The waitress came and took our drink orders. I ordered a water and my friend ordered a Sprite. My friend said she would be paying with her debit card so I checked to see if I had enough cash on me for my meal. I didn't, so we both decided to use debit. When the waitress came back, I placed my order, then remembered we wanted separate checks to make it easier for us and the cashier when we were being rung up. I told the waitress, and she said, "Oh, but I already wrote the Sprite down with your order!" Since I didn't tell her about separate checks in the beginning, I said it was no problem and that I would pay for my friend's drink with my meal.
My friend then ordered mozzarella sticks. The waitress said, "You don't need separate checks for such a small order." I told her we both wanted to use debit so it would be helpful. She then told us how she never uses credit cards for anything under 100 dollars and how it's much better that way. She told us how she likes to pay for everything else in cash and we should too. Fortunately, my friend and I were planning to rent a movie later so we agreed that I would pay for her food and she'd pay for the movie. We discussed this while the waitress stood over us.
I accept the responsibility for not asking for separate checks at first. I also accept the fact that I could have stood my ground and asked for separate checks. However, I don't think it was acceptable for the waitress to give us advice on how to pay for our food and how she wanted to divide (or not divide) our check. That and the financial advice wasn't exactly appreciated.
It wasn't terrible service, and we were nice the whole time and left her a 20 percent tip, but still, maybe if I hadn't just visited a relative in the hospital we would have had the appropriate cash. Maybe not, though. We do have the right to pay for our food on our debit cards. Yes, I agree, 6 dollar mozzarella sticks are not exactly a huge debit purchase, but I was upset, hadn't eaten all day, and didn't feel like getting upset at an ATM before getting some comfort food.