Restaurant.Com (Or Participating Resturants) Reduces Portion Sizes On Some Deals

One of the worst kept secrets in the ‘get a great deal’ on dining out has been Restaurant.com.  This site has been one of my favorites for years.

With the site, you can buy a coupon that gives you a dollar amount off participating restaurants.  Typically, you can get a $10 coupon for $3 or a $25 for $10, with each restaurant choosing the terms by which you can use the coupons (some won’t allow you to use them on weekend nights or on holidays or unless your party consists of a certain number of people).  The great part about it is that you can typically find a coupon code for 80%, and sometimes even 90%, off the regular price of a certificate.

Pot roast corn fed chicken with wild sorrel risotto, summer truffles and calvados espuma at The Forth Floor Restaurant, Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh

This means that you could get a $10 coupon for $0.60 or a $25 coupon for $2 with the most commonly found 80% off coupon.

It’s practically a steal!

I’ve noticed, though, that over the past few months, a few restaurants have the stipulation “Promo Codes Do Not Apply.”

Sure enough, if you add that coupon to your shopping cart and enter a promo code, you don’t get anything off.

I wasn’t able to find much information about why some restaurants are excluded.  I’m not sure if the restaurants get a better rate for not participating or how the participation structure breaks down.

At first glance, it’s easy to say “Well, I’m not paying five times more for a certificate” and move on.  And, that’s certainly a valid option.  If you’re browsing Restaurant.com and you’re wavering between two restaurants, one that you can use a promo code and one that you can’t, my guess is the one that allows you to use to code will win 99% of the time.

So, why would you buy a coupon at a restaurant that doesn’t allow you to use codes.  Here’s a few reasons I can think of.

  1. You didn’t even know about the 80% off regular codes
  2. It’s your favorite restaurant
  3. It’s still a better percentage off (60 or 70%) than most Groupon or Living Social deals, which from what I’ve been able to see, give you 50-55% off in most cases.

Would the cutbacks on promo code availability cause you to stop using Restaurant.com or would you narrow down your list of potential restaurants to those which are not on the ‘restricted’ list?  

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4 thoughts on “Restaurant.Com (Or Participating Resturants) Reduces Portion Sizes On Some Deals

  1. I am always very careful when I review (and on a seldom occassion buy) restaurant.com coupons. THere are so many restrictions most of the time that it is just not worth it!

  2. I've never used restaurant.com. I keep thinking I should. Maybe I'll look to see if they have a coupon for my favorite Indian place…

  3. @Aloysa – I always read the fine print. Most of the time you have to know time of day, the minimum you have to spend, and whether or not alcohol can be purchased. That usually covers 99% of the restrictions at least what I've seen.

    @shanendoah – Definitely worth a look. If your favorite isn't there, maybe you'll find another one that you like!

  4. There are some restaurants that you just plain won’t be able to get at the end of the month because they sell out so fast. Many sell out in the first few weeks. But, there seems to be a regular group still available at the last of the month. So, get familiar with the restaurants on the site so you know which ones sell out and which ones don’t.
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