Should I take my friend who is less well off than me to an expensive restaurant?

Friend of mine will be in town in a few days and I am taking him out for dinner. There is one restaurant that I have my eye on. Its (very) pricey, but I can manage. Well I want to be a gracious host, but

i) I don’t want to seem like a show off (yeah I know, I accomplish that in this thread)
ii) On the other hand, taking him to something less fancy might seem a pot shot.
iii) Finally, I do know he will feel obliged to reciprocate when I visit him and take me to a place which is well out of his league.

He is a good friend. See him rarely. Do not want to mess it up.

Assuming he knows you have more money than he does (and if he doesn’t try renting a hovel to not make him feel bad) no problem, as long as you focus on the quality of the food, not the money. How pricey is pricey, anyway? $25 entrees are not that strange, $100 might be a bit much.

If I was the guest, I’d much rather go to a less-fancy place with better food than vice-versa.

It depends on the friend. I wouldn’t mind a more well of friend taking me to a place that I can’t afford as long as I know in advance they don’t want me to pay, but then I don’t get touchy about that. I’m in a lower paying profession because I chose it. Some people are more touchy.

take to a place that you enjoy and is reasonable. you will both enjoy yourselves and he can reciprocate at a similar level in the future.

Obviously I am going to focus on the food, it is divine. I am more worried about his need for reciprocation. Knowing him he will try.

A bit more than a 100.

I would say it was a place I’d been wanting to try and had been waiting for an occasion to do so and the perfect companion to share it with.

That seems a more bit pricy and kind of show-offy. If it were me I’d take him out to a place to get a great burger and a beer to relax and catch up. Maybe a good brewpub or gastropub if you’re not into beer.

That’s your answer then.

You know him and you don’t want to make him uncomfortable or for him to feel like he is under obligation to you, yet you know that this is how he will feel if you take him to that particular restaurant.
So go somewhere else.

How do I not make it look like a snub if I do that.

I don’t understand this. Have you already discussed going to this restaurant so if you don’t follow through it will look like you are backing out?

Otherwise how will he know that you downgraded to a $25/plate place from a $100+?

Have no fear - just be yourself and proudly go for the expensive restaurant!

If he’s not used to those places, he’ll be glad to have the experience and expand his horizons. If you took him to a cheaper place it might just seem like you’re patronizing him - which would make it a lose-lose experience.

You can deal with the “reciprocating” issue if/when it happens down the road. You can even make up a fake story about how you can expense the pricey dinner to some company.

AK84, have you already told your friend about the restaurant?

  • Is he going to be dressed appropriately?
  • Is it fun?
  • Will he know how to order? I mean, it’s not a fill it mig non
  • Is this really necessary?

If you want to impress someone, take a date. She may not want to go out with you twice, though.

If you can easily afford the expensive restaurant, I think it’d be nice to take the friend there.
If I were in the friend’s position, I would enjoy having the chance to experience it as long as I felt confident that you wouldn’t be upset if I couldn’t afford to splurge like that in return.
If he insists on reciprocating, I’d say try to think of some non-monetary way that he can do so!

Personally, I’m very low-maintenance and would feel pretty uncomfortable with that arrangement. Like you were taking me out to indebt me to your favor in the future. And that goes double for someon in which you have a potential sexual interest (like if you’re both gay guys, or if you’re a girl and he’s a guy).

Will he even be packing suitable clothing to wear to such a fancy establishment?

I’ve been to many fancy restaurants in my life and I have to say that it is very rare that the food is actually worth the super-high prices. They sell hype. What does $120 an entree do that $60 doesn’t?

Here’s a novel thought: have you tried asking him? “Hey, it’s my shout, wanna go someplace upmarket, or go grab a pizza somewhere?”

I have been raving about it and I am pretty sure I told him. I have also taken a mutual friend there as well. I have not committed to taking him there. I have committed to dinner.

Well that’s different. If he’s already got the expectation that you’re going then I would take him and not think twice. Just tell him you’ve been looking forward to enjoying it with him.