Check, Please

As I was watching the "Sopranos" last night, I was intrigued by Paulie and Christopher's squabbling over who should pay for group dinners. If you happened to catch the Sopranos last night,
what do you feel is proper business etiquette? Should the youngest guy always pick up the tab as a sign of respect, or should associates take turns paying? And if you're dissatisfied with the service, should you leave a small tip, or just shoot the waiter?

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  • Jim

    One tip that I was told some time ago was that a junior employee I should offer to pick up the check when two employees are meeting with clients.

    Reasons are simple - that way the senior employee would have a few minutes to talk to clients without being interrupted or distracted by the bill paying, to wrap up the lunch meeting.

    Of course if I am a subordinate of the senior employee he would end up approving his own expense, which might be an issue.

    But whoever is not actively engaging the customer should pull his weight as "wingman" - let the other get a few minutes to speak.

  • mike

    Ah, the business lessons of the Sopranos. I feel a cross-marketing effort coming on! Things I Learned By Watching the Sopranos. The important thing to keep in mind here is that the way it works in Northern NJ is that the junior guy pays. Not necessarily not here in Rochester, NY. If my boss takes me or the "team" out, she pays. If I take my team out, I pay. If I take the boss out, I pay. There is a degree of etiquette there. I'm an operations guy that the sales people like to bring along as "muscle" (sorry...couldnt help it) on client meetings. The sales person pays. Period.

  • Anonymous

    Having a line of credit available to pay for the cost of the meal and appropriate tip would avoid the necessity of "shooting the waiter" ... but that's just me ... I also don't keep my net worth in cash hidden in the backyard somewhere ...

  • Jeremy C. Wright

    Unless it's a supplier taking me out for lunch, I always come prepared to pay. It's the way I was raised, as a sign of respect.

    There have been odd occasions where someone actually insists on paying (probably for the same reasons), in which case they pay.

    Rarely is it an issue of conflict though. Seems odd to end a meal in that manner, especially a productive one.