Saturday, January 07, 2012

Drinks and food

This is a post that has been brewing for many months.

When out at a social gathering (bar/pub/restaurant etc), people are generally fairly happy to have drinks bought for them by someone else.  However, when if comes to buying food, people are rarely happy to let someone else buy for them.
What are the reasons for this difference?  Some thoughts...

  • Buying someone else a drink is often a matter of convenience - only one person goes to the bar rather than several.
  • There is an assumption that someone else will get the next round, so it evens out by the end of the night.
  • People basically don't like receiving something for free, no strings attached.
  • Food costs more than drinks, so people might think they 'owe' someone more.
Is it as simple as this?


Tim Mayo said...

Maybe it's because there is a feeling that buying someone food has implications similar to a date?

That said, I'm happy to offer to buy people food when I go out and generosity in a business context can be really important for promoting a good relationship.

I'm happy for you to buy me dinner, but doesn't that sound like we're going on a date Ben?

Unknown said...

That may be a reason. Though I find that people struggle to accept the offer in a non-date context such as with a group of friends going for lunch after church.