Every college student knows that desperate need to eat anywhere but the dining hall every once in awhile. Some students are lucky, with campuses in big cities and lots of excellent food options. Others are not quite so lucky.

Since you certainly don’t want to go alone, you invite your friends to the growing dinner plans and dinner suddenly turns into a social event.

Here’s what the process of eating out with friends in college typically looks like:

1. The (new) group chat

Eating out

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Obviously, the group of people that decide to go can’t keep messaging in the group chat with Stacy. Stacy can’t go because she has a huge group project, and she would get annoyed with all the dinner plan messages very quickly. So a new group chat, sans Stacy, must be formed to make the dinner plans.

2. The great debate over where to go

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“Chipotle.” “P.F. Chang’s.” “Cheesecake Factory.” “Five Guys.”

With more destination suggestions than sense, your group must now reach a consensus on where exactly you’re gonna go. The more people and options, the more frustrating it gets, and of course there’s that one person who simply cannot go to a certain restaurant because of some horrible experience a while back.

#SpoonTip: We’ve got some ideas if you’re worried about spending too much cash.

This debate will almost definitely last as long as however long it is until your chosen dinner date. Speaking of which…

3. Date and time

Eating out

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You really ought to choose a specific day and time if you haven’t already, just so everyone has enough time to get ready and you’ll still get to the place at a reasonable time. Inevitably, you don’t call for reservations, someone forgot they already had plans, and one other person shows up thirty minutes late ‘by accident’.

4. Pre-outing group meet-up

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Of course you aren’t walking/driving/public transporting over to the place by yourself. That’s the whole point of going with a group. You all choose a place to group before the commute and everyone awkwardly shows up a little late, obviously not wanting to be that first person standing by themselves for 5 minutes.

5. Heading over to the restaurant

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Time to walk/drive/public transport over to your destination. So close to wonderful, non-dining hall food, yet so far. Here’s hoping you got those directions right – no one really wants another half hour delay while you play around with Google Maps.

6. The ordering debacle

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Uh oh. Now they’ve done it. At least one member of the group (maybe you) can’t seem to figure out what they want to eat. The waiter’s checked in on your group twice now and everyone’s starting to get a bit hangry.

#SpoonTip: Keep your cool and practice restaurant etiquette by waiting patiently.

Patience is a virtue, and ordering does actually happen eventually. Then comes…

7. Time to eat up

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The table ranges from dead silent to loud chatter, depending on how long it was since the group had a good meal. Either way, most of the focus has shifted to food and your spirits are considerably lifted, even more so if you all decide to order some yummy dessert. Waiter!

8. Splitting that check

Eating out

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After receiving the bill that the server may or may not have already split, everyone fumbles around with their wallets. This process is made much easier if the check was already split, or your group of people is relatively small.

If the check isn’t split, however, a long process begins of calculating meal prices, tips, and cash versus credit. Of course arguments arise over tipping, borrowing cash, and whether or not Venmo an option.

#SpoonTip: Not the biggest math fan? These apps have your check splitting needs covered.

9. Heading back

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Now all smiles, the group heads back to school grounds chatting and laughing all the way. A satisfying meal can really work wonders. You should definitely do this again next week.