Etiquette

60th Birthday party at a restaurant

I know this is not wedding related but I need some feed back and thought of everyone on here. There is some talk in my family about the etiquette of inviting family and friends to help celebrate a 60th birthday at a restaurant and who pays for their food. This is not a formal event just a gathering of family and friends. We are looking at gathering at a local restaurant and having everyone be in the restaurant side room off of the main dining room so everyone could sit together. When we reach out to invite people we would be saying come out and help celebrate this persons birthday at such restaurant at this time. The people invited would order off of the restaurant menu at the table they are sitting at. Some believe that it is tacky and rude to not pay for everyones dinner in this case. Some believe that if it was just family it would be fine for everyone to pay for themselves but when you ask friends to come out to dinner you have to pay for their food. What do people think? Have you ever been invited to have dinner at a restaurant to celebrate a birthday and expected the person inviting you to pay for your meal?

Re: 60th Birthday party at a restaurant

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    I know this is not wedding related but I need some feed back and thought of everyone on here. There is some talk in my family about the etiquette of inviting family and friends to help celebrate a 60th birthday at a restaurant and who pays for their food. This is not a formal event just a gathering of family and friends. We are looking at gathering at a local restaurant and having everyone be in the restaurant side room off of the main dining room so everyone could sit together. When we reach out to invite people we would be saying come out and help celebrate this persons birthday at such restaurant at this time. The people invited would order off of the restaurant menu at the table they are sitting at. Some believe that it is tacky and rude to not pay for everyones dinner in this case. Some believe that if it was just family it would be fine for everyone to pay for themselves but when you ask friends to come out to dinner you have to pay for their food. What do people think? Have you ever been invited to have dinner at a restaurant to celebrate a birthday and expected the person inviting you to pay for your meal?
    It all depends on what you mean by invitation. The informal "we're going to X to celebrate Y's birthday, let us know if you'd like to stop by" with everyone paying their own way is fine. The more formal reserved room with an invitation means the host needs to pick up the tab. It sounds like what you're doing is more in line with the latter than the former. Family vs. friends don't matter. The controlling issue is whether you're planning a party and inviting people, or if everyone is deciding as a group to go and you're just orchestrating the reservation. The good part is that, as a host, you are free to limit the menu offerings to avoid paying for the $90 lobster if it's out of budget.

    There's also the practical aspect. Most restaurants won't allow (and aren't equipped for) 10+ separate tabs for a party. If you're 10 people total, it's NBD to have everyone pay their own way. But if you're talking about 20+ people, breaking checks is a logistical nightmare.  
    charlotte989875short+sassyInLoveInQueensahoywedding
  • bookmaiden17_bookmaiden17_
    10 Comments 25 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited February 17
    There wouldn't be a formal invitation it would be more word of mouth asking if people would like to come eat and setting aside the space is just so everyone would have a place to sit if that makes a difference. 

    edited for spelling
  • SP29SP29
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I agree with MNIN. If you are hosting a party, then the host needs to cover the costs, regardless of the mix of friends vs. family. But if you are casually letting people know you are heading out for dinner if people want to join, then that is a bit different. However, as said, whether or not they will let everyone pay separately is a different story. I have gone out for meals in large groups, and it depends on the restaurant, but some will only give one bill, apply the increased gratuity for a large group and we work out the payment among ourselves.
  • I’d expect whoever is hosting this party - the person or persons who picks the date, time, and venue, and invites me - to pay. You can’t just casually all happen to get together at a private room you’ve reserved! This is a party someone is hosting and that person should pay. 
    eileenrobMairePoppyInLoveInQueens
  • Can your family pool funds to cover a buffet of food? That way you could control the menu/ total price. Or do you think that would just cause more conflict?
    eileenrobcharlotte989875
  • Can the folks who are talking about doing this co-host? Like if there are 4 siblings can the bill be split 4 ways? It doesn't have to be hosted by 1 individual but you need to determine hosts and those people need to pay.
    This. 

    If it were one of my parents my sister and I would split the hosting responsibilities (and thus the check) even if one of us did the invites. 

    If I’m invited to a sit down meal for a party I’m expecting that it’s hosted, even if the invitation is a verbal invite. If it’s a “we’re all grabbing dinner together” then I expect to pay. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    member
    edited February 20
    I know this is not wedding related but I need some feed back and thought of everyone on here. There is some talk in my family about the etiquette of inviting family and friends to help celebrate a 60th birthday at a restaurant and who pays for their food. This is not a formal event just a gathering of family and friends.   WHO IS THE HOST?  We are looking at gathering at a local restaurant and having everyone be in the restaurant side room off of the main dining room so everyone could sit together. When we reach out to invite people we would be saying come out and help celebrate this persons birthday at such restaurant at this time.   YOU are inviting people to an event.   The people invited would order off of the restaurant menu at the table they are sitting at. Some believe that it is tacky and rude to not pay for everyones dinner in this case. Some believe that if it was just family it would be fine for everyone to pay for themselves but when you ask friends to come out to dinner you have to pay for their food. What do people think? Have you ever been invited to have dinner at a restaurant to celebrate a birthday and expected the person inviting you to pay for your meal? Yes.
    If you are inviting someone to an event, you are the host.  The host pays, whether in a restaurant, a backyard barbecue, or the family dining table.  There is no excuse for treating "family" rudely by not properly hosting them.  If you don't want to pay a restaurant bill, then don't hold your party there.  There are plenty of options.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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