With the high cost of dining out, having restaurant coupons can help bring the price down. Beyond clipping them out of local newspapers and advertising supplements, you can get deals from special websites, birthday clubs, and diners clubs.
Restaurant Coupon Deals
The kinds of offers you get from restaurant coupons vary from place to place. You may think that getting a simple 10 percent off discount coupon will not even cover the price of your drink, but consider the slew of other deals available.
Coupons frequently offer the following:
- Percentage discount on one entrée or check
- Free appetizer
- Free dessert
- Buy one, get one free entrées
- Free children's entrée with purchase of an adult
- Half-off coupons
- $3, $5, even $10 or more off your total bill
- Free drink with entrée purchase
Make sure you always check the expiration date. Most coupons cannot be used for the purchase of alcoholic drinks. Some have a purchase minimum as well.
Coupons on the Internet
Coupons over the Internet are abundant. Websites devoted to coupons often have restaurant sections where coupons can be downloaded for dollars or a percentage off the total bill. Check out your favorite restaurant's website, too. They may have coupons uploaded for you to print off and bring when you dine the next time.
Websites that offer coupons for a variety of restaurants include:
Make sure you visit the website of the restaurant you plan to visit. Sometimes they offer special coupons right off their corporate website for you to print and enjoy right now.
One of the biggest online names for dining out is Restaurant.com. An assortment of products, promotions, and deals are available. One of their big promotions is a $25 gift certificate for only $10. A quick search for the Chicago vicinity brings up 55 pages of restaurants for which you can purchase gift certificates for under retail value. Just select the restaurant, amount of the certificate, print, and go.
Be sure to read the fine print, because some certificates can only be redeemed if you spend a certain amount of money at the restaurant, or gratuity may be added to the bill for you. Always check for an expiration date on any certificates you purchase.
Joining the birthday club or frequent diner's club is a great way to get coupons and discounts from your favorite places. Join online, or ask a server at your local franchise to give you an application. A variety of restaurants offer clubs. Check out the following merchants:
- Rod Lobster
- Baskin Robbins
- Longhorn Steakhouse
- Red Robin
- TGI Friday's
- Timberlodge Steakhouse
Filling out comment cards at restaurants can also result in getting coupons in the mail. Not every restaurant does this, but it only takes a minute and can be worth it in the long run if it's part of the restaurant's promotional plan.
Additional Places to Get Coupons
- Websites, clubs, and newspapers are not the only places to get restaurant coupons. Call your local chamber of commerce to see if they have city information packets. Many local restaurants put coupons in the "welcome" packages.
- Travel and tourism offices frequently have coupon books printed. They may be free, or cost around $5-$10. A small price to pay, considering the amount of deals you get on various entertainment venues and dining in your city. These books are usually printed seasonally or annually, so be sure to get a new one at the appropriate time.
- Many charities sell entertainment books chock full of local and chain restaurant coupons. The books average $15-$30, but most discounts are good for a full year, plus the majority of the cost of the book benefits the charity.
- Finally, do not forget other memberships that may reward you with discounts. AAA members often get discounts at various food places and restaurants. Just show your card and ask for the discount.