretty darn hard, too, but no one gives me tips! I just get my paycheck.

    • deadspork says:

      @microcars:
      Huh, my friends and I split dishes all the time. If 2 of us go out we might order an entree and then an appetizer, and just share everything. But it is because the portions are so large, moreso than being frugal.

      However, there have been times where we’ve gone out as a group, and each person ordered a different entree and we all shared everything so that we could sample each dish. We mostly do this at ethnic restaurants, because there are so many great flavors to share.

      If it bothers someone they can toss off :)

    • SacraBos says:

      @microcars: Amen! Most portions are really more than the average person needs to eat anyway. When my wife and I split a dish, it’s rarely about price, simply because we don’t need to gorge ourselves to enjoy dining out.

  3. HRHKingFridayXX says:

    I do this in big groups and when the portions are “family” sized. I’ve found the best way to do this is to have everyone agree on a few things to order and then have one person order for the table… that takes a little sting off the waiter.

  4. ryaninc says:

    My wife and I were in PF Changs a few days ago and noticed that they redesigned their menu. There are now at least two dishes that say “perfect for sharing” or something to that effect in the description.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @ryaninc: Even though PF Changs is more Americanized in its fusion food approach to Asian cuisine, a common aspect of all Asian cuisine is that it’s share-friendly. My parents and my grandparents were somewhat perplexed when they first immigrated here and found that in America, people don’t typically keep large plates of food in the center of the table for everyone to share and place on their own individual plates. Everyone got their own meal, and it seemed very strange to them.

      I don’t necessarily see it as being cheap…it’s a cultural thing too.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @ryaninc: yes, apparently they have also got a prix fixe meal for two and made some sharing suggestions on the menu

      [www.flickr.com]

  5. Baccus83 says:

    If you’re splitting it with your kid – then I can understand.

    If you’re at The Cheesecake Factory or any other restaurant where their entrees are inordinately huge, I can also understand.

    If you’re at a family-style restaurant, sure – go ahead. That’s the point.

    In most other cases, however, I feel that it’s kind of tacky, and not a little bit disrespectful to the chef and owner.

    • lemur says:

      @Gene Gemperline: The chef and owner just have to deal with it or I can take my business elsewhere.

      How about that?

    • varro says:

      @Gene Gemperline: In this economy, most restaurants would be glad for *any* customer.

      Anyway, less food might mean more money for alcohol, which is what restaurants really make their money off of.

    • amuro98 says:

      @Gene Gemperline: Why should either the chef or the owner care? So long as I’m not breaking any policies, such as sharing a buffet, or failing to meet the minimum charge per person, what’s the big deal?

      You’d think in this economic environment, just having paying customers would be good enough for them.

  6. OminousG says:

    Aside from buffets, I almost always spilt a meal. Never even crossed my mind about being tacky. Ruby Tuesday, Outback, Chili’s… those dinners are huge.

    • aguacarbonica says:

      @OminousG:

      Not to mention that those sorts of restaurants are not exactly fine dining, and I don’t think they really have the right to be offended that you want to split a pound of quesadilla. (Not being pretentious, these are the restaurants I eat at too. But I don’t think chain restaurants should have the same stigma of offending the chef/owner.)

  7. ludwigk says:

    My gf and I will often split a burger, fries and a shake at the local burger bistroes around here. They’re already serving humongous $9 burgers, and with the high margin fries and shake, we don’t feel bad about it.

  8. Stephen Gross says:

    I agree with many of the commenters: restaurant portions have been huge for a long time, so it has always made sense to split certain dishes. If restaurants would pare pack their serving sizes (and prices accordingly), I would be more willing not to split entrees.

  9. Plates says:

    Some places charge for splitting.

  10. DevoAlmighty says:

    If you want to avoid paying the splitting cost, simply ask for another plate. Don’t tell the server you’re splitting or anything, just say “can I have an extra plate please?” and then split it up yourselve. The extra charge you’re paying for is for the extra work that goes in to splitting the dish in to two decent looking portions, sure 5 bucks is a little high for something like that, but you’ll probably see that in more of the bigger cities/establishments. Not at Olive Garden.

    • yevarechecha says:

      @DevoAlmighty: I did this at Carnegie Deli in NYC and was charged $3 for the empty plate. The restaurant did none of the splitting.

      I have a small appetite so I usually go into restaurants with the idea that one entree can hold me 2-3 meals. Asking for doggie bags makes me feel less weird than splitting someone else’s food or sharing plates.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @DevoAlmighty: If you are having them make up two plates, then a fee makes sense.

      Just bring a paper plate with you or actually share the plate. Also restaurants usually provide a free small plate for bread. Use that.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Corporate_guy: Yeah, I’m not walking into a restaurant with my own plate. Sorry. I get that the restaurant is losing out on that second meal, but $3 for a plate is annoying.

    • K-Bo says:

      @DevoAlmighty: many restaurants I’ve been to actually list the fee on the menu as an
      “Extra Plate Fee”, and separating the food yourself does not save you from it.

    • t0ph says:

      @DevoAlmighty: Riiiiight. The server’s job is to be attentive to your table – is he or she not going to notice that you are splitting the dish, regardless of whether or not they bring you a plate?

      Also, for the record, a splitting fee covers the washing of the silverware, the linen, the heat, the electricity, the splenda etc. A restaurant is not a public place, you are renting the seat.

      Also, some posters here are spiltting hairs on the difference of a “sharing” or a “splitting” charge. Some dishes to not “spilt” well, so you bring them an extra plate, because they would look skimpy and unappetizing as such.

      I work in a restaurant an I can care less if I bring you another plate or if the kitchen splits it. An I am in favor of having a sharing/splitting charge posted on the menu and waiving it for 95% of the people who use it, and stick it to the people who abuse it by taking up space on a busy night, order half as much an stay twice as long.

      • t0ph says:

        @PerpetualBoredom: An kudos to Carey for remembering the servers in the OP. We are trying to make a living. Some people reduce everything down to a ‘system’ that they try to ‘game’.

    • Stephmo says:

      @DevoAlmighty: If you’re at a restaurant with a splitting fee, let’s just say you’re at an establishment that views itself at a certain level – aka “not the Olive Garden.”

      If you can’t afford a splitting fee (or corkage fee or cake cutting fee) because it’s cutting into your need to be frugal, you probably shouldn’t have chosen to eat at that establishment in the first place. None of those fees are designed to make up for lost costs – they’re designed to ensure that the dining experience remains intact.

      Splitting fees mean that you’ll both end up with more than just a cut in half entree – you’ll get the proper presentation and usually the chef will end up using additional ingredients to ensure that both half entrees have the proper garnish.

      If you absolutely must have that restaurants food and three dollars will end up breaking the bank and you’ve already bare-boned your order, ask if they do carry-out instead. Yeah, it’s not the full experience, but you can take home your single entree, feel good about tipping minimally for the packing of your carry out order, use your own wine at home and cut it in half without worry about your 3 buck charge.

      These charges should not be a surprise in fine dining establishments – there’s more to it than the cryo-vac reheat bags that Olive Garden opens and dumps onto a plate in those kitchens.

    • amuro98 says:

      @DevoAlmighty: Charging for an extra plate makes no sense to me, and any place that did so wouldn’t get my patronage anymore.

      Even when my wife and I don’t split an entree, we’ll order different things, and then share. For example, she’ll get the fish, and I’ll get the chicken, then we’ll each slice off a portion for the other person to try. Yeah, we sometimes do the plate-swap thing but that’s usually rather inconvenient if the plates are large and hot.

  11. Corporate_guy says:

    A splitting fee? LOL. You mean a forced tip that means no additional tip will be provided.

  12. Anonymous says:

    At the resturant I work at splitting a meal, while sometimes annoying, is perfectly allowed and if we notice that you’ve ordered one starter and there are two of you we’ll usually split it without asking anyway. Customers love it when they you bring it to the table already split, especially on puddings.

  13. YardanKabolla says:

    If you SIMPLY MUST eat out, and not cook at home, and you want to share, but the restaurant dislikes or wont alllow sharing, JUST GET IT TO GO and eat at home.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @YardanKabolla: A lot of places don’t do to go orders. Plenty of more upscale restaurants won’t do this. It really doesn’t bother me though. My view on this is that I picked the restaurant, I wanted to have a good experience there. If being able to afford an upscale place means I have to split a meal, I probably shouldn’t be going there to begin with. So when I go to better establishments (you know, they kind of expect you to come in dressed well) I don’t expect for them to want me to split a meal, or be happy about it. But most of them are really nice about it because they know you’re spending a heck of a lot of money there. BUT, if they oppose to splitting, don’t be the jerk who raises a ruckus because you want your way. Just deal with it, and order separate plates.

    • Anonymous says:

      @YardanKabolla: If you do get a meal to go, PLEASE remember to tip!! Even if it’s only a dollar or two… I can’t even recall all the times I’ve run around like crazy packaging up to-go meals, grabbing the appropriate utensils, bagging and carrying the packages to the front, *all while attending to my regular duties*, only to be rewarded with a quick wave as the customer dashes out the door. It’s truly crushing.
      Also, my current restaurant doesn’t generally charge the splitting fee (only $1) if you get dessert or some soup as well.

  14. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Splitting meals should be a relatively subtle practice. Don’t treat it as being cheap, just look at it as a meal being too big for just one person. I also think if you walk into a restaurant, and feel awkward about something you normally do, you probably shouldn’t do it there. I would feel weird going into an upscale place and trying to split a meal.

  15. ZoeSchizzel says:

    I frequently just order an appetizer when we go out, simply because I’m a low-volume eater. If I do order an entree, I’ll order with the understanding that I should order something that will be good reheated the next day and either DH or I can take it for lunch.

    (A rant — there’s a great bistro in our town that offers a luscious, one-price Sunday brunch, but we never go because I can’t eat $$$ worth of FOOD in one sitting! I wish they’d offer a mini-brunch for those of us who wouldn’t pack it away in our hampster cheeks. DH would probably get his money’s worth, but I would not. So they lose our business…)

    When I go out with friends, we usually order a few appetizers to share and pass them around. We DO leave a great tip!

  16. BuddyHinton says:

    We’ve done it for a long time. Not to be frugal but to be healthy. Like other comments shown, portions are huge and wasteful. Often, it is impractical to bring leftovers home with you (i.e. vacationing).

  17. Andi Lee says:

    Welcome to my entire life. When I was little, I didn’t even go to McDonald’s without having to split a meal between my mom, myself, and my 4 brothers. Imagine what it was like going to a sit-down restaurant and splitting just an appetizer with the entire family (usually going out to a sit-down restaurant was thanks to winning a prize on the radio or something crazy). Even now when I’m out with my mom, we’ll very happily split and even have enough to take home and eat for another meal.

  18. Vhalkyrie says:

    Sharing plates being considered ‘tacky’ is an American phenomena. In Europe and Asia, it’s common to share plates. Ever heard of tapas? In the US it’s because restaurants serve you portion sizes 2-3 times the size they should be. They sell more, they make more.

    • TheName says:

      @Vhalkyrie: While I agree on the “2-3 times the size” point, in America it comes back to the tip. If you split 2 $15 entrees instead of ordering 3 your server’s staring at the difference between a $6 and $9 tip (yeah, I tip 20% for average service). Hence the “seriously? Splitting it?” attitude.

      If you weren’t living off tips, what do you care what people order? I miss Paris where “two coffees” is an acceptable table order.

      • trujunglist says:

        @TheName:

        That is stupid. What is stopping the people from just ordering 3 less expensive items and calling it a day? Servers must be retarded if this is common server thinking, and that is probably why they are still servers.

  19. bohemian says:

    I just wish more restaurants would have a few entrees that are not super sized. I frequently end up ordering appetizers because there is no way I can finish any of the entrees.

    • amuro98 says:

      @bohemian: Even some of the entrees at restaurants are getting ridiculously huge…and then ending up on equally ridiculous lists like those whiny “eat this, not that” articles.

      Yeah, if an appetizer consists of 2 pounds of french fries covered in cheese and ranch dressing (Outback Steakhouse) it’s pretty clear that 1: it’s not meant to be health food and 2: it’s meant to be shared. I mean, who seriously starts off dinner by eating 2 pounds of french fries drenched in cheese and dressing?

  20. Baron Von Crogs says:

    I never knew typical (aka, not buffet style places) cared or surcharged you if you split a dish. That seems super assy.

  21. MichaelLC says:

    Eating out 2-3 times per week?

    How about eating at home – you can put it on as many plates as you’d like. She’s a “stay at home mom,” but doesn’t have time to cook? I thought that’s why people stayed home.

    • Colage says:

      @MichaelLC: It does call into question why she thinks she’s qualified to write a frugality blog if the family has a stay-at-home parent and they still go out to dinner 2-3 times a week?

      • Boulderite says:

        @Colage:

        I am so glad I wasn’t the only one thinking this!!! :)

        I don’t quite understand how eating out 2-3 times a week is “Stretching a Buck”. I understand they are sharing meals, but they still have taxes, tip and drinks, unless they have tap water. Wouldn’t you be stretching your buck farther if you ate more meals at home?

    • DaoKaioshin says:

      @MichaelLC: this level of consumption kinda reminds me of the reason the downturn happened in the first place.

  22. jkinatl2 says:

    I know my self-esteem and sense of worth trumps whatever the serving or kitchen staff thinks of me. Whether I am sharing a plate or taking it home, it’s my food. I bought it. And I always tip well (and not always based on the dollar amount, but also factoring in the time spent at the table and attention paid).

    If someone wants to think I am tacky, then so be it. Not my issue – though if I perceive such an inference, I will cheerfully not patronize that eating place again, and make my opinion known. :)

    • floraposte says:

      @jkinatl2: I do find it odd that some people apparently consider a restaurant to be the definer of proper behavior. It’s a merchant that sells cooked food for money. It’s perfectly polite for customers to (politely) request their food as they please, and to move on to a more accommodating location if the restaurant isn’t prepared to sell them what they’re asking for.

  23. I_have_something_to_say says:

    I could care less what people think when I split a dish. It’s my money and I do with it what I see fit. One restaurant gave me a hard time about it once – it was against their ‘policy’ to allow it. I asked the server to check with the manager. They did and wouldn’t do it so I told them I wouldn’t be back, walked out and have never been back.

    Strangely they are out of business now. I like to think I had a part in that.

    I was a server in a past life and never had any problems with people doing it myself.

  24. Trai_Dep says:

    I draw the line, however, at dumpster-diving the restaurant, taking the food back in, then asking them to re-plate it for me. Unless I order an appetizer.

  25. endless says:

    been doing this for years.

    longhorn’s chicken fingers are a good bet. most times we cant finish the meal between the wife and i.

  26. kwsventures says:

    “Restaurants aren’t complaining” … many are on the brink of bankruptcy. They need any business they can get.

  27. Boulderite says:

    Sometimes we share, but not always. Quite frankly we don’t always agree on what we (husband and I) want to eat. If we do want to share we check with the waiter first, to see if there will be a charge.

  28. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    this is one reason dim sum has always made sense to me. you pick out what the person or people at the table is going to eat and you get charged for the empties on the table. the restaurant doesn’t care who eats what as long as the food that goes to the table gets paid for by SOMEONE

  29. chocolate1234 says:

    I rarely split a meal, but when I do, I never worry about it being tacky. I definitely wouldn’t do it at certain more upscale restaurants, but I wouldn’t feel bad about doing it at a chain or family restaurant. I usually just order something I know will reheat well and take the rest to work the next day. Makes me feel less guilty about eating out.

    On another note, has anybody actually looked at this woman’s blog? I’m curious as to why a woman who’s eating out three times a week is writing a blog about saving money.

  30. Justifan says:

    its not acceptable, if you are that poor just stay home.

    or eat at places where dishes ARE shared by default.
    like chinese restaurants where dishes are shared and each person has a bowl/plate of rice and serves themselves from the variety of shared dishes.

    • calwatch says:

      @Justifan: What an asinine thing to stay. Better that some restaurant is getting business than closing. Sure, if you split plates at one of those outfits that require 2 months of reservations, then it could be considered cheap, but not at a place where I can be seated immediately or within 15 minutes, as are most restaurants on weekdays these days.

  31. courtneywoah says:

    I’m a server. If you tip 20% (for good service that is) or are at least polite we don’t care what you do!

  32. Zorantor says:

    It’s a bit off-topic, I know, but aren’t those folks in the picture the same folks from that 360/Wii picture a short while back?

  33. P_Smith says:

    If this means sharing the same plates, it could mean a rise in Hepatitis A and B. Communal eating plates and bowls are why the disease is so widespread in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

    Hepatitis A regions:

    [www.medwork84.com]

    Hepatitis B regions:

    [www.gavialliance.org]

    And that’s why you hear it spreading from salad bars in western countries: communal eating.

    • floraposte says:

      @P_Smith: I don’t think that actually is the case. For instance, that’s highly unlikely to spread hepatitis B. And since you’re unlikely to be sharing a plate with someone you don’t already know fairly well, it’s unlikely that you’d be exposing yourself (or your dining partner) to hepatitis A in a way you haven’t already.

      The restaurant issues with hepatitis A are from restaurant workers, not diners.

    • datafox says:

      @P_Smith:

      Sorry but there is no proof on your maps about that. What could be the case is that those places have inadequate medical care therefore more spreading of disease. I have eaten communally most of my life and I do not have either of those diseases but then I do live in the States.

  34. MrFrankenstein says:

    From what I’ve tasted of US food, I look forward to most restaurants and chains going bankrupt. US food is routinely greasy, bland, awash with oil, and with the nutritional value of dung – and that includes all the ‘salad’ bar choices I’ve tasted – all items layered with oil.
    No wonder the cancer rates are high in America.

    I can whip up a high-quality > restaurant-level meal for between $4 – $6, in just about any ethnic cuisine I feel like – from Chinese, to Indian, Thai, Italian, African, British, standard ‘steakhouse’ or any other genre I feel in the mood for.

    It’s called ‘knowing how to cook.’

    If you’re eating out, you’re throwing away anywhere from 70 – 85% of the money that you’re paying for the meal – just to sit someplace, and have someone bring you plates of food.

    • Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

      @MrFrankenstein: Dude,
      who in the hell eats British food! They are known internationally for having some of the worst cuisine on this planet.

      • HiEllie says:

        @Barney_The Plug_ Frank:
        And you, good sir, are known for being the biggest idiot on this planet. You took a perfectly good comment and managed to find something small to bitch about.

        @MrFrankenstein:
        you make a great point about cooking at home. I do wish more people would take the time to learn how to cook. Taking a cooking class or two, or even paying a friend to come over ever week and showing them how to make simple dishes, those would be very cheap investments in a very worthwhile skill that could save them tons of money in the long run. It is so much more rewarding to cook your own meals anyway, and then you have control over ingredients, portion size, etc.

  35. aixwiz says:

    My wife and I have been splitting restaurant meals for years. Until recently, most restaurants gave portions that were so large diners would either end up taking some of it home, overeating or wasting food.

    As for the restaurants that charged us for splitting a meal, we no longer go to those establishments.

    Don’t worry about what other people think; if you want to split meals, split.

  36. t0ph says:

    I have a couple of things to say..

    I am a waiter an I treat everyone with respect no matter what they order. I just expect to be tipped for my work (lets not discuss tipping in this thread PLEASE)

    With that said, if ever couple came in and split an app and an entree – my check average would be chopped in half, an that would suck.

    I really really need to know where some of the posters are eating , because it is my experience that if you are getting alot of something on a plate, it is poor quality and unhealthy or it is pasta (pasta being dirt cheap). I do not see most restaurants serving dishes 2-4 times too big. I just don’t.

    • sarahq says:

      @PerpetualBoredom: I find the entree sizes at every restaurant I’ve been to in the past year to be too large unless I’m eating nothing else but the entree. If I’m eating a two or three course meal (e.g. splitting an appetizer, having a side salad, and then trying to eat and entree), I couldn’t possibly eat more than half the entree without being stuffed to the point of being uncomfortable.

      Sure, I could eat just an entree, but that’s rather boring. I’d rather have a less of more things — and thus my girlfriend and I typically split an appetizer, a salad, and an entree.

      (Some chains this would apply to include Outback, Red Robin, TGI Fridays, Olive Garden, Applebees, and Ruby Tuesday.)

  37. Anonymous says:

    Could we have illustrated this story with a more unflattering photo? Is that what people who share dishes look like to the wait staff? Am I the only one who does not want to see any more of Mr. and Ms. Seven Deadly Sins?

  38. Barney_The Plug_ Frank says:

    Really, if you have to end up splitting your dish in order to go out and eat, you would probably be better off just preparing a nice meal at home and saving the $$. Either that, or not going out and save the necessary amt. of money, so you can have a proper night out and not be embarrassed.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Come to Tony’s in Birch Run, MI. When you order a breakfast, you get a 6 egg scramble, a pair of 9 inch pancakes, a full pound of bacon and about the same amount of hash browns. An extra plate is a buck and they have a cardiologist on staff

    YUM

  40. jcargill says:

    Most restaurants are way ahead of us by making the same dishes with cheaper, more inferior ingredients. bon apetit!

  41. trujunglist says:

    I must’ve missed the memo, because I’ve personally never thought it was tacky or cheap to share a meal. What it comes down to, in the end, is how hungry you are. Why is it more acceptable to order two smaller dishes for 5 bucks each instead of splitting 1 big dish at $10? There’s no difference. Anyone who thinks its cheap or tacky to share is, quite simply, dumb as a brick. Charging to split a dish? Why the hell would you ever accept that for the same reason I mentioned above unless there was only 1 thing on the entire menu that you were interested in? This is retarded and quite frankly I don’t understand why I’ve wasted so much time with it.
    If you’re not hungry, why the hell should you order anything at all as long as someone else is ordering food? It’s not a crime to accompany someone while they eat. I’ve never felt bad about just ordering a coke or even a glass of water and I don’t intend to start now.

    • mm1970 says:

      @trujunglist:
      I agree with you (half way, anyway). Let’s look at the finance aspect. What’s the difference between eating out 4 times and splitting the dishes (total: 4 entrees purchased), and eating out twice and taking home leftovers (4 entrees purchased). Seriously. I can’t see why people are saying “if you can’t afford it…” It’s the same outlay of cash. And if you enjoy eating out…(personally, now that I have a 3-year old, it’s a chore).

      However, I see why some restaurants charge for splitting. If you are taking up two seats and only eating one entree, you are potentially taking money from the restaurant and server. A busy restaurant would want to turn the tables.

      A non-busy restaurant with empty tables? I wouldn’t worry about it.