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coupon on first date

I was out with a gf for dinner this week and I happened to have a coupon for a free entree which we used. Anyhow we got to talking about whether using a coupon on a FIRST date in a restaurant would be tacky.

So would you? If you are a guy and inviting a lady out, or as a women bringing a coupon with you if you knew where he was taking you? (Either way if the date is going Dutch or the guy is going to pay).

Or is it the height of tackiness?

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  1. On the rare occasions when l have a coupon and this situation comes up, l ask my date her feelings. If she has no worries, l go for it. No one has said no yet, nor subsequently learned they meant yes but said no either. Granted only used it three times.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      I have. And if I were paying I certainly would not ask for my date's feelings on this, just as I would not ask if she minded the fact that I'm earning Open Table points or 11 miles for every dollar spent. She might never even know about most of these. If these things are a big deal for her and she finds coupons tacky, than we have more problems than a little coupon and it won't last long.

      I think that if a date felt I took her to a place only for the discount, she's reading way too much into it. Could be I think it's great AND I've a coupon. Big leap to presume my motives only on a first date. Give me a chance to show what I am made of?

      And any date who believed I didn't think she was "worth paying full price": what is the commodity being bought and paid for, the restaurant's product or my date?

    2. I wouldn't say it's tacky per se, but if I were being taken out on a first date and my date, who was paying, presented a coupon, I would feel like it sends the message that he didn't think I was worth paying full price, and possibly only took me to that particular establishment so he could get a discount on a meal. Not a good foot to start off with if you ask me.

      9 Replies
      1. re: rockandroller1

        I would say the message is that this is a guy who isn't foolish with his money and isn't out to stupidly impress. I'd say this would be a clue that he had the potential to be a "keeper." But his actions perhaps aren't compatible with YOUR spending philosophy. Best for each of you to find that out in the beginning.

        1. re: c oliver

          I think it really depends on what a guy is looking for in a girl. I would take your view because I'm more of a feminist and am not that impressed by guys who think they need to blow a lot of money on me on a first date. Other girls may expect that and will be put off by a guy who uses a coupon.

          That said, if a guy picks a crappy restaurant just to use a coupon, then I would probably be turned off. I don't want to go to Chili's just because there is a 2 for 1 special.

          1. re: queencru

            This is not first date behavior. Later on if you have a relationship, okay.

            1. re: queencru

              I think you and I said the same thing :) I'm an old feminist (62yo) and put aside that foolishness decades ago. Okay also for the "little woman" to do the asking, pay and use a coupon. Thought those stereotypes were long dead.

              I like your second paragraph also. My 88 yo MIL, who has never had to scrimp in her life, will invariably pull out a coupon when she want to take US out to eat. And then we wind up at one of those chains. 'Course when WE'RE paying the skies the limit :)

          2. re: rockandroller1

            "I would feel like it sends the message that he didn't think I was worth paying full price"

            It IS tacky to use coupons, although everyone wants a bargain or a deal (freebies/samples/other items with purchase for cosmetics!). That said, I've often gone Dutch on my first dates, not believing that I ever needed to be paid for, full price or otherwise.

            If a coupon or discount card was being used (American Airlines had one system which was very convenient--the 15-30% discount would be reimbursed to the card and no one ever knew), it should be done discretely. Just as the check folder should not be flashed around the table so the date knows how much the meal actually cost and how much of a tip has been given--that to me is actually tackier than using a discount card or coupon; I've never gone on second dates with these men.

            But I do agree with C Oliver that if this is a potential issue between the 2 parties, it's better to find out earlier than later.

            1. re: Caralien

              Hmm, seems to me I've been in situations, not necessarily dates, in which the tip was discussed, and I felt fine about it. I honestly can't recall the specifics, but if something has happened that makes a bigger or smaller tip seem appropriate, I don't see why one couldn't/shouldn't say something about it.
              Choosing the restaurant because one has a coupon there, or because it's generally cheap--bad. Going to a good restaurant and happening to have a coupon--good. In my book anyway.
              What about going to happy hour together? Seems to me that's a perfectly normal first date meet up, but the whole point of happy hour is cheap drinks. Should suitors wait until 7 or 8 or whenever the happiness ends to pay full price?
              Leonardo, you're wickedly funny and right on target in asking what's being paid for anyway.

              1. re: saacnmama

                I think the point of doing happy hour as a first date isn't the cheaper drinks, but the fact that meeting up for drinks requires less commitment than dinner, which makes it easier to bail if things aren't exactly magical.

                1. re: saacnmama

                  Saacn: No, I don't wait until HH is over. But I do insist upon paying full price if I am there during HH. Just so I don't appear cheap. Perish the thought.

                  Charmed: If the point is to meet up for just drinks, it being less of a commitment than dinner, it could be ANY time not just during HH.

                  1. re: Leonardo

                    Leonardo: ....yes, that's true. I'm not sure that it negates my statement that often the suggestion to "meet for drinks" (which often ends up being during happy hour) has more to do with having an "out" from a bad date than saving a buck or two.

            2. As someone who will be celebrating her 43th wedding anniversary, I don't have current dating insight. However, I'll pass along the way my husband and I handle dining out when we want to do things like buying a bottle of champagne for a group or paying for the meal in a situation where we anticipate debate over who will pick up the check -- and we want to win the debate.

              In the case of champagne, we buy the wine in advance via a phone call. In the case of picking up the tab, my husband or I will excuse ourselves and settle the bill before it is ever brought to the table. (We've also made our intentions known to the restaurant via an advance phone call so our plan isn't done in by a too-speedy waiter.)

              In the OP's specific situation, I recommend he excuse himself, find the manager/waiter and present the coupon in a private setting. I don't see the need for the OP to settle the bill in private, although he/she might ask the waiter to avoid stapling the coupon to the bill until afterwards, if such a step is necessary. The advantage to my strategy is that the coupon has already been factored in when the bill is brought to the table. Potential tackiness avoided. Money saved.

              1. First date is to try and impress and not the time to to make her think she's a cheap date. Surely aren't going to gain any style points using a coupon under any circumstances on a first date.

                Here's a funny first date experience. First date I invited a girl to a fund raiser with a couple hundred people and we agreed to meet at the event. I didn't remember what she looked like (all Asians look alike?).....luckily she remembered what I looked like and she found me among all the people.

                9 Replies
                1. re: monku

                  Forget the coupons... your comment that all Asians look alike is the height of tackiness! (and not at all a "funny first date experience")

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    I'm Asian I can say it and get away with it.

                    1. re: monku

                      Context, my friend. Context.

                      Mr Taster

                        1. re: c oliver

                          My Asian wife says all us hakujin's look the same...lol

                          1. re: Servorg

                            No comment........I might get slammed again.

                            1. re: monku

                              You can always monku about it to your SO... ;-D>

                              1. re: Servorg

                                You must have a JA wife?
                                Is that how you spell hakujin ?

                                1. re: monku

                                  She is actually half Korean and half Japanese. And I think that's the spelling.

                2. I think the subject of money is awkward period on a first date. I do not care if a guy uses a coupon as long as we had gone to a nice place, we had a fabulous time and he uses it discreetly. That is far better than the bill sitting in the middle of the table for 20 minutes. For the poster who says she wants her date to pay full price because she is worth it- in these economic times I just find that a bit troubling, Even if you are on a date with a doctor, lawyer, etc...you do not possibly know their economic situation. And I know we hate to think about it but what if in the quest to find Ms Right he had been on a lot of previous dates- all with women who expect "full price"? The reality is also something we should consider. While "romantic" for a first date, if you are with someone fiscally irresponsible who spends more money than he has to impress people....is that someone you really want to marry?