Monday, May 17, 2010

Coupon Deal...Not a Deal

After reading about people saving money on eating out, by using restaurant (dot) com, I decided to give it a try. According to a "new to me blog" I could buy a $25 gift certificate for $10; and if I used a special promotional code I could get an additional $6 off; for a total of $4 out of pocket. I searched the restaurant (dot) com web site and learned that in my area there are not a lot of restaurant choices. However, there was a certificate available for a restaurant called Zoo-Kini's that I had heard of but never tried. According to the guide lines, set by the restaurant, I would need to spend a minimum of $35 before my coupon would work. I figured $35 less $25 would mean my meal would cost me $10 plus tip and the $4 I paid for my certificate (this is more than I normally pay for a meal for me and the kids but I thought it would be fun to give it a try).
My meal ended up costing me $19.05 plus the $4 certificate cost for a grand total of $23.05. Way too much money to pay for lunch for 3 people! (I know to some this would be normal but I only spend large amounts of money like this when company comes from out of town).
It turned out the restaurant added on an 18% tip! I do not ever leave an 18% tip! Ever!
Lesson learned, I do not think I will try this again; instead I will stick to the coupons available in the paper and in the phone book.
Are you wondering if we liked the food? It was "ok"...they were no where near as good as Chili's!


Anonymous said...

I would have asked for the manager.. I've never saw a tip added to the bill unless there was 8 or more people eating.. you should make a complaint call to the higher ups and if they don't do something then threaten to spread the word about them and tell them you will never eat at their restaurant again.

Packrat said...

What kind of restaurant automatically adds the gratuity? I'm with Pat. Call. And start spreading the word that you were cheated.

(Only a couple of the really awful local restaurants have coupons available on restaurants dot com.)

Ann said...

$23.05 does not sound like a lot to me for a nice lunch for 3, but seeing as how that's AFTER using a $25 coupon, I'd say that's ridiculous. I agree with your mom, you should complain to management.
Mark and I try to leave between 15-20% tip IF the waitress is good. We do not like the choice being taken out of our hands. We like to base it on the quality of service. For Example, we left a girl $7 for a $32 meal the other night because she was really attentive and friendly. Once, though, we left like 30 cents(just rounded up to an even dollar) for really BAD service. We prefer to leave a small something so they realize we didn't forget, just didn't think they earned a tip.

Ann said...

Oh, and ps...the time we left the 30 cents, I called and complained to the manager and received $25 worth of coupons in the mail. It was Chili's! We love Chili's, too.

Helen said...

Hmmm... I laughed out loud at this entry. I was expecting a praise report. I guess it wouldn't be "good reporting" if you only told us your success! That irks me about the tip. Normally this doesn't happen unless you are with a large party. The nerve. I'd call management and complain.

I'm like Ann. $23 for 3 isn't too bad. I spent that much on myself and Pamela at Steak and Shake. But we had burgers, chili, and fancy milkshakes. I also I tipped what I wanted. Keep us posted on the outcome if you complain to mgmt.

Janssen said...

I think they do that to ensure that people leave a tip on the total bill, rather than on the difference between the gift certificate and the total bill.

Ann said...

Just went and checked out the site. Some of the coupons say they add the 18% BEFORE the coupon is figured. I did find one for one of the places we like at the Lake of the Ozarks, but that 18% will keep me from even trying this site. I'll just pay full price and pay the tip according to what WE think the server earns. Thanks for the heads up, Patty!

Enid said...

The salad bar is ok, but My husband is never eating their chicken friend steak there..!

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