13 Ways to Get Discounts at a Restaurant

Updated on: by Amy Kennedy
People eating in a restaurant

Eating out doesn’t have to break the bank, and there are several clever strategies to save money while savoring delicious meals.

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From signing up for restaurant loyalty programs and newsletters to leveraging social media and online deal platforms, a world of discounts awaits.

Moreover, timing can play a crucial role in securing attractive deals, as certain days or hours might offer special promotions.

This blog post will explore valuable tips and tricks that can help you indulge in fantastic restaurant experiences without overspending.

Tips to Get Discounts at a Restaurant

Check out these practical strategies for dining out on a budget:

1. Join Restaurant Loyalty Programs

Joining restaurant loyalty programs can be a savvy way to unlock a treasure trove of discounts and rewards. 

These programs are often free to join and offer exclusive benefits to frequent customers. 

By signing up, you may receive points for each visit or purchase, which can later be redeemed for discounts or complimentary items. 

Some loyalty programs also provide personalized offers based on your dining preferences. 

From free appetizers to birthday surprises, being a part of these programs can enhance your dining experience while saving you money.

2. Subscribe to Newsletters

Subscribing to restaurant newsletters can be a strategic move to stay informed about the latest deals and promotions. 

When you sign up for their mailing lists, you gain access to exclusive discounts, limited-time offers, and upcoming events. 

Restaurants often reward their loyal subscribers with discount coupons or early access to special menus. 

Additionally, newsletters may contain insightful articles, chef’s tips, and mouthwatering recipes that add value to your dining experience. 

Stay in the loop and let the deals come to you directly via your inbox.

3. Follow on Social Media

Embrace the power of social media to uncover hidden gems of discounts at your favorite restaurants. 

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By following restaurants on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you’ll be among the first to know about their latest promotions and deals. 

Some establishments run social media-exclusive contests, where you can win free meals or vouchers. 

Engaging with their posts can also lead to surprise giveaways or special discounts. 

The more active you are in following and interacting with restaurants on social media, the higher your chances of snagging tempting discounts.

4. Check Online Deal Platforms

Online deal platforms like Groupon and LivingSocial are virtual treasure chests for restaurant discounts. 

These platforms regularly feature discounted vouchers for various restaurants, providing excellent opportunities to try out new dining spots at reduced prices. 

Be on the lookout for limited-time offers with substantial savings on meals, beverages, and even multi-course dinners. 

Checking these platforms before planning a dining experience can lead you to impressive deals that satisfy both your taste buds and your wallet.

5. Utilize Dining Apps

Dining apps designed to offer discounts and cashback can be valuable companions in your culinary adventures. 

Install apps like Yelp, OpenTable, or Eatigo to discover restaurants with ongoing promotions and special discounts. 

Some apps offer loyalty points or cashback rewards for every reservation or purchase made through their platform. 

These rewards can be accumulated and redeemed for future meals, resulting in additional savings on top of restaurant deals.

6. Visit During Off-Peak Hours

Timing can play a crucial role in securing discounts at restaurants. 

Consider dining during off-peak hours, such as early afternoons or weekdays, when restaurants are less crowded. 

Many establishments offer special discounts during these times to attract customers. 

Moreover, during less busy hours, you may receive more attentive service, making your dining experience even more enjoyable. 

This win-win approach allows you to savor your favorite meals while taking advantage of enticing discounts.

7. Look for Student or Senior Discounts

If you’re a student or a senior, be sure to inquire about any special discounts available at the restaurant. 

Some eateries offer reduced prices or unique deals for these specific groups. 

Valid student IDs or proof of age may be required to claim these discounts. 

Whether you’re a young scholar or a seasoned connoisseur, these discounts recognize and reward various demographics, making dining out more affordable for everyone.

8. Explore Happy Hour Deals

For those who enjoy pairing their meals with drinks, happy hour deals can be a delightful discovery. 

Many restaurants and bars offer discounted food and beverages during designated happy hours. 

This can be an ideal time to try a variety of dishes or enjoy your favorite drinks at a fraction of the regular cost. 

Whether it’s after work or during the early evening, happy hours present a fantastic opportunity to unwind and indulge without stretching your budget.

9. Share Large Portions

Some restaurants serve generous portions, perfect for sharing with a dining companion or a group of friends. 

By splitting larger dishes, you not only get to experience a wider range of flavors but also save money on your overall dining expenses. 

Sharing appetizers, entrees, or desserts allows you to explore the restaurant’s menu while reducing individual costs. 

Additionally, communal dining can foster a sense of camaraderie, making the meal more enjoyable and memorable.

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10. Celebrate Special Occasions

When it’s time to celebrate a special occasion, consider dining at a restaurant that offers celebratory discounts or complimentary perks. 

Many establishments extend thoughtful gestures, such as free desserts, drinks, or exclusive discounts, to mark birthdays, anniversaries, or other milestones. 

Inform the restaurant in advance about the occasion, and they might pleasantly surprise you with a memorable dining experience that’s as delightful as it is budget-friendly.

Online Deal Platforms that Offer Discounted Vouchers for Restaurants

Here are online deal platforms that offer discounted vouchers for various restaurants:

1. Groupon

Groupon is a popular online deal platform that offers discounted vouchers for a wide range of products and services, including restaurants. 

With its extensive network of participating eateries, Groupon provides an excellent opportunity to discover new dining experiences at reduced prices. 

Users can explore various restaurant deals, such as discounted set menus, exclusive offers on multi-course meals, and savings on popular cuisines. 

Groupon also features customer reviews and ratings, helping you make informed decisions about the best dining spots in your area. 

Signing up for Groupon’s newsletters keeps you updated on the latest restaurant deals, making it a valuable resource for budget-conscious foodies.

2. LivingSocial

LivingSocial is another well-known online deal platform that connects users with discounted vouchers for restaurants and other services. 

The platform’s restaurant deals cover a wide spectrum of culinary delights, from casual eateries to fine dining establishments. 

With LivingSocial, you can uncover special discounts on brunches, lunches, dinners, and even private dining experiences. 

The platform’s user-friendly interface allows you to search for deals based on location and cuisine type, making it convenient to find enticing offers in your vicinity. 

Exploring LivingSocial’s dining options can lead to delightful gastronomic adventures without stretching your budget.

3. Travelzoo

Travelzoo is a comprehensive platform that offers exclusive deals for travel, entertainment, and, of course, dining. 

This popular website presents a curated selection of restaurant deals, handpicked by experts for their exceptional value and quality. 

Travelzoo’s dining offers often include discounts on gourmet experiences, wine tastings, and unique dining events. 

Users can browse through verified customer reviews and ratings to ensure a memorable dining experience. 

Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a group celebration, Travelzoo’s restaurant deals cater to various tastes and occasions.

4. Restaurant.com

Restaurant.com is a dedicated platform that specializes in offering discounted dining certificates for a vast array of restaurants across the United States. 

With deals ranging from fine dining to local eateries, Restaurant.com allows users to purchase certificates at a fraction of their face value, resulting in significant savings on your dining expenses. 

Simply search for restaurants in your area, select the desired certificate value, and enjoy your meal with fantastic discounts. 

Restaurant.com regularly updates its offerings, providing a constant stream of new dining opportunities for culinary explorers on a budget.

5. Entertainment®

Entertainment® provides a versatile digital membership that offers valuable discounts and deals for dining, entertainment, shopping, and more. 

With its extensive coverage across various cities, the Entertainment® membership opens doors to countless restaurant savings. 

Subscribers gain access to a wide selection of 2-for-1 dining offers, percentage-based discounts, and buy-one-get-one-free deals. 

The digital format allows for convenient browsing and quick access to deals, making it a handy companion for spontaneous dining plans. 

With Entertainment®, you can elevate your dining experiences without breaking the bank.

6. Dining Out Passbook

Dining Out Passbook provides a physical passbook containing exclusive 2-for-1 dining deals for restaurants in select cities. 

This innovative platform allows users to explore participating eateries and enjoy substantial savings when dining with a companion. 

The passbook covers a diverse range of cuisines and dining styles, making it an excellent option for food enthusiasts looking to savor various flavors while saving money. 

Dining Out Passbook’s annual editions are filled with enticing deals, making it a sought-after resource for those seeking dining adventures and value.

7. Scoutmob

Scoutmob is an app and website that curates unique deals and offers for local businesses, including restaurants. 

The platform showcases handpicked restaurant deals, highlighting hidden gems and popular eateries alike. 

Scoutmob’s deals often feature percentage-based discounts, allowing users to enjoy their favorite meals at discounted prices. 

The platform’s focus on local businesses promotes community support and introduces users to charming neighborhood spots they might not have discovered otherwise. 

Whether you’re a local looking for familiar favorites or a visitor eager to explore the city’s culinary scene, Scoutmob delivers an array of delightful dining options.

8. Restaurant Passport

Restaurant Passport offers a passport-style experience to unlock dining deals in select cities. 

Users can purchase a digital passport that grants access to exclusive offers and discounts at participating restaurants. 

The passport format encourages culinary exploration, as users can visit multiple eateries and redeem their deals throughout the passport’s validity period. 

Whether you’re a resident looking to discover new dining spots or a traveler seeking local flavors, the Restaurant Passport opens doors to diverse cuisines and exciting restaurant savings.

9. Citi Entertainment®

Citi Entertainment® is a rewards program offered by Citi Bank that provides cardholders with access to a wide range of entertainment and dining perks. 

Cardholders can enjoy pre-sale access to concert tickets, exclusive event experiences, and special dining offers. 

The program frequently collaborates with restaurants to offer discounts, prix-fixe menus, and unique dining events for Citi cardholders. 

If you’re a Citi cardholder looking for exclusive dining deals and experiences, Citi Entertainment® is your gateway to memorable culinary adventures.

10. Local Flavor

Local Flavor is a platform that connects users with local businesses, including restaurants, offering discounted deals and vouchers. 

The website features an assortment of dining offers, such as meal discounts, buy-one-get-one-free deals, and special promotions. 

Local Flavor’s focus on local businesses encourages community support and enables users to explore nearby dining options at discounted prices. 

Whether you’re craving comfort food or seeking a taste of international cuisine, Local Flavor’s restaurant deals cater to diverse tastes and preferences.

11. Yelp

Yelp is a popular platform known for its user-generated reviews and ratings of businesses, including restaurants. 

In addition to providing valuable insights from fellow diners, Yelp also offers restaurant deals through its platform. 

Users can discover exclusive discounts, special offers, and happy hour deals on Yelp’s business pages. 

The “Offers” section allows restaurants to showcase their promotions directly to potential customers, making it easier for users to find enticing deals at local eateries. 

With its vast community and comprehensive restaurant coverage, Yelp is a go-to resource for discovering both popular and hidden dining gems with discounts.

12. OpenTable

OpenTable is renowned for its online restaurant reservation service, but it also offers exclusive dining rewards to its users. 

By making reservations through the OpenTable platform, diners can earn points that can be redeemed for dining vouchers or Amazon gift cards. 

These rewards provide an added incentive for diners to use OpenTable for their restaurant bookings, making it a win-win situation. 

Additionally, OpenTable occasionally features special promotions, such as discounted set menus and prix-fixe offers, enhancing the dining experience while saving money.

13. Eatigo

Eatigo is a dining reservation platform that specializes in offering time-based discounts at restaurants. 

Users can book tables during designated time slots and enjoy discounts of up to 50% off their total bill. 

The platform partners with a wide selection of restaurants, ranging from popular chains to upscale eateries, providing a diverse dining experience for users. 

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Eatigo’s time-based deals offer flexibility and significant savings for diners seeking budget-friendly options without compromising on quality.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, securing discounts at restaurants has never been easier with the myriad of online deal platforms and loyalty programs available today. 

From popular platforms like Groupon and LivingSocial to specialized services like Eatigo and TheFork, diners have access to a plethora of enticing offers. 

By leveraging social media, subscribing to newsletters, and exploring off-peak hours, one can unlock exclusive discounts and enjoy memorable dining experiences without overspending. 

Embrace the power of technology and smart strategies to savor delectable meals while keeping your wallet happy.

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