Saif wrote:If the other party suggests a 50% split even if they've spent a good deal more (this has never happened) I would probably just go along with it and note it for future meetings when deciding whether to hang out with them or not in a dinner situation again. But then again, I prefer not to be confrontational about such things.
I'm a very confrontational person, and what Saif said is still what I'd do.
Remember there's a difference between someone who orders more cause that's just what they would order by themselves even and someone who's trying to take advantage. If you thought it was the first case and the money is significant to you, I would just pay that time. And if it happens multiple times maybe just sometime politely say "maybe we can get separate checks next time cause you guys order stuff that's a lot more than expensive than us. If you think it's the second case where they are trying to take advantage of you, as long as it's not crazy ridiculous money (like they spent 10 times more than you did) then I'd just pay and say f'em and not talk to them again. If they did spend crazy ridiculous like 10 times more and I thought they were trying to take advantage only then would I go into confrontation mode, but otherwise it's not worth getting yourself upset about it.
Also another thing if 50% split really is fair but the places they keep wanting to goto are really out of your price range, then tell them (no confrontation or anger needed). If they worth being friends with they will completely understand. If they don't understand or treat it as a confrontation then just move on.
In general, you have to trust your friends. I know you don't really know them yet but in the beginning you give them the benefit of the doubt. But if you move from "don't know" into "don't trust", just move on and ya don't worry about etiquette.