To be honest, if you don’t request an itemized receipt when dining out or having drinks at your favorite bar, chances are high that you’re paying more than what you should be, by at least 20%. Some establishments include an automatic gratuity on the bill, and servers may give you a non-itemized receipt to conceal the already included gratuity. As a result, unknowingly, you may add an additional 20% tip. Drinks and food are already expensive, but this practice may be the difference between a $20 or $27 Casamigo margarita.
An itemized receipt lists the individual items ordered along with their prices, taxes, gratuity/tip, and any other charges.
Here are some reasons why getting an itemized receipt is important when dining out:
- Verification of charges: An itemized receipt helps you verify the charges on your bill. It ensures that you are not being overcharged for any items or services that you did not receive. Sometimes, restaurants or bars may add charges for things you did not order, such as additional drinks or appetizers, but an itemized receipt can help you catch those errors.
- Budgeting and expense tracking: Getting an itemized receipt can help you track your expenses and budget accordingly. This is especially important if you are on a tight budget or trying to save money. By knowing exactly how much you spent on food and drinks, you can adjust your budget accordingly and avoid overspending.
- Reconciliation: If you are dining out for business purposes or are reimbursing someone else for the meal, an itemized receipt is crucial. It helps with reconciliation and ensures that the correct amount is reimbursed. Without an itemized receipt, it may be difficult to prove the amount spent on food and drinks, which could lead to issues with reimbursement.
- Disputes: In the rare case that there is a dispute between you and the restaurant or bar, having an itemized receipt can be valuable. It provides a clear record of what was ordered and the associated costs, making it easier to resolve any disputes that may arise.
- Taxes and tips: An itemized receipt is especially important when it comes to taxes and tips. It ensures that the correct amount of tax is charged on the food and drinks, and it helps you calculate the tip based on the total amount of the bill. In some countries, tipping is mandatory, and an itemized receipt can help you calculate the correct amount.
Getting an itemized receipt when dining out is important for several reasons. It helps with verification of charges, budgeting and expense tracking, reconciliation, disputes, and taxes and tips. So the next time you dine out or grab a drink at a bar, make sure you ask for an itemized receipt to ensure that you are being charged correctly and to help you keep track of your expenses.