$400 food deal for $40 – eat it up or pass?

If you like to dine out, there’s a deal that can save you money while you enjoy great food. How about a $400 Restaurant.com e-Gift card for just $40? More than 9-thousand people bought the deal from Deal Chicken saving 90%.

While it sounds like an incredible deal, think before you buy it. You can often get Restaurant.com gift certificates for $1-5 if you have a promotional code. These offers are common at the end of the month when they’re trying to clear the inventory.

If you don’t have a promotional code, you’ll often find $25 gift certificates on Restaurant.com for $10. That would get you access to 40 different restaurants with this $400 deal. That’s a lot, but before you buy make sure there are 40 restaurants worth trying.

I like Restaurant.com, but in my opinion the selection of eateries is mediocre. The high-end restaurants and most sought after ones, are not on the list. In Cleveland, I like being a foodie. I’ve never ate so well in my life. I’ll try new places with Restaurant.com gift certificates, but I looked through the list for my area and didn’t find 40 restaurants I’d like to try. I didn’t even find 20 I’d like to try.

I felt like if I bought the certificate, I’d be eating at places just because I had a coupon. That brings me to my next point — how much are you going to spend at 40 different restaurants? The minimum order at most places is at least $35. Some put an even higher minimum. At most places, I’ll bet you spend more than $35. Studies show people who use these coupons spend more at the restaurant. They get a drink or an appetizer when they otherwise wouldn’t. We typically never spend $35 when we eat out with a coupon or without one. It’s my guess you’ll spend more than $35 when you use your coupon.

Plus, you can’t use most of these certificates on Friday or Saturday. There are often alcohol exclusions too. With Groupon and LivingSocial deals, you can usually use them on the weekend and for alcohol.

This deal is great, but really only if you eat out a lot and are open to trying lots of new restaurants. I mean lots! $400 will go a long way on Restaurant.com. Just remember, you’re still spending a lot. That’s fine if you would spend that much if you had a coupon or not. Just make sure you’re not spending more just because you have a coupon?

After doing the math, I’m not going to buy this offer. I’ll stick to buying the occasional Restaurant.com offer when I can get it for $1-5. That way I’m not overbuying and not overspending just because I saw a good deal.

If you want to take advantage of the offer, it’s valid through April 3rd. You are supporting a charity when you buy the offer. Ten percent of the proceeds benefit the Dan Marino Foundation.

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2 responses to “$400 food deal for $40 – eat it up or pass?

  1. I agree with many of your points about Restaurant.com. It can be disappointing when the certificates are not redeemable on weekends or when they exclude alcohol. They’ve saved us a lot of money, though, and we continually buy them! I wrote about Restaurant.com on my travel blog a couple months back: http://travelingsaver.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/restaurant-com/

    • Thanks for the comment. It’s all about the fine print. Did you but the $400 deal? If you use them a lot you can save. I just wish there was more selection. I’ll be following your posts as I’m all about saving. Thanks for visiting.