Should your boss always pay for lunch?
If you happen to be a Millennial-Yappie in this age, I’m sure you’ve encountered this one too: the tricky etiquette of figuring out who foots the bill during eat-outs?
As with all matters of manners, there’s no etchedin-stone ruling for who should pay for lunch in this situation. Each one has different thoughts about the social norms of footing the bill in such scenario.
That said, your boss should almost certainly pay. In my stint of working in the corporate world, if a boss wanted to meet with me to talk business, she or he always covered both of our orders. Of course, this was never something I asked for or confirmed ahead of time; not because I don’t have the guts but it just seemed like common courtesy. If you ask someone out on a date, for instance, it’s gracious to pick up the tab. This incident seems to be alike.
But even if common courtesy utter that a supervisor should pick up the tab for a work-related meal or coffee, it also implies that you shouldn’t automatically expect this. So, honestly, if you’re worried about the buck, you could hold off on ordering until your boss clarifies who’s taking care of it— or if this doesn’t happen, you can just treat it like a meeting that happens to be at a restaurant and not order at all (or just have something like a soda).
In other words, it’s safe to anticipate that someone else won’t cover you because they outearn you. Always be ready to fork over for your share, and make a good gesture to do so when the bill comes.
This also applies if you have work mates who outearn you or at least just have different spending habits, and you can’t always afford to go to out with them.
What I usually do is to always mention that I have packed lunch that day if I want to put up a legit excuse or I just say that I’m swamped if that feels more comfortable.
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