An entire sub-specialty in advanced schnorring studies revolves around techniques for eating the lion’s share of the food at restaurants while paying the gazelle’s share of the bill. But an alternative tactic relies on the intricate mathematics of check-splitting and the fair-minded equality of your dining compatriots. It also relies on timing.
Arrive at the restaurant early and head straight to the bar. Load up on drinks and appetizers. If you’re feeling daring, buy an appetizer to go and stuff it out of sight in your bag. When the rest of your party arrives, instead of settling your check with the bartender, direct him to transfer the check to the table. When the menu comes, your eyes should be as large as dinner plates. Order the most expensive pasta. Nibble at your meal (you’ll be full from all the appetizers you gorged on) and ask for a doggy bag.
When the meal’s over, you should be the one to ask the waiter for the check. Do the division; be fair. Pay with your credit card, and ask everyone for their equal share. Your companions will have subsidized three meals: the bar meal, the overly expensive main meal, and the feast of leftovers you’ll eat tomorrow.
This schnorr works better with large parties, in which the cost of your greed is distributed evenly among the suckers and you are less likely to be outed.