Split Check

A new way to organize your dinner parties

If we were not clear when we declared 2012 as The Year of the Dinner Party, we’ll say it again: We love inviting our friends over for a meal.

We also know that frequent entertaining can be an expensive hobby. So we were happy to discover, a dinner-party-planning dream that launched yesterday.

The site acts as a basic organizer for your gathering, a place to list your menu and a way to invite guests.

But the more compelling feature is the ability to offset your costs by adding a “chip-in” price to the event. As is the case on other crowd-funding sites such as Kickstarter, the host sets a minimum number of guests for the event and determines a chip-in price. Guests who commit will have the chip-in amount deducted from their PayPal accounts; that charge is then credited to the account of the host (Zokos has a service charge of 3 percent of all funds raised).

The feature not only removes a financial roadblock--it also provides extra incentive for your flaky friend (we all have one) to keep his or her promise to show up.

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