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.