Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Website Review: Restaurant.com

I have said over and over how I love a good deal. So when I heard about Restaurant.com I was super excited to give it a whirl.

Here are some things to remember:
-Look at the minimum amount you have to spend. Sometimes it's $35, sometimes it's $50.
-You have to pay 18% gratuity that they add into the bill. That's after the minimum that you've spent.
-Look up on RetailMeNot to see if there are promotional codes you can use to get your gift card even cheaper if you do not get restaurant.com e-mails.

About my experience:
-The first time I bought 5 gift cards between 2 different restaurants. Out of those 5 I only used 1. Both restaurants closed before I could use them all. My friend got to roll hers to a different place, I didn't log on in time to do that.
-I bought one for a different restaurant that we used shortly after purchase for a date. We spent $36 on food and soda ($35 minimum) and ended up spending $18 out of pocket including gratuity. While that is a great price for a lot of food- it was a lot of food! We don't normally eat that much, didn't have kids to share it with and were at a homeschool conference so our leftovers were wasted. I don't like to waste.

I think if you can get the gift certificate for cheap enough, it's a fantastic deal if you're going out anyways. What you shouldn't do, is buy into the 'Eat for only $2' hype, because there is out of pocket expense later. You should budget to spend at least $20 when using your gift certificates. Even at that, though, $20 including gratuity for a restaurant where you get $35 of food is a great deal! So find one you like, but don't go overboard and buy a whole lot...just in case the restaurant pulls out of the deal or closes!

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