Anyone ever use restaurant.com

By randy,

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Has anyone here ever used Restaurant.com certificates? Were you happy with them? I am planning a trip to Hilton Head Island. You can get $25 certificates for $10. There is also a 60% off code (52619) that is good through 5/20/05 making them only $4 each. This sounds like a good deal, but is there a catch?

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randy, most of them have restrictions (or rules) for use. With some you have a minimum purchase amount (like purchase has to be at least $25 on a $10 certificate) or they can only be used at certain times. You will see this on the listings for the certificates when you browse through them. I have purchased a lot of these and most have been very good deals, the restaurants not too bad. I recently purchased several (Washington D.C. area) for a trip we are taking next month. All were purchased half off (some as little as $1.50) Only once had a bad experience with one I'd purchased (Palm Beach), the restaurant had been sold, making the certificate worthless. Not bad considering I have bought many over the last few years. The are a good deal if you have no problem following "the rules" regarding their use, Enjoy!

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I've purchased several of these in different cities as well and never had a problem. Sometimes the server would be unfamiliar with them. We would always show them before ordering and make sure everything was OK.

As shammes53 says, they may have certain restrictions. An additional one might be that the certificate is only applicable to food items, not alcohol, for example.

Because restaurants do come and go, it might be wiser to buy the certificates not too far in advance of your expected visit. But then again, I am pretty sure Restaurant.com would refund or allow a substitution on any restaurant that had gone out of business. Did you ever check on this,

shammes53? (I think you might even be able to do this entirely on their Web site, just cancel an unused one and request an alternate.....?)

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I was purchased 2 of these certificates once - we used the first at an absolutely AWFUL restaurant that I would never return to. Never got to use the second one because the restaurant closed before we got a chance to use it. Because of those 2 negative experiences, I'm not likely to purchase them again. I'd be far more inclined to buy an Entertainment Book for a city I'm planning to visit.

I never thought about asking Restaurant.com to exchange the one we didn't use - I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try (though I'd pretty much written off the minimal expense and chalked it up to experience!)

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  • 4 weeks later...

I use Restuarant.com certificates both in the region I live and when I travel. I have found the certificates to be one of the best bargains on the web. There are some modest restrictions on several of the certificates such as you have to have a party of at least 2 and spend at least $35 - not very hard and some have weekend restrictions.

Before you purchase a certificate you can do two things that are helpful - 1) review the restrictions if any for the coupon and see if the restrictions present a problem. 2) All of the restuarants listed also have their menus listed - Review them - do the menus look appealing or do they look like they receive the bulk of their food from Sysco (pre packaged)?

Often when I have booked a hotel room I will look at my route and travel times and go to Restuarant.com and see what resturants they have on the way or in the city I'll be staying. I have found some resturants I would go to again and again - even without a certificate. Next week I'll be traveling to Philadelphia. I have 4 certificates I'll be using at various restuarants on the way and while we are there. I have used many of my certificates that I feel I otherwise could not afford. I have also found a few dogs - just like we all do on our own. I have had one instance of a restaurant closing before I used the certificate - but I also waited 7 months as well before thinking about using the certificate.

There is a mix of new start up restaurants, established businesses and struggling ones that use Restaurant.com as a resource. With just a little bit of a learning curve via menu review - photos of the places and so on you can get a good sense of whether a place is a decent one or not.

Restuarant.com often runs specials once you get on their email list where you can get your certificates at half-price. So for example a $25.00 they usually sell for 12.50 is then only $6.25. In fact right now they are running such a sale through Sunday, June 19. After you select your certificates and get ready to check out enter their promo code: 64435 and you'll get all of your certificates at half price.

I highly recommend Restaurant.com if you are price minded and can take the time to check out individual restaurants.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We've used them 4-5 times now and have been pleased with the value (always bought at 50 or 60% off). Only once were we totally displeased with the restaurant and would not return.

Read the restrictions CAREFULLY and checking out the menus is an excellant tip as posted above. I also would only be inclined to buy when I have a discount of 50 to 60% off. If you get on their email list, those coupons come about once a month or so. :)

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  • 2 months later...

I've used Restaurant.com a number of times in the past. I've either use them at local restaurants, or, when travelling, only if I am already familiar with the area. The one occasion where the restaurant no longer accepted the certificate, I e-mailed Restaurant.com and they refunded the money to my credit card.

I've forgotten about them... think I'll go check what's available in our area!!!


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Since I discovered Restaurant.com about 6 months ago, I've been a "regular" on their site. I've probably used 10 certificates during that time. On the "spam" page of flyertalk.com, there is almost always a 50% or 60% off code for the certificates, which is really the only way they are worthwhile.

As anyone who frequents restaurants knows, there are good restaurants and bad restaurants -- and even the good ones have off nights. Overall, though, the selection on Restaurant.com is usually pretty respectable, and with the discount you get, there's usually a restaurant that is worthwhile. Obviously, the above advice about reading the menus and the rules, and not buying the certificates too far in advance, is all worthwhile. If I'm still "on the fence" about a restaurant, I'll also google it to see if I can find some reviews.

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  • 3 weeks later...

60% off until 10/31, code: 68790

I've had nothing but good experiences as far as usability of these coupons. Once, the restaurant was just okay (but I can't blame the site for that), and once, I received an e-mail saying I had to use a coupon that month because the restaurant was no longer going to accept them after that. If I couldn't use it, they were going to offer...um...something in return. I forget what, but it was reasonable. True, though, I wouldn't bother unless I had a coupon code.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Just a heads up: if you KNOW that you'll want to dine at a specific Restaurant.com property in a few weeks, buy your (discounted) certificate NOW. I have occassionally spotted a restaurant I was interested in, only to go back later and find the certificates were temporarily sold out.

I haven't yet needed to do it, but I've been told by their telephone agents that if you buy a certificate and decide not to use it, you can get a full credit (through a "mega certificate") to use at another property. So there appears to be not much risk in planning ahead.

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In November, R.com had a promo worth $ towards Tickets.com with every purchase. Great Deal. They run promos regularly, including 60% off deals for members, etc. You need to sign up for email notices to get them. Somewhat limited selection in my area for restaurants, with sold out quite common. I did have an issue with one venue putting up a sign after too much usage evidently. They used to have coupons which were good for 50% off up to 8 people. Recommended.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

I've bought many certificates from Restaurant.com for Seattle, Washington DC and San Francisco. I always take a lot of time in advance to read reviews on the restaurants first -- I never buy just because there's a coupon. I've had some great meals, fantastic deals and would use them again. However it's much like the Entertainment Book in that one year you find a great restaurant, then it no longer participates in Restaurant.com, so can no longer get a discount. Make sure you check the hours of the restaurant too, I wasn't able to use 2 of the coupons I bought for DC, because the restaurant hours didn't work with our plans for the days we were there. I have never had a problem using one, once you buy one you'll get a lot of email specials sent to you. Wait until they're 60% off!


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I bought some of those certificates off of Skyauction.com for the Fish Club in Seattle at the Marriott waterfront. The food was lousy, the service was lousy and it was really expensive and not worth it at all. I would steer clear of that Todd English Fish Club. Seattle is full of great restaurants for way less.

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  • 2 months later...

Tips on using Restaurant.com

I had a certificate I had purchased some time back - and called the restaurant to verify the hours and found it had been disconnected.

I reported it via email (there is a reference in their FAQs) and within 24 hours was given a link to replace it with a same-price certificate to another restaurant.

Note also that if you ever misplace a certificate - you can log in and reprint it - but of course make sure you do not reprint one that you have used - as it will put you in an embarrassing situation when the certificate is denied. :)

Regarding the minimum purchase of $35 on a $25 certificate - (before tip) - If you get your $25 certificate for $4 ($10 plus 60 percent off) - and then spend $35 and add a $5 tip - you will have spent $19 ($4 + $5 + $10) for a $40 value. So that comes out to about half off. Still a good deal - but not quite like paying $4 for $25 value!

Anyone had any experience using the certificate when you did not hit the $35 threshold??

Oh...one more good use for the certificates at 60% off - is to purchase them and donate them for silent auctions for charity events. A $25 gift certificate will usually fetch close to face value at these events - and you can snag them for $4 a piece!

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