Saving Money

What Should I Do With This $100?

RestaurantcomPic

Image courtesy of scottchan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve got $100 I just don’t know what to do with.  It’s not cash,  it’s $100 credit at Restaurant.com that I received as a gift. If you’re not familiar with Restaurant.com, it’s an online service that offers discounted certificates to restaurants. For example, right now I can buy a $25 certificate to a nearby Mexican restaurant for $10. Sometimes, certificates can be purchased at an even deeper discount.

If Restaurants.com offers such great deals, why don’t I use my $100 credit?

There are a couple of reasons why I’m having trouble finding a way to use my credit:

Restrictions

While seemingly great offers are available, there are restrictions placed on the use of the certificates by almost every business. For example, the Mexican Restaurant that is offering a $25 certificate for $10 requires a minimum purchase of $37.50, and only one certificate can be used per visit.  Some businesses also do not accept the certificates on the weekends. A visit to any restaurant is still going to cost me money. Sure, it’s going to reduce my bill, but it’s really more like buying a coupon than it is a gift certificate.

Selection

I live in a city of over 100,000 people, and there are exactly 5 restaurants that are advertised through the service. All of them are fairly new, except for one. I get the feeling that restaurants use the service to help get the word out about their business, and get people in the door. I know very little about the restaurants that I can select from.

Accuracy

I walked into a restaurant recently for a lunch with friends, and there was a sign by the cash register that said they were no longer accepting certificates from Restaurants.com. I brought up the site using my phone, and sure enough, the option to buy a certificate for the restaurant was still available through the service.

Currently, there’s really only one restaurant in my area that I’d even be interested in buying a certificate for. It’s a well-known local barbeque place that’s been around for years. Unfortunately, the site says that the certificates are currently sold out. They’ve been sold out every time I check.

Having $100 credit at Restaurants.com seems like something that I should be able to use.  But with how the service works, I’m having a hard time using any of it.  I’ll keep checking for offers that I might be able to use, hopefully one pops up soon.

Have you ever used Restaurants.com? How did it work out for you?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

Feeling Clever? Join our newsletter!

Subscribe to get the latest from "Clever Dude."

Powered by Seva

About the author

Brock Kernin

4 Comments

  • I’ve got a whole slew of credits and such from gifts, promos, or refunds of certs that we bought where the restaurant stopped participating before we got around to using it. Same feeling, it’s just not worth it.

  • I say use it when you’re hungry and don’t overthink it. If possible, I’d use it as quickly as possible since it sounds like restaurants can opt out at any time.

  • @moneybeagle – I don’t think I’d ever buy credit at restaurant.com on purpose, but man, It pains me to see $100 just sitting there. I have to figure out a way to use it.

  • @Nelson – That’s good advice, Nelson. Maybe I just suck it up and try the restaurants that are available. Who knows, maybe I’ll find something new that I like. 🙂

Leave a Comment