Serious Eats: Talk

Dining Etiquette: Eating Out, and Who Pays

I have a good friend who has many annoying qualities/habits. One of these is that, lately, every time we dine together he expects me to pay for him. We are not dating and we both have steady, full-time salaried jobs. We are in our mid-twenties and he is the ONLY one of my friends who does this--when my other friends and I dine together, we pay for what we have each consumed.

Prior to his new habit of expecting me to pay for him, whenever we ate together he would order extravagantly, eat 3/4 of whatever shared dishes we order, ask to try some of my dish and then take several large bites. Of course when the check came, he would insist that we split it evenly. He complains to me all the time about his friends who do not want to just split the check with him when they eat out together. I fully understand their point of view.

How do I tactfully explain to this person that I do not wish to subsidize his meals? As of late I have been ignoring or turning down his invitations, but I am running out of excuses.

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