Pack some cash. Carrying actual money is a “way out of embarrassment” when it’s time to settle up. You can’t expect all restaurants to accept credit cards, and no waiter should be stuck charging six different amounts to six different cards.
Chip in extra. When dining with a large group, it’s easiest to divide the check evenly. The “worst thing you can do is nickel-and-dime everyone.” But if you ordered a salad while everyone else ordered steak, quietly talk to whomever’s collecting the money and say, “‘I think my salad was $10, so here’s $20 to cover tip and tax.’”
Foot the bill. You can always offer to pick up the tab for a friend and suggest they get the next meal. If someone else offers to pay, “protest once and then back down.”
Be subtle. If you do decide to treat someone, “settle up on the way to the bathroom to avoid the check-grabbing moment.”