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.
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.