Restaurant.com Current Coupon Codes – Save on Dining Out

Restaurant.com is a website that offers promotional gift certificates to participating restaurants. The regular price is $10 for at $25 certificate, with certain restrictions. However, there are very often coupon codes that allow you to save even more. Currently, you can get 80% off (final price: $2) with coupon code TOUCHDOWN. Offer valid through 10/16 at 11:59PM PST.

Despite my initial skepticism about these things, many readers responded that they indeed found these certificates very useful for saving money. See comments below. Always note the restrictions (dine-in only, not valid Friday night, etc.) which can vary for each place.

Here’s an example of how the savings math might work out. You find a restaurant on the list that you like that usually runs around $20 + tip per person (~$48 for a couple). You buy a $25 certificate for $2, which usually comes with a $35 minimum purchase + 18% required gratuity on full price.

Dinner for two = $40 regular menu price
Minus $25 certificate = $15
Plus cost of certificate ($2) = $17
Plus 18% gratuity on menu price = $7.20
Total price = $24.20 or 12 bucks a person, a 50%+ savings

These days, that’s pretty good if you can find a worthy restaurant. Any stigma attached to using coupons is probably a lot less as well. Share your favorite restaurants if you got ‘em. Mine is the Austin Steakhouse in Las Vegas. If you haven’t searched in a while, they’ve been adding more restaurants to the list. I’ll update this post with the current codes as they come out.

Update: You can save even more with cashback shopping sites like eBates ($5 new customer bonus), Mr. Rebates ($5 bonus), and BigCrumbs. Currently, Mr. Rebates is the highest, offering 30% cashback.

Comments

  1. I’ve been to Steps of Rome Caffe in San Francisco, CA. Pretty good Italian food, with a loud and fun atmosphere. A couple can definitely split an appetizer + get their own entree for under $20 each before certificate, and you may even be able to sneak a glass of wine in there if you get a simple pasta. Their $25 certificate costs a bit more at $15 normally, but at 90% off the net cost is $1.50. You can still get dinner for two for $12 each including tip.

    Menu:

    http://www.stepsofrome.com/caffe/menuitems.php?recordID=SECONDI

    Yelp:

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-steps-of-rome-caffe-san-francisco

  2. Forgot to add tax to the calculations…..

  3. WOW! What a deal! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for sharing! I can attest to the fact that you can save using these certificates, I’d just caution you on reading the details of the offer. For example,
    - What’s the food minimum?
    - Is dine in required?
    - Is it only valid certain days of the week? (e.g. M – Thurs.)

  5. so why don’t they just call it what it is, a 50% off coupon instead of $25 gift certificate, which it clearly isn’t if you are required to buy $35+18% tip

  6. also, most places on the website have alcohol exclusions

  7. You forgot to mention cashback sites like Fatwallet and Ebates.

    If you use those you get money back on your purchase of the gift certificates.

  8. Be very careful with Restaurant.com. I took advantage of one of these “offers” and later found a monthly charge on my credit card for “Shopping Essentials Plus”. After a Google search and some phone calls, I was able to get the charges removed, but I will never use Restaurant.com again. Their business model is based upon signing you up for recurring credit card charges and hoping you don’t notice. Google it and see for yourself.

  9. Restaurant.com begins each month with an allotment of certificates. Some will sell out quickly and as the month progresses, those remaining will be discounted further until the end-of-the-month. We’ve bought and used at least a dozen in the past couple of years for Minneapolis-St. Paul restaurants with no issues or additional charges at all (one of my favorite places is one that typically sells out quickly each month).

    As mentioned, note that there are general rules (one certificate per month per restaurant, etc.) and there *may* be restaurant-specific rules (no alcohol, certain nights, etc.). Recently, they have stepped up their experience surveys, so that there is a voluntary survey sent via email.

    In all, it has worked as advertised for us and gives us the chance to try some new places (this weekend, we used a $25 certificate off a $35 or more purchase at a place … I think I bought the certificate for less than $5).

  10. Thanks, cashed in on this. We got the annual deal with 12 $25 certificates ($300 value) for $12.

  11. I’d love to hear how people use these certificates successfully! I’ve found they only work well if the restaurant is a place you would go to anyway. Otherwise, they are difficult to use… i.e. can’t go on a weekend or at dinner, and the certificate only applies to food purchases, not drinks, etc. But for 90% off, how can you not I guess.

  12. @ mame – the certificates have no expiration date (unlike coupons). And most coupons have restrictions, typically more restrictive than I have found these to have. And a 20 percent tip on the real total is pretty standard for decent service regardless of who pays, how you pay or if you have discounts.

    @ christee – we’ve bought about a dozen of these over the past few years and have never had a problem using them. Maybe it is the restaurant community we have in Minneapolis-St. Paul, but only a couple have had additional restrictions (one was alcohol purchases cannot be counted toward certificate and another could not be used on Friday or Saturday evenings) but those restrictions are clearly stated before you purchase.

    But as I wrote, maybe our restaurant community is less restrictive than others to get the business.

  13. My wife and I use them as well and basically find similar results to those already posted. For ex. a $35 meal ends up being about $45 after including tax and tip. However with the 25 dollars off, the final bill is about $20 and the cost of the certificate. By the way, I have purchased many of these and now sell them on a secure site at deep discount. Currently, I sell the $50 egift cards for $9 and the $100 egift cards for $17 @ coupontrade.com. The good thing about the egift cards is that you can use them for any participating restaurant for the amount purchased.

    What I mean is that if you go to Restaurant.com you will find that not all restaurants are the same. For instance, some may offer $50 certificates for $10 and others will offer them for $20 or $25. However, the egift cards are prepaid and thus good for $50 regardless of the restaurant, even the higher end ones. Thus, I truly believe the best route is the egift Restaurant.com option.

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