Should you charge friends for dinner at your house?

It was a question that popped up again and again though almost always dismissed as not a good idea: Is it okay Charge your friends for dinner at your home?

One of the latest related examples Amber Nelson, a podcaster in LA, who turned to Twitter to ask, “Was invited to someone’s place for dinner and they charged me…this is weird, isn’t it?” That’s right, and nearly 400,000 people on Twitter seem to agree.

As Nelson explains, she drank a couple of penne alla vodkas with a bill of $20; predictable, Terrible reactions ensued. (Even actors Kristen Schaal got into it.) The chorus of “it happened to me” is also: “It stole me when someone bought me $9 for a drink after I just bought a round”, a writer. “The boss suggested banh tet. Then charged each of us $17. They are not even good tacos,” another added.

There are parties where guests have to cough up $5 to use the bathroom, or $400 just to attend. There’s a pizza at a “new multi-million dollar suburban home” for which the guest has been asked to pay. There was an infant bath scheduled by friends who then emailed the guest of honor bill for the event; BBQ by rich friends who asked for money when guests left. In one disturbing incident, a friend was invited to someone else’s house and offered only water because she didn’t bring her own alcohol; meanwhile, the friend who lives there has turned himself into Manhattan.

While this question has been a mainstay for years, it doesn’t help that we’re left wondering, exhausted, and confused about our return to social norms after a protracted pandemic. what. None of us quite know how to get out of the house and reintegrate into this world, or whether we should. We could all do it with a few etiquette reminders, so we brought in the experts.

First: No, don’t charge your friends

Crystal L. Bailey, director of Washington Institute of Etiquette, which serves children, adolescents, and adults as a governing body for modern conduct in the United States and internationally. “If you’re hosting someone and inviting them over, hosting is about taking care of that experience and that person. It’s not even a socioeconomic issue, no matter how difficult it is to get a meal together. We thought of being able to break bread with people, and not have some sort of financial transaction when you invite someone into your home.”

“A host can be a rude host, and the question is, would your guests want to say yes to the next invitation they receive?”

– Lizzie Post

maybe Do you charge your friends for dinner at your place? Sure, but there will most likely be consequences. “A host can be a rude host, and the question is, would your guests want to say yes to the next invitation they receive?” requestLizzie Postgreat niece of etiquette icon Emily Post and she is the author of numerous books on etiquette as well as co-chair of the Emily Post Institute and co-host of Great ritual audio file. “People can do anything, that doesn’t make it polite.”

Why does this question keep popping up?

It’s easy to blame technology for the gap IRL. And sure enough, there’s more than enough financial stress to go around now. But maybe it’s also that we live in a capitalist culture, more brutal than ever before.

Bailey mused: “I don’t know if it’s easy to communicate with technology that gives the courage and the audacity to make that claim. “Can you also expect me to have $20 on me, if we don’t have the technology? It’s perfectly fine to use Venmo,” she clarified. “But we need to think about sending a money request if there hasn’t been a conversation about it.”

Post felt a trickle-down effect from our use of Venmo. “Even if you make your account private, you still see a feed showing you people paying each other or charging for things,” she says. “It creates the idea that it’s okay to think about who owes whom what all the time. I think that’s too much information, and too common; we just give each other Venmo everything. ”

Avoid drama and communicate first

It’s not like asking for donations for a dinner party is inherently bad; That’s what you need to explain to your guests what the expectations are before Your noodles and vodka sauce are in their stomach. “When you invite a guest and then make them expect a certain amount of money, it puts them in a terrible position,” Post said. It is extremely disrespectful and inconsiderate. It deceives. Honesty is good etiquette.”

Say, if you want to do something that could be expensive or complicated – or even impossible – then you have your ceremonial right to ask for donations. Come first from those who want to come. “I can see a situation like that where people are giving the experience first…but not the bait and conversion and this is your bill,” Bailey said. “If you want to send an Italian dinner invitation, my house, $20 a plate, you can do it!” adds Post, who admits, “I still don’t think it’s a good idea.” Instead, grab the potluck.

Just be directly, consult Colu Henry, author of the upcoming cookbook “Colu Cooks: Easy Fancy Food.” Say something like, “’I need community, I don’t have the money to pay for a huge dinner, but if you’re into potlucking or donating….’ Pioneering is key. ”

And even if the expectation is that a bunch of normal friends come in to order Doordash and hang themselves and you’re all going to split the bill, help people and make that clear from the start, unless that’s already a rule standards are established in your circle.

Talk to your friend, but not Venmo

Henry said: “Last Christmas, we spent the holiday with friends. Wanting to go all out, the team initially makes a spreadsheet to keep track of who’s spending what to make sure it’s all fair. Before long, they dropped the net. “At the end of the day, I said, ‘I don’t care,'” she said. She reminds us that the whole point of hosting the show is for family relationships. “You do this because you want to, and next time they will. That’s how my world works.”

When it comes to etiquette, there should be a sense of reciprocity. If you’re worried about how you’re going to get back the money you spent on a meal, remember that your friends had you over a month ago. “People choose this social tab. That feels good,” Post said. “We don’t need to send invoices and receipts after the parties have happened.”

“It’s the golden rule, treat people the way you want to be treated,” Bailey said.

If you feel like you’re the only one getting the bill, talk to your friend – but not Venmo.

What else do guests need to know?

It reminds you that as a guest you have several duties. “I hope that I will bring a gift for my presenter. I can ask if there is something I can bring to contribute,” Bailey said. The host might say no, and “that’s when we brought a host gift, a candle, a bottle of wine – didn’t expect them to serve that night – chocolate….” It doesn’t have to be expensive or ornate. “My grandmother in Richmond, she always said, ‘Don’t show up with arms swinging,” she added. “I remember growing up, visiting family on Sunday, she would bring two liters of soft drink. It may be small, within your means, something you did. That is the mindset of those who receive you. “

Also, give your host a bit of a cushion by arriving 5 to 10 minutes after the start time, Bailey recommends. We may have a tendency to stay too long because we are so excited to strike up a conversation after being apart for so long. Pay attention to the clues: If your server is starting to clean or the music stops, it’s time to say goodbye. In another viral thread, respect the rules of the host when wearing shoes indoors. And in these COVID times, please warn others about wearing a mask or checking before gathering. Think about how you serve and share food, and what will be safest and most comfortable for everyone.

Create a positive host-guest relationship

The host also has a quest. Know your budget and stick with it, Post says. “Sending someone a Venmo request after the fact is not a good solution to ‘Sorry, I spent too much.’ It is up to you to resolve. Don’t make it your friend’s problem”. Your role should be to take care of your friends and create an evening of enjoyment, whether it’s “six friends with mac and cheese at a card table, or 12 friends around a fancy dinner table. That’s what fits your budget,” says Post.

Bailey advises against over-serving guests. And do what you can to make them comfortable: “Make sure they have a safe route home; We may not be as sure about our tolerances as before. [Hide away] anything you don’t want to share (like your 30th anniversary wine!), and don’t make it a big deal if someone spills red wine on your white carpet. That person feels terrible! Let people know where everything is, offer to get their coats, bags.” And when it comes to indoor footwear, “Maybe have an inexpensive pair of socks on hand, or let them know your expectations in advance.”

“The whole idea is that I’m trying to provide a good experience for whoever I’m hosting. As soon as you start stepping on top of that, it’s not a great host-guest relationship,” Post added.

If you are asked for an unscheduled payment…

Any guest who receives a Venmo charge for a dinner after the fact “has their social right to say, ‘I didn’t know about this when I said yes,'” the Post said. “From there, they can choose to pay or not. I would probably pay it and then ask my friend to warn me first or frankly I might not want to trade. You try accepting a $50 bill and then want to go out with that person.”

“I think I’d say, ‘I don’t know we’re going to pay for this evening’s experience, but here’s your $20,” Bailey said. “And that’s not someone I would invite back to my house or go to their house again.”

Henry agrees. “It’s nice to be able to treat someone,” she said. “And on the community side, having people come and cook for them, that’s a gift. That’s something I’m grateful to be able to offer. I think charging people sounds like a bit of bait and conversion. And the best way to beat the bait and switch is to dine and dash! I will, no, uh uh. They will be off my friends list. I imagine it would be someone I wasn’t really close to to begin with. “ Should you charge friends for dinner at your house?

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