SOOOOooo, I was thinking about bill paying etiquette and hopefully this will be useful to someone.
1. Pay attention to TAX AND TIP! When you order something on the menu that says $5, don't plan on paying $5 for your meal. There is food tax and tipping is a must, it's not fast food. So when you split a bill, split the tax and tip!
2. Before anything is ordered ask the waitress to split the bill. These days, most restaurants can do that fairly easy. If you tell the waitress first, she won't have to remember at the end who had what, and it will solve the problem right away so there's NO confusion with money.
3. Don't pretend like you're all mathematicians and can figure out how to split the bill. This inevitably takes countless minutes adding, subtracting, dividing, and double checking. Some people round 20 cents up to the next dollar, some people round 50 cents down, you can't divide the tax evenly because each persons meal costed different, it's a mess. Not to mention everyone at the table starts to get restless when their meals and drinks are gone and the bill is not paid for.
4. Don't leave before the waitress has processed the check. Only exception is if you are close friends. I've had where people will leave behind cash they owe towards the bill and when the bill comes find out they owe more. The people that leave dinner early are usually short on cash and are scared to see the bill. If you plan to go to dinner with multiple people, why would you plan something else shortly after? Rude.
5. TIP! If you can afford to go out to eat, you can afford the tip. 20% is quickly becoming the appropriate amount. There are exceptions if you had poor service but this is considering the service was good. Don't make excuses about the waitress so you can skimp on the tip. When you do it every time you go out to eat, we notice. If you've never been a waiter/waitress, you especially don't know what it's like to be in her shoes.
Money is an awkward topic, but it can ruin friendships if not handled properly. Take these simple tips and avoid problems with going out to eat with friends!