No way...would never get people to pay...
I think generally speaking, it's bad etiquette. That said, if it works or a group of friends who are all ok with it, that's fine. I'd never do it though, and I'd be shocked if a friend did. It's just not how our circle of friends operate.
I've never been invited for dinner and then asked to pay afterwards (and I've never done that) If someone asked me and said "we're throwing a dinner party and asking for a contribution towards food and drinks" I'd actually be confused as to why they're having a dinner party they can't afford.
Bringing a plate of food and drinks to a party, I think that's totally normal. We've hosted bbq's and friends have brought over their own drinks, deserts, even their own meat without me asking, it's easy to do that especially if you have dietry requirements. But asking for money, no I think it's strange.
jake's mum (11-06-2012)
I've never heard of it till reading that thread here.
If anyone asked me for cash I'd be surprised and find it rude. If I wanted to spend money I'd go to a restaurant where at least I can order what I want.
For me being invited to someone's house I'd expect to be a guest, not a customer. I always offer to bring something and don't mind the host being specific so people don't bring the same things, but bringing cash feels very wrong.
If anyone was trying to give me cash for dinner I'd laugh my head off. I usually don't ask to bring anything. The only this I say is to bring alcohol or soft drinks if they drink those because we drink only water at home (though if it's a party or BBQ or anything more than a couple of friends coming for a casual dinner we'd also provide some beers and juice).
I don't know, I guess I grew up in a family where the host takes care of the guests %100 and you just don't invite people if you're not going to do so. In DP's family it's always about sharing food and bringing food to share to the host's place and I like that (in my family the host provides everything), but asking for cash seems rude to me.
We've done it. Was easier then everyone bringing a plate and everyone understood . True friends wouldn't care.
Going to a friend's house for lunch today, hope I don't get charged! Yikes!
The situation in the OP sounds normal, friends mutually chipping in for food. I don't see a problem with that.
If I went to a friend's house and ate, then was asked for money that would be pretty strange TBH. I love my friends, but only a few can cook to a standard to which somebody would pay to eat lol, if I'm soending money to eat with people we might as well eat out and enjoy it. What I love about my friends is there's no tit for tat. I might do dinner one night (and not charge) they may do the next. We don't keep tabs.
My group of friends had a Christmas party for the kids and we all chipped in $10 per child and bought all the food, drinks and a toy for the kids. We then had a NYE party at one of the girls house and all arranged to bring dish to share either sweet or savoury and our own drinks. At other times, we will have a group dinner, just the mums and then whoever hosts, cooks. At the last one, the mum hosting had an unexpected bill come in and was broke when she arranged to have us over. She didn't tell us, but fed us a huge pot of pumpkin soup with bread for dinner and homemade cake and icecream for dessert. Less than $20 it cost her. We growled at her, because if we knew she was having a bad week, someone else would have hosted. A gathering needn't be overly expensive to cater.
Generally though, I would be a bit shocked to be asked to pay a covercharge for someone's party. It's not something I ever do. I regularly host meals for largish groups of friends and provide all the food and wine. If they bring something it's a bonus, but not expected of them.
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