I'd like to organize a meetup for 20+ people where we can eat and drink as we please while socializing and enjoying any other activities (e.g., darts, billiards) offered by the venue. However, what can I do to make sure that everyone has a good time and that no one gets stuck with a large sum of unpaid bills at the end of the night?
A few ideas I came up with are:
Any suggestions on how to balance fun with financial liability?
If I were you, I would make an up front arrangement with each and everyone that they will be billed directly for what they order, that includes eating and drinking. There should be a firm understanding with the Pub/Restaurant/Meeting proprietor/Waiters that the responsibility for getting payment would be the proprietor's. So the proprietor would have to work out how to make sure he gets paid. One tab per person, and settled directly, as he would have had to do if everyone had arrived separately.
That's a very interesting point, deanhills. I'll definitely chat with the venue about this, and I will give it a try for the karaoke event I have in mind.
Just make sure everyone understands that they are responsible for their food and drink and the staff understands this also. NO tabs, pay as you go!