Eating out at restaurants can be a delightful experience, but it often comes with a hefty price tag. From the menu items to the beverages, everything seems designed to drain your wallet. However, there are some smart tricks you can employ to enjoy a satisfying meal without breaking the bank.
By implementing these clever strategies, you can leave the restaurant with both a satisfied appetite and a healthy wallet. Whether you’re dining at a popular chain like Darden’s Olive Garden or a humble roadside diner, these tips will come in handy.
Lose the Ice, Double the Drink
This tip has been circulating on social media for quite some time. To maximize the value of your purchase at fast-food establishments, consider ordering beverages without ice. In most cases, the restaurant will fill your cup to its maximum capacity, providing you with an additional $1-$3 worth of iced coffee or soda at no extra cost.
However, it’s important to note that certain locations may charge a fee if you request your drink without ice. This policy varies from branch to branch, as it depends on the individual establishment. If a significant number of customers start adopting this practice and it begins to impact the branch’s profitability, they may introduce a surcharge. Ultimately, whether or not you will be charged for a drink without ice depends on the specific location you visit.
Sit at the Bar
Is it truly the optimal choice to simply walk into a restaurant and request a table? According to food writers, that might not be the case. Instead, they suggest opting for a seat at the bar. By doing so, not only will your beverages be served more promptly, but you may also find yourself with more leisurely time.
When it comes to tables, servers often feel compelled to swiftly clear plates to accommodate additional paying customers. However, at the bar, patrons are frequently given more autonomy. Furthermore, due to the proximity to the staff, you will likely receive more frequent check-ins and overall superior service.
Order More Appetizers Than Entrees
It can be quite tempting to skip appetizers and dive straight into the main course, but it’s worth taking a moment to consider your options. You wouldn’t want to find yourself spending $150 within just a couple of hours. Instead, take a closer look at the appetizer section of the menu.
Opting for a selection of appetizers and fewer entrees can be a wise choice. Appetizers tend to be more affordable compared to main courses. Servers are generally accommodating, so there’s no need to worry about any inconvenience caused by ordering this way. Moreover, appetizers can often be filling enough on their own, allowing you to either split an entree with someone else or even forgo it entirely, resulting in significant savings.
Your Friends on Food Delivery Apps for Discounts
When searching for ways to cut down on expenses when using food apps, don’t overlook the typical advertisements offering referral discounts. If you have friends who are considering joining these apps, leverage that opportunity to your advantage. By utilizing referral programs, you can often save around $10 to $20, as these programs ultimately benefit the company.
It’s important to note that acquiring a new customer holds more value for these companies than simply reducing the cost of your meal. For instance, GrubHub offers a $10 bonus when you refer a friend, while Uber Eats provides a $25 discount on your first order as a new customer. Remember to verify the current bonuses, as they are subject to change.