matthewk said: Onenote said: Some of the most common restaurant.com restrictions:
Minimum purchase ($35 or $50)
Not valid Friday or Saturday night
Alcohol does not count toward minimum purchase
Not valid toward tax or tip
Limit 1 per table
Not valid with any other offers
Expires 1 year from date of issue (except in CA and maybe other states where apparently it is illegal for gift certificates to expire)
i clicked around on a few restaurants on their website. how do i find what the restrictions would be for a certain restaurant? thanks, The required $ purchase and valid date restrictions should be there when you view each amount.
It is best to think of this as high value coupons rather than gift certificates. It makes the restrictions much more understandable and reasonable.
billrubin said: It is best to think of this as high value coupons rather than gift certificates. It makes the restrictions much more understandable and reasonable. Exactly. You buy a nice discount with lots of strings attached.
It's great if you have a nice large budget for eating and just want to save a little money and get some ideas where to go, but it's really not going to work out well if you're on a limited budget and you think that by buying in you might to go out and eat when you'd otherwise have to stay home.
It also works when you already have specific plans to go to a specific restaurant where you expect to spend at least the minimum.
When it's all said and done, it's a powerful promotional tool to get you to spend money at restaurants. Meanwhile, restaurants get customers who think it's an actual gift certificate resulting in irritation for everybody so the restaurants get tired of it.
Back in 2009 they had an awesome promotion, $1 for $25 and $0.40 for $10. I bought a ton of them. I only ever managed to use 2 or 3 of them. The rest are sitting on my restaurant.com account, many for closed restaurants, many for restaurants that no longer participate. I contacted customer service once, a few years ago, and they were willing to switch mine to other restaurants but it's all too much trouble and too much spending.
If you live in an area where there are actually a few good restaurants that use this discount service then go for it. Where I live the good ones that were using it all realized that discount services doesn't really bring in new profit. All that's left now are those hanging on.
Went to one place and after the meal they would not give me the advertised specials with this coupon, Had to pay the meals at regular price! It cost me more to use the darn coupon, so I just trashed it!
I got a couple through the My Coke Rewards program, they were a pain in the ass. They were difficult to use, lots of fine print and the restaurant really acted like they didn't want to honor them at all. I wouldn't bother with them again if they were free. I used one at a local BBQ place I have been to many times, my family typically spends $50 before tip at this restaurant, used a $25 certificate, and after all was said and done I paid $40 before the tip, and had to argue with the manager for ten minutes before we figured out how it was supposed to work.
Others may have had different experiences, and if they work for you, then this is a hot deal.
Why would restaurants participate in these if they don't want to honor them? Do they just want free advertising? LOL That's stupid. They should take themselves out of the eligible restaurant list if they don't want to honor them!
georgejane8 said: Why would restaurants participate in these if they don't want to honor them? Do they just want free advertising? LOL That's stupid. They should take themselves out of the eligible restaurant list if they don't want to honor them! They start out thinking it's going to be great, then they find out that it stinks but they're stuck with it...same experience as customers, really.
The 2 or 3 that I used, I never had any trouble, but it was years ago when it was still new.
thc said: Back in 2009 they had an awesome promotion, $1 for $25 and $0.40 for $10. I bought a ton of them. I only ever managed to use 2 or 3 of them. The rest are sitting on my restaurant.com account, many for closed restaurants, many for restaurants that no longer participate. I contacted customer service once, a few years ago, and they were willing to switch mine to other restaurants but it's all too much trouble and too much spending.
It's gotten much easier to switch them to generic gift certificates now. You can do it yourself at their website with just 2 clicks. Then you can go hunting for replacement restaurants, or you can sell the generics on E-Bay.
dump123456789 said: It's gotten much easier to switch them to generic gift certificates now. You can do it yourself at their website with just 2 clicks. Then you can go hunting for replacement restaurants, or you can sell the generics on E-Bay. Thanks. I did not know that. Maybe it's worth a look again.
It is very easy to exchange certificates you no longer want to use for eGift Cards. We moved about 50 miles and exchanged all of our certificates into eGift cards, which can be easily used to get new certificates.
Have used over 50 certificates and never had a restaurant refuse to honor them. Had a few restaurants go out of business, but no problem with an exchange. Sure they have rules of use, but they are clearly stated, and not too unreasonable.
skh12 said: it's very YMMV, they are a PITA to use where i am, that or the place is a dump, another restriction i have seen on them is cash only Which zip code are you trying to use them in ? In mine, restaurant.com has a number of dumps, and no upscale, trendy places. But most of the places are solidly middle class. They're good for exploring the dining landscape, and we've revisited quite a few places even after they dropped out of restaurant.com.
restaurant.com has changed over the years, but if you live in an urban/suburban area then you should be able to find something decent. $25 certificates used to require $35 purchases, but they have gone up to $37.60 and many are $50 minimum (not so good) I got lucky and found a really great Italian place ($10 on $15) where the discount works out to be a significant percentage.
skh12 said: I'm in 33446, one place downtown is good Looks like the selection of restaurant.com places within 15 miles of your zip is similar in quality to mine. Mostly Yelp 3-4 stars, mom&pop middle class. In my area, the towns/cities are packed one beside the next, so it's pretty common to drive a bit further, which increases the selection.
traderneal said: I have used these certs literally 100's of times and have NEVER had a problem. As long as you READ and follow the limitations, you shouldn't have a problem either. Same here. Call a couple hours before you go and ask "do you still honor your restaurant.com gift certificates". If they say yes, you should have no worries at all.
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