Money-Saving Tips & Recommendations

How to Benefit from Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com offers a little-known way to save a lot of money when you eat out at participating restaurants across the country. I’ve personally used Restaurant.com’s dining discount services many times and saved a lot of money. Today I’ll tell you how you can benefit from Restaurant.com also.

Restaurant.com describes themselves as the “community matchmaker, introducing great restaurants to great people.” In short, they match eaters with restaurants. They do this by helping people save money through their discounted dining certificates for thousands of restaurants all over the country.

The Restaurant.com process is easy. You go online to their site at Restaurant.com and use their search tools to locate participating restaurants. You can search by ZIP code or do regional searches starting with your state and narrow it down to more local options (great for when you travel and don’t know the ZIP codes).

Once you’ve found the restaurant for your next dining excursion, you select a gift certificate (by value) and add it to your cart. This is where the fun and savings begins — you’ll find that most $25 gift certificates cost only $10! Likewise a $50 gift certificate usually is about $20 and a $100 gift certificate is only about $40. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? (All restaurants don’t offer the same gift certificate sizes though — some only offer $25 certificates, for example.)

As good at this discount sounds right now, let me tell you it often gets better! At Shopping-Bargains.com we frequently publish Restaurant.com coupon codes where you can get a huge discount off the already-discounted Restaurant.com gift certificates. Usually our coupon codes provide an additional 40-60% savings and occasionally more around various holidays.

Let me tell you how these Restaurant.com coupon codes work (of course, you have to enter it in the discount code box in the shopping cart and click “apply”). For example, we’ll assume you’re using a 50% off coupon code. In that case, your final cost for a $25 gift certificate is the original price of $10 minus 50% off that, or just $5! That’s right, for just $5 you are buying a $25 dining certificate for a particular restaurant. Wow, it still amazes me how much can be saved this way!

Please note there is some fine print regarding the use of Restaurant.com gift certificates so be sure to check that out in full when you place your gift certificate order online. Here are some common restaurant requirements I’ve seen:

  • Minimum food purchase — usually about $35 to be eligible to use a $25 gift certificate (other discount values have different minimum food purchase requirements)
  • Discount applies to food only (no alcohol is covered)
  • Gratuity is often added by the restaurant before discount is applied (tip should be based on full value, not your final cost — I tip the wait staff on full value anyway since they are not the ones providing the discount)
  • Dine-in orders only (not carry out or delivery)
  • Minimum of two people in your dinner party

One more thing to note. After you finalize the order for your Restaurant.com gift certificate you simply print it out and you’re ready to go eat (don’t forget to make restaurant reservations if needed). Be sure to follow the instructions on the printout to abide by all policies and minimum food orders, etc. If you have any questions or problems, Restaurant.com also has a customer service department for assistance.

I’ve personally used Restaurant.com gift certificates many times and have never had any problems using them. I find the process very convenient and well-worth a few minutes of my time. The savings, especially when I can double dip with a Restaurant.com coupon code, is definitely not something I want to pass up on when I eat out.

5 Comments

  1. Nancy on November 23, 2008 at 7:38 am

    When I read Mike’s comments in his opening letter regarding Restaurant.com, I thought this would be a perfect gift for my professional adult children. I ordered the $100.00 gift certificate for each of them as a stocking stuffer. $200.00 has to be spent, but when you consider taking several couples to dinner with you, minus the $100.00 at the restaurant, the savings are great. I did see on the certificate that any alcohol ordered can or cannot be part of the certificate as it is at the discretion of the restaurant, so it could be included. I called asking questions on the site and was told if I wanted to exchange the certificates within 90 days for lesser amounts I could. What’s not to like! Thanks Mike!

  2. Anita York on December 8, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I love Restaurant.com. Have used it many times with no problem and best of all, have given them many times as gifts and well within my budget. My friends and family have been so pleased.

  3. Jamie on December 6, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Every time we think of using Restaurants.com, we end up turned off by the agonizingly long list of fine print. Not good on weekends, not good for buffet, not good for holidays, not good for days ending in ‘y’ and so on. I suppose if you have infinite time and no kids, this might be a “deal,” but for us, it’s a total bust.

  4. Patricia Dasher on September 27, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Restaurant is a very impressive site for the young and those guys who really like to eat to in the different restaurants for the new taste. it always give the nice and cool discount deals for the people benefits and its so appreciate job. Thanks for the informative post about the benefit form restaurant.com

  5. Kenneth E.Maggard on November 21, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    I have 2 restaurant cards – 1 for $25 and another for $50. How do I load BOTH of them into my account ? The 2nd load always cancels out the first load. I’d like to have $75 in there for now.

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