Author Topic: Free food at restaurants  (Read 7122 times)

purple monkey

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Free food at restaurants
« on: February 12, 2016, 10:25:02 AM »
Anyone have any deals to post?

TIA

ohmylookatthat

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 11:00:13 AM »
say what?

GrowingTheGreen

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2016, 01:11:53 PM »
I've used this one a few times (unintentionally!):

Be allergic to nuts. Order menu item that typically doesn't have nuts. Don't ask, cause I'm lazy. Wonder "why is my throat getting itchy?" 5 minutes into meal. Shit. Commence awesome allergic reaction. Ask waiter if meal has nuts. It does. Get free meal.

Would not recommend.


Cwadda

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 01:58:20 PM »
-Try going into a Dunkin Donuts, Panera Bread, etc when they close. I've gotten bags of free donuts and bagels in the past because they have to throw them away and would rather give them to someone who asks nicely.

-Become a Mystery Shopper. They pay you to dine and criticize restaurants.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2016, 02:11:37 PM »
Most Mexican restaurants have free chips.  Most Italian restaurants have free bread. Most ice cream places give you free samples of their flavors.

You can always gorge yourself on these, then order a meal and box it up as a leftover. Restaurant meals are often good for 2-3 servings at home, so 3-4 meals with this plan. YMMV on when you've crossed an ethical line. For me, it seems to come the soonest with the ice cream.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 02:13:04 PM »
-Become a Mystery Shopper. They pay you to dine and criticize restaurants.

Have you done this? If so, which company did you register through? I know most of the purported "mystery shopper" gigs are scams so I'm hesitant to sign up unless the company can be verified.

tj

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2016, 06:13:34 PM »
Sign up for e-mail marketing lists and/or punch cards. I get a free burger at Red Robin every year during my birhday month. Other restaurants have similar deals.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2016, 06:28:11 PM »
Not free, but if you go to buffets near closing time I've been offered some sweet deals without having to haggle. Works especially good if you take a whole bunch home and have cheap food for several meals.

mozar

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2016, 06:57:48 PM »
My mom did mystery shopper. It's a hassle but it's real.

purple monkey

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2016, 07:16:28 PM »
Thank you.
I was meaning buy one get one free.
Or free coupons.TIA

aFrugalFather

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 07:26:08 PM »
Coupons are fairly local in nature.  Lots of people in different countries on here.

Kaikou

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2016, 07:53:46 PM »
Join birthday clubs. Watch deal sites. Chipotle gave out free meals last week.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2016, 08:17:31 PM »

coolistdude

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2016, 09:02:06 PM »
-Become a Mystery Shopper. They pay you to dine and criticize restaurants.

Have you done this? If so, which company did you register through? I know most of the purported "mystery shopper" gigs are scams so I'm hesitant to sign up unless the company can be verified.

+1. The difficulty to verify also makes me hesitant. This is the type of thing I'd need a friend to vouch for or explain how and why it works. Miner's Lettuce is free.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2016, 09:15:55 PM »
Some of these may get you something close to a free meal:
$10 Munchery Meal
$7 off Grubhub delivery

They are delivery type services, if you are lucky you can find a restaurant near you who has their total meal price within the free credits.

bobechs

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2016, 08:41:01 AM »
Own your own restaurant.

Yippee!  Free meals for you and the whole family...

Pebs

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2016, 09:04:37 AM »
-Try going into a Dunkin Donuts, Panera Bread, etc when they close. I've gotten bags of free donuts and bagels in the past because they have to throw them away and would rather give them to someone who asks nicely.

This can also work when restaurants are making the transition from breakfast to lunch menu.  I've gotten free chicken biscuits at Chik-Fil-A by being at the counter right at the end of breakfast hours/beginning of lunch hours.

kudy

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2016, 10:38:39 AM »
If you have a nearby "Noodles and Company", sign up for their enewsletter thing, and they will email you a free entree coupon on your birthday.

Cassie

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2016, 10:59:06 AM »
WE have signed up for the b-day club at our favorite places and also registered online so get coupons emailed to us. We also get coupons in the mail.  Most of those are buy 1 meal and get 1 free.

icemodeled

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2016, 01:06:46 PM »
We use our credit card rewards to purchase restaurant gift cards, its a great way to splurge for free. Also, coupons. We get coupons in mail for local places and usually use them. Sign up for email/text clubs to. Many will give a first time appetizer coupon free (longhorn steakhouse did that). Buffalo wild wings here gives a lunch loyalty card. 5 meals and then get $5 off the 6th. Several places has punch cards or similar programs. Red robin does I know. We usually always eat out cheap.

CanuckExpat

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2016, 10:12:09 PM »
If you have a nearby "Noodles and Company", sign up for their enewsletter thing, and they will email you a free entree coupon on your birthday.

Starbucks also does this when you register their gift card.. it's either a free drink or you can get one of their breakfast sandwiches, which I kind of like. You can be like this guy and sign up for 365 different accounts with a birthday each day. Breakfast at Starbucks every day, skip lunch, and dinner and Noodles and Company. You are set

Lanthiriel

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2016, 10:28:05 PM »
-Become a Mystery Shopper. They pay you to dine and criticize restaurants.

Have you done this? If so, which company did you register through? I know most of the purported "mystery shopper" gigs are scams so I'm hesitant to sign up unless the company can be verified.

+1. The difficulty to verify also makes me hesitant. This is the type of thing I'd need a friend to vouch for or explain how and why it works. Miner's Lettuce is free.

I mystery shop. It's not crazy lucrative, but it is real. My favorite sites are Intelli-Shop and Bare International. These rarely require a purchase to verify the shop, just photos and some details. They were paying good money for shops at the end of the year ($40-$50) to meet quotas, but most are in the $10-$20 range. They can be fun, but also time consuming for the money. I've never seen a restaurant one in my area before, though.

Cwadda

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2016, 11:13:05 AM »
-Become a Mystery Shopper. They pay you to dine and criticize restaurants.

Have you done this? If so, which company did you register through? I know most of the purported "mystery shopper" gigs are scams so I'm hesitant to sign up unless the company can be verified.

Hi, sorry for the late response. Yes, I have mystery shopped but it's not something I do on the regular. I registered through Marketforce. It's fairly simple and you can do it at your own convenience, but it can sometimes be a hassle (sometimes a lot of calls).

Although restaurants are available, I've actually never mystery shopped for one. I stick to the grocery stores. Because they'll give you $5-10 pay but a pretty $15 reimbursement for groceries. So if I have to go grocery shopping anyway I get a pretty nice portion of free groceries.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

cschx

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2016, 11:43:02 AM »
Try looking in the Dumpster behind the restaurant.

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2016, 03:34:56 PM »
Local radio stations and/or newspapers often have discounted certificate programs, usually 30 to 40% off in my area.   Subscribe to the Sunday paper to get all the local fast food coupons.  Some bars will have free food during happy hour.

tj

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2016, 06:22:00 PM »
Local radio stations and/or newspapers often have discounted certificate programs, usually 30 to 40% off in my area.   Subscribe to the Sunday paper to get all the local fast food coupons.  Some bars will have free food during happy hour.

Do you have to drink? :D

During my go-out-to-the-bar every night phase, I exclusively survived off Happy Hour specials, it was not free though. And it was primarily deep fried (or pizza)....awful for my health. :D


Not that my diet's much better now, but it's significantly less deep fried than it used to be. :D

Rosy

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2016, 07:05:29 PM »
BJ's, a chain restaurant, has a rewards club and will send out coupons for a free lunch and free appetizers.
The rewards are $10 off your next meal after you spent X. We hit that several times a year, I show the waiter the email coupon or reward on my phone - don't even have to clip a paper coupon, but my girlfriend saves me coupons for their free appetizers too.



eliza

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Re: Free food at restaurants
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2016, 08:16:05 PM »
Things do pop up from time to time, but here are some things that have worked for me:

~SmartPhone Apps - McDonalds has been doing a free Egg McMuffin if the local NHL and/or NBA team is leading after the first period/quarter.  Also take advantage of Starbucks deals through their app from time to time.
~Loyalty Programs - Panera recently gave me a $3 off any online order through their loyalty program - a free 12oz honey walnut cream cheese? Don't mind if I do.
~Random free deals - I keep an eye on a few deal blogs through an RSS feed reader and check out Hunt4Freebies.com from time to time - I've found a number of restaurant freebies from those source, including: a free egg roll @ Panda Express, free burrito @ Chipotle, free meal @ ShopHouseKitchen, etc.

~Happy Hour - Take advantage of specials if you are going out.  At my local watering hole a draft beer and a large basket of amazing french fries run you $5.75 + tax/tip during happy hour.  Not a bad night out (although, to be totally honest, I usually have two beers).