Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)

Splitting the Tab:

No one likes to be left paying for your three margaritas at dinner when all you had was an iced tea. Splitting the check can be a tricky proposition. But with a different sort of awareness, you can emerge from those situations with your friendships intact: 

•Be mindful of what you are ordering compared to others. If you are ordering considerably more food and drink, chip in more at the end of the meal. Depending on how much you order, you may even consider putting in two credit cards for yourself rather than just one.

•Share family style sensibly. You may be ravenous, but that shared appetizer that everyone is “splitting” should be enjoyed by all—not just by you. Wait until everyone has had their share before going back for seconds—or thirds!

•Request a separate check if you believe your meal will be substantially more or less than that of others, or if you are dining with a spouse and children and others are not. This is not as cumbersome for servers to track as it once was, thanks to point-of-purchase hospitality software that allows a server to split a tab any way the table requests.