Everyone’s got a favorite snack spot. Maybe you routinely find yourself at Chili’s on Thursday nights, overloading on appetizers with your co-workers. Or perhaps you’ve got a post-workout soft spot for Jamba Juice wheat grass shots.
Whether it’s salads, steaks, or spirits, you’ve probably got that special place that’s earned your frequent patronage. Consider joining a frequent diner’s customer club. It’s a great way to save money at your favorite establishments and earn other bonuses for eating out.
Here at the Scambook Blog, we want you to get the most out of your money and help you find ways you can reward yourself. Keep reading to discover some of the best reasons to join a restaurant loyalty club!
The Advantages of Restaurant Loyalty Club Membership
Still feeling skeptical about being “that person” with a bunch of restaurant member cards? Mint.com’s Frugal Foodie points out that simple online coupon-scouring may not get you the good stuff, not to mention many coupons may be fake (like these Pinterest coupon scams):
Bookmark sites, like SurvivingtheStores.com and DealNews.com, usually grab printable versions of the coupons sent to members, but you won’t find every deal there.
According to Mint.com, about 30% of restaurants offer some kind of discount for loyalty club members. Racking up member discounts can help you save big every year. And you’re not alone. Households in the U.S. have an average of 18 restaurant loyalty club memberships. We think it’s a worthy investment for any gourmand.
Signing Up for Loyalty Club Memberships: Tips and Tricks
- Register for your membership a few days before you plan to go to the restaurant. Many clubs will send you a special first-time offer.
- Input your real date of birth if asked. There’s always the possibility of a birthday discount!
- But remember, only give your personal information if you’ve verified that the form is secure and legitimate. Look for “https://” in your browser window (the “s” means it’s a secure transaction). After all, free french fries aren’t worth getting hacked or spammed.
- Keep your membership cards and confirmations organized. Store them in your wallet or on a keychain for easy access when you find yourself at your usual haunts.
New Member Deals Can Help You Save Big When You Eat Out
Here’s what you can expect when you sign up for loyalty club memberships at these popular chain restaurants — even before they start sending you coupons regularly.
Restaurant member perks:
- Black Angus Steakhouse: Free dessert with Prime Club signup.
- Buca di Beppo: Free appetizer or specialty bread.
- California Pizza Kitchen: $5 off your first meal as a member.
- Chili’s: Free Skillet Queso and Chips with the order of an entrée.
- Del Taco: Two free chicken tacos.
- Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant: $10 of reward points.
- Jamba Juice: $2 off your next 16-ounce smoothie.
- Mimi’s Cafe: Free four-pack of muffins.
- Quizno’s: $2 off your next purchase.
- $5 off two entrees with signup for Get The Dish email list.
- T.G.I. Friday’s: Free dessert or appetizer and a pass to the front of the line for available tables.
Birthday Treats (If You Don’t Mind a Singing Waiter!)
It’s your party, and you’ll save if you want to. These restaurants offer special freebies to customers on their birthday:
- Black Angus Steakhouse: Free steak dinner when you buy another entrée of equal or greater value.
- Del Taco: Free premium shake.
- Denny’s: Free Grand Slam breakfast.
- T.G.I. Friday’s: Free dessert with purchase of an entrée.
Savings All Year Long
Even as you receive random coupons, these establishments will help you save along the way with a points system:
- Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant: Spend a dollar and earn one point. Points can be used for future discounts and free food.
- Smokey Bones: Another point per dollar system; 200 points and you get $20 to spend on fare.
- T.G.I. Friday’s: Also earn one point per dollar spent. Points can be accrued to get more discounts.
But Remember: Always Read the Fine Print
Just don’t forget to read the fine print. Before you join a restaurant loyalty club — especially if they ask for a signup fee — make sure there are no hidden costs or obligations.
Share Your Restaurant Discount Secrets!
Have a favorite loyalty club membership? Are there hush-hush price cuts available to patrons at certain establishments? If you’re a creature of restaurant habit and you’ve got a secret savings weapon, share it in the comments. Happy eating!
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