It goes without saying that following some kind of social etiquette is important, but not to the extent of turning unreasonable. Then again, it doesn't necessarily have to be like that.
Undoubtedly there are people who choose to use situations like these to their advantage and order the most expensive item on the menu, especially because they know that there is going to be an even splitting of the check, and that they are probably going to get off a lot easier than others that order less expensive items.
In fact, innumerable people will only ever order one of the expensive dishes when in situations like this because it then means that they can go easy on their pocket. So, what about all those paying the price for this behavior? There are ways to handle it. Just play smart, and the question of how to split a check will hardly ever come up again.
Splitting a Check at a Restaurant
As mentioned, dividing a hotel bill can be one of those strange moments you could be stuck in, so here's how to deal with it... As most basic of 'em all, there are only ways to go about it... Either the check is split equally, or each person pays for what he/she has eaten. Let's see how that could work...
Split the Check Equally
This option may seem most logical under some circumstances, then again there are certain instances when this could turn into the worst idea ever. Paying an equal amount is the best available option when food has either been shared or even when items that have been ordered are about the same in value.
If what you are paying is hardly a dollar or two more than you would otherwise have to, it doesn't hurt. In opposition to that though, moments when this decision could seem like the worst ever, could be those when you either eat too little, aren't a big fan of fancy food, or maybe you're vegetarian or maybe even do not fancy alcohol or liquor of any kind.
Pay for What You Ate
Quite the contrary to the previous, this option works for a lot of people, and is in fact thought of as way more feasible too. In total opposition to the idea of this being a good one, this one is sometimes thought of as cheap by some people too.
It may however be quite the best option for a younger crowd, or for those who aren't doing so well financially and would much rather refrain from paying for someone else's high-end meals.
This method may be looked down upon by people who are not so young, but that doesn't change the fact that nobody wants to shell out extra bucks for something that they did not even get a taste of.
If you are looking for yet another option, you could also ask for separate checks beforehand. A lot of restaurants agree to do that, and it could save you the chance of an embarrassing experience, especially if you aren't a big fan of any unnecessary fuss.
Apart from all that's mentioned, if you are in the position to pay for everyone every now and again (depending on the number of people), it would make for a very nice gesture. Just make sure that they don't get too used to it, or make a habit out of it.
On the other hand, if you still think that sticky situations prevail with some friends or acquaintances, very simply refrain from going out for meals with them. Surely that might come with an uneasy feeling to deal with, but it most definitely is better than dealing with certain situations repeatedly.