Paying Restaurant Tab the New Moment of Dread
Gracious habits left with George W. Bush
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2010 3:05 PM CST
The restaurant features a warm, eclectic feel that mixes classic cafe elements with contemporary lighting and materials.   (Photo: Business Wire)

(Newser) – It used to be that one could go out for dinner with friends, eat, drink, and still be quite merry about splitting the tab. These days, however, the moment the bill arrives is the tense moment of truth: Who made do with PBR while the other slammed martinis, and who's going to pay what? “The first thing that happens is we all go for our glasses,’’ says one diner. “The nonchalance is gone. It becomes the dreaded moment.’’

Many people are scaling back on eating out, reports the Boston Globe, but among those who still go, it's with a wary eye toward minimizing the cost. “When the check comes, it’s sobering,’’ a bar manager says. "People are like, ‘I had this and you had that.’ You can see people getting upset.’’