By | Shital Kakkar Mehra | Executive Presence Coach for CEOs I Business Communication Expert I Best-selling Author I Co-Founder Katalyst, NGO
While traveling overseas for business, your local colleagues may ‘split the cheque’ in a restaurant although splitting the check in India is a new concept.In many parts of the world ‘going Dutch’ is the norm i.e. splitting the check when dining with colleagues.
It’s cultural! In Monochronic cultures, people don’t like to mix their professional and personal relationships. In these cultures you are not expected to pay for your colleagues when dining out e.g.USA, Canada, Australia, West Europe, etc. Polychronic cultures like to build relationships and use business meals as occasions to build better bonds. In these cultures, the senior-most person pays for the group and ‘going Dutch’ is considered rude, even taboo e.g. India, Middle-East, Greece, Italy, China and Latin America.
When dining out with colleagues, the common ways to split the cheque are:
1) Equal share: Post-tax and after adding the tip, the bill amount is equally divided among the diners.
2) Informal ‘fair share’: If you have expensive tastes, you are expected to pay extra over and above the ‘equal” e.g you enjoyed a couple of malts while your fellow diners were teetotalers or you ordered tiger prawn while the others ate cheaper vegetarian / chicken dishes.
3) Individual bills: Diners ask the server for individual bills i.e. each person settles his own cheque, including the tip.
Tip: Ask your local colleagues about the accepted practice in his/her culture -don’t assume that as a visitor, your host is expected to pay for you.