Testing Restaurant.com Gift Certificates

Restaurant.com Weekly Promo Offer 234 x 60

Seeing is believing! Well, this doesn’t sound right with a restaurant, right? What about, trying is believing; that’s probably a better phrase.

My husband told me one day that his masseuse bragged about how much money she saved by getting gift certificates from Restaurant.com. She offered him a few tips on how to get them cheap.

I listened, but it didn’t impress me to the extent that I dashed to my computer and started visiting Restaurant.com site.

I’m a bit skeptical sometimes about things that sound too good to be true.  I believe, ya’ll experience that sometimes, don’t you? It is always when you hear something that seems like a steal, later you find out there’s a hidden charge in there. It’s common in advertisements these days.

It wasn’t until I saw this banner on our very own site that said:
“$25 restaurant gift certificates for $2.00-Use coupon…”

Hmm… that’s sound a real deal. I was thinking, just $2?  Why so skeptical?  Why not try?  The worst case scenario the gift certificates wouldn’t work and I’d lose my two bucks. I’d never know unless I tried.  I don’t want to lose the battle before I go to the war.

That night I bought a total of eight gift certificates from four different restaurants (I admit I was a bit greedy). You just need to enter your zip code to get the restaurant list. You can also expand your search a few miles from your zip code.

There are so many good restaurants on the Restaurant.com list.  Some of them are our favorites and others are restaurants we’ve never visited.

This was my first time buying gift certificates. Without knowing what thing lay ahead of me; I mustered up enough bravery to do it. I did this sort of as an experiment. I’m being honest! I think I made a mistake. I bought two sets of gift certificates from each restaurant because I thought each person has to use one certificate each. What was I thinking?

I didn’t have any information except, “$25 gift certificates for $2,” Well! I can do damage with that. I imagine I can eat a lot of food for $2.00 (see how easy the human mind gets twisted?). It cost me $22 for eight gift certificates.

I printed the gift certificates and in fact, there’s a lot more to it. The good thing is, the Restaurant.com Gift Certificate doesn’t expire. I’ll tell you frugal gals out there, this restaurant gift certificate is worth the money. It works best with big parties of 3 or more. It’s a great choice for a family to use for eating out. It’s perfect for friends to use for get-together meals. Or a gift for anyone who enjoys going to restaurants with friends.

Thai Coconut Mushroom Soup

That night we went to Thai restaurant; we ordered two appetizers and two entrees, YUM EEEE!! Of course, the appetizers filled us up early. I had to take a most of the entrees to use as leftovers, which is good for two days of lunches or three days if I’m in my diet mode.

And the best part was, we only paid $ 17 total (18% gratuity included). The end total was $19 (the restaurant bill + the $ 2 gift certificate). The real price if we order the same amount of food without gift certificates was about $40 before tips or about $30 (not including tips) without appetizer. In my first case study we saved $15, plus I had 2 extra leftover meals.

Before you decide to Buy Restaurant.com Gift Certificates!, here are a few of terms and conditions you have to know in order to get the most out of your money. Be logical, business is a business, let face it! All restaurants are there for a reason: to turn a profit. But we, as frugal consumers all want to make and save money. Let’s help each other. This is a win-win situation. In this case, the restaurant is happy and the customer is happy. Even the third party providing the restaurant certificate is happy.

  1. Restaurant gift certificates are redeemable only at the printed location. There is minimum purchase for each restaurant’s gift certificate. Minimum purchase varies depending on the restaurant scale. The more upscale the restaurant is, the higher the minimum purchase is. I’d estimate the average minimum purchase to be typically around $35.00.
  2.  Minimum of two entrees. 
  3. Valid during certain time periods. Each restaurant has different time frame for which you can use the certificate. In some restaurants, the gift certificate is only valid for dine-in only from Sunday through Thursday. Some others are maybe valid for lunch and dine-in only. It varies from one restaurant to another.
  4. Excludes: Alcohol, Holidays/Special Events, Other offers/promotions.
  5. Only one Restaurant-specific gift certificate may be redeemed per party, per month, per restaurant, even if the party is seated at separate tables and/or receives more than one check (realistically, I’m not sure how they can track how many times you come in).

To give you a clear picture, I have a sample of a Restaurant Gift Certificate which shows the details.

Also here’s a few tips from Mo and Z on how to use this restaurant.com gift certificate.
This gift certificate works great for large party, especially a family with kids. It’s good for party of two if you know how to maximize your purchase and use the opportunity of having left over food.

Some people complain they can’t use gift certificate because the store they choose is no longer accepting gift certificates. If you doubt whether or not a restaurant accepts restaurant.com gift certificates, our tips are:

  1. Call the restaurant to confirm they accept prior to buying the gift certificate.
  2.  When you are seated, the first thing to do before you order your food is to show the waitress the gift certificate.
  3.  If you want to maximize your savings, calculate the price of the food your ordering and try and make it come as close as possible to the minimum purchase price. Don’t go crazy with it.
  4. To be able to reach the minimum amount if you are a party of 2, our suggestion is to order appetizer, entree and dessert. I always love to bring home leftover for a snack or the next day’s quick lunch.
  5.  Double check the receipt and make sure the amount has been subtracted with the gift certificate amount.
  6.  Read the receipt carefully and look for “gratuity.” If your gift certificate says 18% gratuity included, means that you are being charged a gratuity with the final amount. It means you don’t need to leave a tip. Make sure all the line items stated in your receipt are accounted for.
  7. Check our restaurant.com coupons regularly. At the end of the month, the prices can often be dramatically reduced.

Hope this article helps you decide whether or not to buy Restaurant.com gift certificates!

Please let me know your experience. -“Z”


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