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Restaurant.com Gift Certificate Coupon Codes & Tips

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I remember when I first heard about Restaurant.com a few years ago. Their offer back then is the same as it is now, you can buy a $25 Restaurant gift certificate for $10. Every few weeks, they run a 70% or 80% off promotion where you end up getting a $25 Restaurant gift certificate for two bucks. Two freaking dollars… three if you only use 70% off.

A few years ago, hardly anyone took them. You went on the site, did a quick search for your area, and chances are only a few obscure restaurants were available. When I first looked, I didn’t even recognize a single restaurant in the 15 miles around my zip code! That’s not to say there weren’t any popular restaurants, we just didn’t know about them.

However recently we’ve discovered two local restaurants that take the gift certificates, one of which accepts it for alcoholic beverages (it’s a local wine restaurant, Iron Bridge Wine Company), and that turns a non-deal into a deal.

Tips for Using Restaurant.com Coupons

Here are a few tips we’ve learned:

  • Never pay full price: With some careful planning or internet searching, chances are you can find a 70% or 80% off coupon. If not, it’s still a pretty good deal but the huge discounts are almost always available.
  • Read the rules: Different restaurants have different rules for how you can use the gift certificate. Sometimes alcohol is excluded, sometimes there’s an automatic gratuity, sometimes there are date and time restrictions, so review everything before purchase.
  • Expiration period: They usually expire within a year of purchase, unless your state has gift certificate laws extending it (Gift certificates in Maryland can’t expire within 4 years). Since you can buy a gift certificate and print it out within minutes, I don’t see a point in stockpiling. Buy it if you have plans to go within a week.
  • Tip on the regular amount: Some places add an automatic gratuity and others don’t, but remember to tip on the original amount.
  • Use it to test out restaurants: If you’ve had your eye on a place, check if they offer a gift certificate through Restaurant.com to try it out on the cheap. Review the menu first, we did this once the other way around (saw it on Restaurant.com and decided to try it) and found the menu was slightly more expensive than we had anticipated (the gift certificate made it reasonable). Don’t do it the other way around!

Restaurant.com Coupon Code

I’m no longer updating the latest coupon codes, you can find the latest Restaurant.com coupon codes here.

Enjoy!

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74 Responses to “Restaurant.com Gift Certificate Coupon Codes & Tips”

  1. Rita says:

    I purchased two $50 card for $20 each. Used one of them to purchase 5 $10 certificates at my location. I realized afterwards that there is a minimum of $20 and 18% gratuity, alcohol not part of the coupon. Also, could not use two coupon in one visit even if you sat separately with your guest. I wind up paying $50 for our dinner, which cost me more if I had just paid without the coupon. I then used another at a pizza joint and paid $40 for a lousy pizza. I could have gone to a nicer pizza restaurant for $30, wine inclusive. I decided not to use the rest. This is a total rip off. I would not recommend this to anyone. Better go to Groupon, travelzoo or living social.

  2. Bill Boswell says:

    I just received my codes via email on this scam. I received four $25 certificates via Vonage for keeping my service for three months. I call this a scam because the advertisement said it was a card that could be used at any participating restaurants. It didn’t mention the restrictions:
    1) I can only use one coupon per month, per party, per restaurant, even if the party is seated at separate tables and/or receives more than one check.
    2) There’s a minimum of purchasing a $50 meal then use the $25 coupon toward half of it.
    3) It doesn’t include alcohol with the meal.
    4) Not valid for taxes, tips, merchandise or prior balances. This one I can understand.
    5) Valid for dine-in only unless otherwise stated.

    The coupon states “Top 3 Ways To Use Your Certificate”:
    1) Order dessert (for $50?)
    2) Try the appetizers (see #1)
    3) Go for the Grand Entree (can’t use the four certificates so why pay more for something I wouldn’t order in the first place).

    Total ripoff. Don’t fall for this scam. I threw mine into the garbage.

    • Brandon says:

      you threw away about a hundred bucks. Nice!

      • Seattle Dave says:

        No, Bill has it right. Total ripoff. Value <= 0 dollars. Brandon either doesn't know s#!t or is a middle tier in the restaurant.com pyramid scheme.

        I had a similar deal. $20 for quote… "$50 Restaurant.com gift certificate" not a gift certificate at all. More like a coupon you pay for that the restaurants mark up your meal by the approximate amount of the coupon. NO LIE. i was astounded by the audacity and told the place how shabby the deal was and that i would not return SPECIFICALLY because of their "deal".

        If you really want it I have all the numbers, but it boils down to spending $20 to save $16.80 A net loss of 3 bucks.

        hope I saved you some frustration!

  3. JD says:

    I totally disagree with the above comments. I get $25 coupons for some local restaurants in which I have to spend $35 or $40 minimum to use the coupon. My family of four goes and easily spends the minimum. I only buy if I have a coupon code so I do (yes I do) stack up for known restaurants that we like because I am usually paying $2 to $4 for the $25 off coupon. We go, we eat, and I save over $20 on the meal (net of the cost of the coupon) – how is this a rip off????

    The restrictions above are correct for most restaurants but you still save money! Yes I wish we could use them for the same restaurant more than once a month. Yes, there are restrictions. No, I have never had a bad meal. we used them while on vacation in other states and recently I used them when I was traveling for personal business while in New Orleans – sat in the hotel lobby, printed it off, walked two blocks and saved $23 net of my restaurant bill right then and there!

  4. Ed Shapard says:

    You do have to know about and plan for the requirements such as the $50 minimum purchase, but the restaurant.com coupons can be a very good deal. I use them a lot a a barbecue place where we get two of the large sampler plates for about $50. We usually buy the coupons when a $25 one is going for $2, so it’s like getting a $50 meal for $27 bucks :-)

  5. Brandon says:

    Lots of great features now…

    1) Certificates do not expire anymore
    2) The site now tracks use
    3) If a restaurant no longer participates, you get another certificate!!

  6. Alex says:

    Even with the $25 gift certificate I spent more money than what I would at other restaurants that offer deals. If you want to be disappointed buy the certificates.

  7. Anonymous says:

    For people that eat out a lot or are on a budget to do so, I think these are a great idea. As long as the customer is aware of and pays attention to the fine print, then they can provide great savings. If you’re willing to make the effort to save some money, it can be worth it.

  8. al says:

    We use these all the time. If you wait on a discount code it is really a deal. Paid $9.00 to get $75 off a $150 meal. ($30 for a $75 certificate, discounted 70%=$9.00) Usually go with 2 other couples and split the bill. No code yet this month. I don’t buy unless I can get the discount, then I buy up.

  9. Jason says:

    I work at a restaurant that offers Restaurant.com’s certificates. Ours are sold by restaurant.com for $15 and you get $25 worth of food. Here’s the truth about these things:

    1) If you planned on ordering $50+ of food pre-tax, then it’s worth it. For example, if you were in the mood for a couple of filet mignon dinners, buy the certificate. If you wanted to get two $10 plates, then you’re using the wrong type of discount. It rewards people who don’t mind spending money. Kinda contradictory if you ask me.

    2) The restaurant does not make any money off of the gift certificate sales. It is only used to by restaurants to help bring “new” customers through the doors.

    3) You cannot use multiple certificates because, again, it is a loss for the restaurant. If you try to use multiple at the same table, you’re only trying to take advantage of the restaurant. Obviously Restaurant.com doesn’t care if you buy 10 thinking you can get $250 worth of food for $100. They will place the blame on the restaurant (and so will you because you’re always trying to take advantage of the system). I cannot tell you how many customers were upset with me because of this.

    4) After years of dealing with these, I don’t think these certificates help restaurants bring in new traffic. I usually see the same customers over and over using them. Some customers come in once a week with them even though is blatantly says once per month. We never hassled these folks. But keep in mind, we gave a lot of free stuff to our regulars, like appetizers, alcohol, desserts, and off-menu entrees as opposed to the restaurant.com customers who never got anything on the house.

    5) If you want a real discount, ask the restaurant for a $10 certificate and don’t pay for it. The restaurant will lose less money, you’ll probably meet the manager/owner, you’ll probably be treated better, and there won’t be as many restrictions.


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