Dining out is considered one of the greatest joys of life. As a person who enjoys eating out, but also wants to remain savvy with spending, I have discovered that these two concepts can contradict each other. I have pulled together all the ways I dine out without spending ridiculous amounts of money, scoring on discounts, free starters and free beverages! Making use of free restaurant offers and vouches; as well as seasonal offers, loyalty programmes and more are all part of learning to eat out without spending too much money.
Rule #1: Never Dine Out For a Meal Without Reviewing To See If The Restaurant Offers An Online Discount Voucher
The popular food chains, such as Pizza Express, Frankie & Benny’s, Prezzo and Strada will always have some type of discount offer available. Online discount offers are easy to obtain, so choose this voucher and start saving today. Regardless of whether it is a ‘two for one’ off courses, free drinks, or money off the bill, it is always worthwhile checking out which discounts are available.
Before heading out to dinner, lunch or breakfast, you should always check out the ‘restaurant vouchers’ page on the WOW Free Stuff website for latest restaurant vouchers. The website is updated regularly with new offers made available to users; therefore, making it your one-stop shop for savings and deals on dining out vouchers.
It is important to remember that all discount offers are time-sensitive, so you need to ensure that you check the terms and conditions. By checking the terms and conditions, you can ensure that the offer used is available at the time you wish to dine out.
Rule #2: Become Savvy to Seasonal Offers
The second rule can work in two ways. Restaurants utilise seasonal holidays and events to their advantage, offering set offers and menus to persuade the diners to celebrate with the restaurant. If you plan on dining at a restaurant, it is recommended that you opt for the seasonal offers. Regardless of whether the offer is for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or to coincide with the school holidays; the restaurants will always have several offers available.
On the other hand, these periods are the peak times of the year in the restaurant industry and businesses are expected to be very business. During the less popular times of the year, the restaurants are not expected to be as busy and will offer cheaper dining options; therefore, you should choose to dine out during this time and treat yourself.
Taking all of this into account, it is advised that you consider the time of year and the offers available before dining out. If it is a school holiday, for example, you may find your favourite restaurant swarming with children…which leads me to my next rule.
Rule #3: Using Restaurants as Entertainment During School Holidays
The majority of family-friendly restaurants will offer child-related discount vouchers or offers during school holidays and half-term periods. Restaurant owners understand that parents are constantly searching for ways to entertain their children during the holidays in ways that won’t break the bank; therefore, discount meals are ideal as they are entertaining for adults as well.
Prezzo, Frankie & Benny’s, Cafe Rouge, Giraffe, Bella Italia and many other restaurants have recently introduced a ‘kids eat free’ or ‘kids eat for £1’ offer when purchasing an adult main during the school holiday period. Using the children to your advantage during school holidays and enjoying a family meal for less is recommended when dining out during this period.
Rule #4: Signing Up For Restaurant Emails and Newsletters
All the major high street eateries will present with their own mailing list where they share the most recent offers and deals first. By signing up or subscribing to your favourite restaurants, and the less than favourite restaurants, you will be the first to hear when new menus, discounts and special offers are made available.
With the growing popularity of apps, the majority of popular restaurants have started utilising this technology. Many restaurants have their own apps with various special sign-up treats waiting to be used by the individual. For example, you can receive a £10 discount at Frankie & Benny’s, or receive a free starter at the Turtle Bay, or enjoy a free glass of prosecco at All Bar One – all by downloading the restaurant apps.
Rule #5: Making Use of Restaurant Loyalty Programmes
Loyalty cards at coffee shops are well-known programmes where you can earn a free coffee after a certain number of stamps, but did you know that restaurants offer these types of cards as well? The discounted offers are highly beneficial methods of bringing in customers through loyalty schemes. It ensures that customers return to the restaurant, as you will earn freebies or points each time you eat at the restaurant.
For example, if you dine regularly at Nando’s, you will know about the loyalty reward card. The card can be picked up in-store, registered online or via the Nando’s app, and you can begin collecting points. For every £7 spent at Nando’s, you will earn a chilli, and the more chillies earned the larger your reward.
For people who enjoy eating at Subway, you can enjoy the use of a Sub-Card loyalty programme. Collecting points with the Sub-Card at each purchase can help you earn free subs. Furthermore, you can earn a free Subway cookie on your birthday!
Jamie’s Italian Gold Club offers the subscriber exclusive monthly rewards, along with free tasters and priority booking. Jamie’s Italian has not, and will probably never, run discount offers; therefore, this Gold Club option is the ideal method to save money when visiting this Italian restaurant.
Rule #6: Being Flexible With Timing
If you are able to afford flexibility when dining, you can save some money when dining out. Moreover, if the restaurant is near a theatre, the restaurant will offer pre-theatre menus that aren’t restricted to the theatre-goers exclusively!
If you are able to arrange to dine out at lunchtime, this can help you save money. By dining out at lunch, the restaurants will often offer fixed menus that work out to be more affordable than the dinner menus.
Rule #7: Become a Mystery Diner
If your love for dining out exceeds your love for spending time with the family, then it is recommended that you become a mystery diner. Mystery diners’ visit and review different restaurants and hotels, and are then reimbursed for their time and food. Many external marketing companies will organise mystery diners to evaluate the restaurants level of customer service, qualify of food, and the overall dining experience. You will need to pose as a real customer, but keep records of the experience offering a full review at the end.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.