Outrage as Woman Charges Friends $40 After Inviting Them to Dinner: 'Why'

Hosting a dinner party can be quite a costly event but asking for payment from guests can be seen as bad manners.

In a popular Reddit post, u/Jennysaysfu, explained her friend cooked dinner for seven friends who brought a selection of foods with them. At the end of the meal, the host reminded her guests to transfer money toward the food bill.

This request caught the friendship group off guard as money hadn't been mentioned before.

Dinner party
A stock image of women at a dinner party and a grocery receipt. Viktoria Korobova / SeventyFour/iStock / Getty Images Plus

The Redditor described the situation as "insane." she mentions quizzing the host about the payment.

The conversation was relayed online for all to see, it said: "Me: I don't understand why we should pay.

"Her: because I spent my money and hosted the dinner and cooked.

"Me: None of us asked you to, you volunteered to do it and you never mentioned paying until now.

"Her: I didn't do this for free

"Me: you should've told us before you hosted that you expected this. I don't think it's fair to just bring this up and expect people to pay.

"She called me an a****** and said again that she didn't spend hours [cooking], grocery shopping for free. I have never heard of this. Like ever. We kept arguing and after a while I just [sent] her the $40 she asked for."

The woman has since edited the lengthy post to explain she brought a rum cake to the party even though the host told her guests not to bring anything. She said other guests brought a charcuterie and cheese board, wine, and "candles to set the mood."

A survey conducted by One Poll on the behalf of American warehouse chain, BJ's Wholesale Club revealed almost two-thirds of 2,000 U.S. respondents said they were less likely to invite a guest to the next party if they failed to bring the thing that the host asked them to contribute.

The results also found over half of the guests turn up empty-handed as only 45 percent of the respondents said they comply with the "bring your own booze" request.

Friendship expert Gill Hasson told Newsweek payment should be discussed prior to the gathering to avoid confusion.

She said: "Jennysaysfu told her friend 'you should've told us before you hosted dinner. I don't think it's fair to just bring this up and expect people to pay.' She's right. Her friend simply had to say something along the lines of 'how about you all come over to my place, I cook for everyone and we split the cost?'

"When someone offers to organize a get-together with friends or family, they should let everyone know their expectations in advance; whether or not they'd like you to contribute to the cost, or bring nibbles, wine, cheese, or dessert. Even when the host insists their guests don't bring anything, most of us do turn up with a small gift of some kind; flowers or chocolates for example.

"I imagine that jennysaysfu and her friends now feel like telling their host that if they have to pay, then the host should pay towards each of their contributions—the cheese, charcuterie, cake, candles, etc. But of course, once you go down that route of tit for tat, things just slide into a spiral of spite and petty-mindedness."

Hasson, the author of How to Deal With Difficult People, suggested the friend shouldn't have paid as $40 seems excessive and it is "unfair" to expect payment without a warning.

Over 1,000 Redditors have commented on the post since it was shared on March 8.

The top comment, with 7,900 upvotes, said: "What your friend did was extremely scummy. She invites all these people to dinner that she is making (no mention of paying before and after this) and then when everyone is done eating and finish cleaning, out of the blue she expects everyone to give her money? If I was expected to pay for a dinner without knowing until after I ate, I would've skipped the dinner entirely. Cut contact with this friend. She shouldn't be hosting dinner parties if she will pull stunts like this."

Another said: "OP [original poster], you know she made money off this right? $40/person...She's charging upscale restaurant prices without ANY overhead at all. I dare say they got swindled."

"She is dishonest. She should have told you before the dinner at least to check the cost per person was ok for everyone. [E]specially when you asked what you could bring to the dinner. 'You don't need [to] bring anything as you have to pay me.' Personally, I wouldn't have paid," commented another user.

Newsweek reached out to u/jennysaysfu for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

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