Bill splitting nightmare? Soon there’ll be an app for that!

By Kirstin Buick
07 October 2013

That little black folder can turn a pleasant dinner out with friends into a fraught affair.

WHEN that little black folder hits the table, a pleasant dinner out with friends can quickly turn sour. Should you split it down the middle – even though you didn’t drink that expensive bottle of wine? Or do you nit-pick over each dish, down to the last tomato in the table salad?

Luckily there’s an app in development to help you navigate the perils of this particular social situation. Google recently applied for a patent on an application for restaurant bill splitting or as they call it, “Tracking and Managing Group Expenditure”.

Unfortunately it still sounds a bit complicated if the example in their patent application is anything to go by:

“Assume that Users A-C have drinks at a bar and User B pays a bill of $45 for the drinks User B adds the payment transaction as an expenditure of the group and allocates $15 of the transaction to User A, $20 to User B, $10 to User C. In this example, the balance module 308 would update the individual balances of Users A-C to indicate that User B now owes $115 to User A ($130-$15) and User C owes $10 to User B ($0+$10).”

Now imagine having to keep track of amounts to be punched into this app after all those drinks. Also, shoving your smart phone in your friends’ faces to precisely how much they owe you (we’re looking at you, User B!) is perhaps not the most pleasant way to end off a jovial evening at the bar in question.

Would you download this app to avoid that splitting-the-bill awkwardness or would you rather have things the (still awkward) old-fashioned way? Leave your comments below.

- Kirstin Buick (@KirstiBuick) Sources:, Main image:  Andrew Stawarz on Flickr Share your thoughts:

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