Nothing feels as uncomfortable at the end of a meal at a restaurant than waiting forever for the check. Yet you might be the reason that your check has not come.
For instance, have you indicated through American or Continental etiquette signals that you are finished eating and want your plates removed? Did you perhaps ask for dessert menus, only to change your mind about ordering anything and not tell the server?
Regardless, if you want your check, you can take a few steps to make sure it comes soon.
How to Signal a Server to Let Them Know You’d Like the Check
Even in a busy restaurant, your server will no doubt pass by your table occasionally. The easiest way to flag the server that you are ready for a check is to lift your index finger or slightly wave your hand. Never snap your fingers, though.
Because you are the one requesting the check, you can expect that the server may deliver the bill to you instead of your eating companions. Generally speaking, unless you have indicated that someone else is paying, your server will think that you are picking up the tab for everyone.
Handling Split Checks for One Restaurant Table
What if you are not ready to cover the delicious seafood entrees and more that everyone ate? Or your father-in-law insists on paying for half the bill?
Ideally, you should tell your server at the beginning of the meal that you need separate checks. Nevertheless, you may not know someone else plans on arguing with you about who pays. Should you grab the server and have them rearrange the bill?
Though servers can often split bills after they have already been run through the computer system, this can be time-consuming. Servers are happy to make patrons feel comfortable, though, and may do this with a smile. Be sure to tip any server who splits the bill for several diners at the end of the meal, as this is not customary and shows their desire to help.
If everyone is paying in cash, splitting the check can be much easier. Ask everyone to contribute their share and then put all the money together. Alternatively, you can hand one person cash as long as that person is covering the full cost on a credit or debit card.
The Best Way to Let the Waiter Know You’re Ready for Them to Take Your Card
You slid your credit card into the plastic card slot at the top of the bill holder, or perhaps you just loaded many bills into the holder. You still have one more action to take: Place the bill holder at the end of the table with a little money or the card showing.
Your server will notice that your bill looks ready to process, and will come around to take the holder from the table without a word being said. Be sure not to leave without signing your receipt after adding an appropriate tip, as well as taking your card so you can use it again at your favorite eatery soon.
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