Wondering how to split the bill at a restaurant? Venmo‘s new data points to the etiquette for when you’re dining out—especially for bachelorette party dinners. While you may have already been using the app, it’s now time to properly apply it to split the bills for meals, travel and events.
“Venmo is normalizing the process of talking about and sending and receiving money,” says etiquette expert Myka Meier. “It takes away that awkwardness.” This week, the payment service launched a set of tips based on a survey of over 1,000 users.
According to the data, the top three reasons why people use Venmo range from reimbursing a person (58%), to splitting the bill after dining out with friends (48%). Others will use it to pay someone back for tickets to an event of some sort (48%). A bachelorette party with your besties is one occasion where all three of these reasons may apply, which is why Meier emphasizes communication during the planning process.
“If you’re going away on a bachelorette party, it’s [good to] discuss budget ahead of time,” she says. “This includes… drafting a budget and making sure everyone knows what they owe before the trip, and before they are sent a Venmo request.”
How to Split the Bill When Dining
A point of contention the survey identified is Venmo users have different preferences when it comes to how to split the bill at a restaurant. Fifty percent of Venmo users prefer to request separate checks, and 47% prefer to split it down the middle.
Meier says there are exceptions especially when pertaining to bachelorette parties. “For a bachelorette, it’s interesting because everyone is treating the bride,” she says. “As long as you pick a restaurant that is within everyone’s budget—perhaps even send the menu ahead of time—then it’s a nice way to do it.”
How to Split the Bill for Travel
Thirty-six percent of those surveyed will use the app to split travel-related costs. If you’re the lucky bridesmaid in charge of planning a bachelorette party, you should add a group discussion about splitting travel costs to your planning checklist. The Venmo study found that 88% of users believe this conversation should take place ahead of a bachelorette party and other travel-related events.
However, if you’ve already had that conversation and want to pivot your plans (such as attending a Gwen Stefani show once you get to Vegas), we don’t blame you. Forty-five percent of Venmo users agree that additional unexpected costs should be split evenly within the group, while 41% of those surveyed think you should only pay if you decide to participate. Meier suggests simply popping any unexpected costs and updates into your group text as soon as they arise. Finally, even if it is a local bachelorette party, she believes all costs should be discussed in advance.
How to Split the Bill for Everything Else
According to Meier, the founder of Beaumont Etiquette, users should be conscious of the “Venmo life cycle” overall.
The proper Venmo life cycle is 48 hours maximum. A whopping 73% of Venmo users believe a request should be issued within 24 hours of the transaction. After that, it’s not wrong to expect a swift turnaround. Users agree that the appropriate response time to a Venmo request is an additional 24 hours. However, your gal pals may get lost in the fun of the party or lose track of a request when they return to their busy lives. In that case, it’s more than acceptable to send a “remind” notification within four days of the original request, according to 2 out of every 3 Venmo users.
Finally, Meier encourages those planning more intimate bachelorette parties to be highly conscious of the app’s social feed. For example: If only 10 people are invited, excluding the cousin of the bride, be aware of the public feed. “People check it two to three times a week,” she adds.
Bachelorette party finances can be tricky to navigate, but with these simple steps for how to split the bill, your group will be in better shape overall.