HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


Restaurant.com Special Promo

I heard about this special promotion on the local (Philadelphia) news last night. Gift certificates purchased through the Restaurant.com website are discounted by 60% if you type the code CBS3 in the "Discount Code" box during the checkout process. That means that a $25 restaurant gift certificate that would normally cost $10 will now cost only $4.00. It applies to all restaurants, not just those in the Philadelphia area. I believe the promotion runs for a week, and there does not appear to be a limit on the number of certificates you can purchase.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. These restaurant.com coupons have been the topic of some discussion and debate. They might be a great deal, but they come with all sorts of rules. Obviously, they are good for dine-in only, no takeout or delivery. Beverages excluded. Tip often added in. Very often only good Su-Th -- not weekends. But most important, these coupons only kick in AFTER a minimum food purchase. They aren't simple gift certificates. For example, one of the offers for a restaurant in my area is a $25 certificate that requires a $45 minimum food purchase, so besides paying for the certificate, tax, tip and drinks, you are paying for the first $20 of food. And at this restaurant's price level, one or two people are going to be hardpressed to order and eat $45 worth of food. So be careful.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosh

      Thanks to a prior post on these I got 4 $25 coupons for places we go to regularly for a total of $8 by entering a special pomo code word (I think it was a Halloween special). Great deal.

    2. They often have 80% discounts too- usually once a month. They have an email list that you can be added too and they notify you of the current discounts. Each restaurant that participates has different rules which can make the certificates hard to use. I find that if you order an appetizer and 2 drinks plus the entrees is it easy to reach the minimum required.

      1. Perhaps I'm missing something here. How on earth do any of the businesses involved in this potential transaction do well from such a thing?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ccbweb

          For me, I found one coupon in a town where I was going on vacation. Figured it was a good way to try a restaurant for a good discount. The food was SOOOO good, we went back two more times that week without coupons. Might not have gone even once without the coupon.

        2. Dh & I use these discounts while traveling. Many hotels offer printing services and have left coupon print outs under our door for use that evening or later in our trip. The 60% offers happen often as do lesser discounts to the coupons. I agree rules apply but they usually apply with ANY discount. What we enjoy most about this specific special promo is the coupons can be acquired, printed and used on the fly without lugging around a discount book or planning in advance for the types of meals you might enjoy.

          FWIW, in this economy restaurants that offer a coupon have my thanks.

          1. I found $4 certficates for a restaurant we visit fairly often. The only "restrictions" were that the certificates be used for dinner, and that an 18% gratuity would be added to the pre-discounted bill. That was all just fine with me. That's $21 off the price of dinner.

            1. It's all about reading the "rules" for each certificate. Some are pretty flexible, some not so much. I was irked when I saw that one place said the certificate had to be presented to the server before ordering...why, so they can give you worse service/smaller portions because you are perceived as a "cheapskate"? Like others, I've discovered places because of the coupon and returned later.

              1. This seems like a great deal and a way to try new places. I have looked at the spots listed in my area and want to make sure I understand this right. If they say a $35 dollar minimum, does that mean that you can use a $25 certificate and pay the other $10 or can you use 2 certificates??

                1 Reply
                1. re: whoalilponie

                  you pay the other $10. we use them a lot. cant use more than one per party.

                2. Got a new code in my e-mail today.

                  Through 11/13, 60% off code is HARVEST.

                  1. I just searched my zip code on restaurant.com and found many restaurants that I frequent.

                    My question is: Do these certificates have expiration dates or are they open ended?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ambrose

                      They expire one year from the date on which they're purchased.

                      1. re: CindyJ

                        That depends on the laws in your state. In Massachusetts, they're good for 7 years if there's an expiration date:

                        > "A gift certificate or a merchant credit slip (given for returned merchandise) must be redeemable for a minimum of seven years

                        > "If the gift certificate expiration dates are not provided, the gift certificate shall be good forever.

                        > "Once a gift certificate has been redeemed for 90% of its value or more, the consumer may elect to receive the balance of the remaining value in cash."

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          It sounds like MA has far better consumer-friendly regulations than PA does.

                    2. Just searched it for Boston and there's not much there that I would choose to go to. I do find it amusing though that the only one on the list anywhere near where I live is a burrito joint where the most expensive item on the menu is $9.95, but it still says that to use the coupon you have to make a $35 minimum purchase.

                      1. Now, 80% off using coupon SURPRISE.

                        1. 'til December 7...

                          60% off using "APPLY"

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: ambrose

                            I've found that if you Google "Restaurant.com discount code" something current is likely to come up. I found one just today that says 60% off using "LIST".

                            1. re: CindyJ

                              Oops, dopey me! Yes, the code word is "LIST". When you check out, click on "apply".

                              BTW, it works!

                              If you subscribe to restaurant.com, you receive automatic e-mails about the latest discounts.

                          2. nobody here has had any fishy add-on credit card charges from restaurant.com? http://www.ripoffreport.com/searchres...

                            we want to try it, and hope that it would be good - and not a rip-off.

                            btw, what is the current "discount" code, please? does it cost to subscribe to the automatic emails in which they give you the current "code"?

                            sign me, "reticent"

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: alkapal

                              For current discount codes, I'd Google "restaurant.com discount codes" and see what comes up. They change frequently.

                            2. Nothing good in my area --either I've got to spend $50, WITHOUT alcohol, or $60 and it's not good Fri-Su, holidays or "special occasions". Does that mean if my wife and I are celebrating our anniversary they won't accept it?

                              Ted's Montana Grill
                              Must spend $50 in food including two entrees. Excludes alcohol & Real Deal. Must present prior to use. 1 per table. For dine-in and take-away orders .

                              Shorty Smalls
                              Valid Monday-Thursday only. Minimum food purchase of $60. Excludes holidays, special occasions, gratuity, alcohol.

                              oh, and regarding coupon/discount codes for restaurant.com and most online merchants, I use naughtycodes.com. All the florist sites, gourmet food sites, etc. are on there and generally have good codes.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: podunkboy

                                podunkboy, thanks for the info. "naughty codes" LOL!

                              2. After reading the comments on "Rip-Off Report.com" I am not interested in having any dealings with this company. Even if I did, a quick survey of their list, of around two dozen restaurants in my immediate (10 mile radius) area, revealed only one or two that had me slightly interested. Hardly anything even close to "fine dining". The thought of "buying" a discount coupon, and the online credit card transaction, is scary, at the least, given their associations with problem companies.

                                9 Replies
                                1. re: Scargod

                                  Never understood the fear of online credit card use. You are protected against fraudulent use. It is safer than writing a check at a local merchant or using your ATM card anywhere.

                                  1. re: AHan

                                    You are missing the point entirely. The money may be protected, but what about your identity and the hassle? I just had to fill out and mail a questionnaire for Mastercard about fraudulent use of my card. I had to wait on a new one to arrive.
                                    Are you saying you wouldn't care if you were duplicitous in dealing with a known, risky website, just because you know you would be covered and your credit card company would take the hit?
                                    I do plenty of online commerce with my credit cards. I am not afraid of it. Safer than using your ATM card? Perhaps if in Tijuana. OK, that's a supposition; I've never been there.

                                    1. re: Scargod

                                      Any time I have questioned a charge it has been taken off my bill, end of story, no hassles. Steal my identity? You'd need a lot more than a credit card number to do that--the media has done a great job scaring people with that one. You have little or no protection if someone steals your PIN or puts a bad charge through on a debit/ATM-- good luck getting your cash back.

                                      1. re: AHan

                                        "You have little or no protection if someone ... puts a bad charge through on a debit/ATM" - Not in my experience. Someone stole my debit card info online back around 2002 and used it to charge about $2000 over a weekend before I checked by balance Monday. All of it was credited back to my account (Citizen Bank at the time) but it did take about a week.

                                  2. re: Scargod

                                    It's not restaurant.com that is charging the people, it's when you click a separate offer after you have purchased your gift certificate that you are charged by a different company. I know, because it happened to me. I explained what happened in the following thread.


                                    1. re: pollymerase

                                      I understand, but this company is apparently duplicitous. Why would you want to have anything to do with restaurant .com? www.ripoffreport.com makes it clear that some of these associates have been prosecuted and that many were unhappy with the relationship. http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0...
                                      Now it seems "Shopping Essentials" is doing a similar scam. http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0... from restaruant.com's site.
                                      Here, recently, we were up in arms because a Chow (third party), advertiser was mining data with a misleading ad...

                                      1. re: Scargod

                                        I've used certificates purchased on Restaurant.com about a dozen times, and never had a problem. The ones I bought most recently had to be used for dining in and for dinner only. No problem! I bought the certificates for restaurants I know and visit. I gave a couple of them away to friends. Paying $4 (with the right coupon code) for a $25 certificate for a known entity is a bargain, in my book.

                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                          I bought 4 $25 certificates to a place we like in the neighborhood for a total of $8 on a special promotion late last year. We've used 2 of them and will use the other 2 shortly. Great deal and absolutely nothing untoward with the use of my Visa.

                                          1. re: CindyJ

                                            Same here. I think I paid $3 for the $25 gift certs for dinners at four ethnic restaurants in North OC and had no problems. Like Servorg, we've also had nothing untoward happen on our Visa.

                                            The restaurants for which I've purchased the discounts are Cantina Lounge (Sports Bar w/Mexican food in Fullerton), Lizzaran (Spanish pintxos, Fullerton), La Vie en Rose (French, Brea), and Carvao Grill (Argentinian, Brea). All serve really good food....

                                    2. No issues to report here either and we've used these restaurant deals while staying in close to 40 city hotels via their Internet services.