I used to date a guy who never paid for more than his exact share of dinner. I didn’t mind that he was cheap. (Who am I kidding? I totally minded.) But what I really minded was that it took forever to figure out how much he owed. It’s kinda hard to have a pleasant dinner when your significant other spends half the time trying to calculate the value of a piece of chicken satay.
A new app claims to be the "quickest way to split a bill and calculate the tip at restaurants & bars." Billr lets you plug in your party size, the food and drink each person consumed, plus tax and tip. Then it spits out an itemized bill, showing what each person owes, down to the last coveted penny. It’s the ultimate app for cheapskates—or broke college students who can barely afford books, let alone someone else’s sake habit.
It should come as little surprise that Billr was developed by a trio of undergrads. "Living on a college campus with a bunch of housemates, [developer Stephen Poletto] found it difficult to split bills at restaurants, especially when each person gets differently priced meals," says fellow co-developer Nicholas Shulman (who tells me he was also Color’s first intern). "All the existing services were too complicated or slow to operate."
According to Shulman, what sets Billr apart from like-minded apps is the level of detail it gets at, and the unfussiness of its user interface (designed by RISD student Ivy Hu). "Instead of just sharing the cost evenly, Billr lets you assign dishes to each guest, meaning you won’t be stuck splitting the difference between your Caesar salad and your friend’s filet mignon," Shulman says. "Billr has no extra features and doesn’t require that anyone else have the app. While there are many bill-splitting and tip-calculating apps on the App Store, we think Billr is the fastest—and that’s why we use it ourselves."