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Old 19th October 2010, 01:58 AM   #1
vickiel
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Default Invited or inviting to dine at a restaurant-need help understanding the etiquette!

What is the custom regarding who pays for dinner in a restaurant?
Much awkwardness has resulted several times and we'd like to understand the etiquette in Catalunya.

If it is a U.S. visitor/local Catalunyan dinner, would the Catalunyan feel they must pay?

Even if the Catalunyan is a much younger single person and the visitors are an older couple who can obviously afford to stay at a rather nice hotel?

What if the younger Catalunyan had been very helpful to the visitors and they wanted to thank her by taking her to dinner? If they insisted ahead of time that dinner would be their "treat" is there some cultural reason why the Catalunyan would not order food or drink for herself?

A different time, with other friends, she paid the bill before it came to the table so that our friends would not have the chance to pay it.

One time, as visitors, we invited some Catalunyan friends who are older than us to a restaurant that we like-- we were bringing a friend and they had taken us out and paid for our dinner before. We made it clear that we were treating this time, and once again the Catalunyans ordered and ate hardly anything.

So it seems that if visitors insist on paying, the Catalunyans don't eat? And if they eat, they will somehow find a way to pay the bill?

Any help in understanding the financial intricacies of dining out in Catalunya would be appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old 19th October 2010, 08:30 PM   #2
delgado
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Not sure about the catalans, but in the basque country one of 2 things happen..... Either the bill is divided (painstakingly) equally between everyone, which normally happens between large groups of friends, or, when the bill comes it's a race to get your wallet out and pay first, nearly always resulting in at least 5 minutes of "os invito yo!", "no, me toca a mi!", "pero tu nos invitaste la ultima vez!", "ya nos invitaras la proxima vez!" etc...

The only catalan that I know likes to keep things fair, she likes to pay her way and doesn't really like people splashing out on her, well, maybe her husband jeje, but you get the point. Also, I think that in Spanish culture it is kind of the 'done thing' to pay for your guests meal, to them, when they have guests they are the most important thing and like to treat them very well.

Sorry I can't be of more help!

Last edited by delgado; 19th October 2010 at 08:42 PM.
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