Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Discounted Dinners

Another restaurant discount scheme has just come to my attention so I thought I'd do a round up of offers/discounts that I know of. (I haven't used all of these myself.)

Please let me know of any others!

Online:
* www.discountbritain.net: A website from which you can print off vouchers for 20% off your meal at a small selection of restaurants. They also have discounts for some London tourist attractions.
* london-eating.co.uk: primarily a diners' reviews website, but also includes some special offers if you book through them. I remember reading somewhere that they've been bought out by toptable?
* opentable.com: An American website that's making inroads into London now. Online booking, including some places which are not available on toptable. No special offers as such, but you get points for each booking (and sometimes they have offers of extra points), redeemable for restaurant gift vouchers. (I haven't accumulated enough points yet, but it says they are accepted by any restaurant on the site.)
* toptable.co.uk: IMHO this is the best of the lot. It's free, lets you book most London restaurants online, gives you loyalty points for each booking which are redeemable against free meals (though be careful, these expire after a year) and has lots of offers from set meals to 50% off food. The site's pretty good too, with reviews and example menus. They also cover some places in other parts of the UK and in some foreign capital cities, like Paris.
* visitlondon.com: A good website on what's going on in London, including bookable restaurant offers.

Paid restaurant discount cards:
* Taste London: a whopping £69.95 per year for a card giving 50% off food or 2-for-1 deals at over 500 London restaurants. The caveats are that may offers a valid for first visit only (each restaurant has its own number on the back of your card and they cross it out once the offer is used), many places don't accept the card on Fridays and Saturdays and usually only 2 people can use the 2-for-1 deal per card (not so good for a larger group). If you are interested though, they quite often offer discounted membership (about £20 off) through adds in the free Metro newspaper or here.
* Tio Pepe Midweek Dining Club: £9.99 per year for a card that gives various offers at over 1,000 restaurants across the UK. Some of the offers are same as those on toptable, but there are also some places included which I haven't seen taking part in other schemes.
* Wedge Card: £10.49 a year for a card giving discounts at mostly independent shops, restaurants and services. Most participating businesses are based in London though.

Other:
* If there is a restaurant you want to go to, my top tip would be to check out their website for any special offers, and to sign up to any email newsletter for special offers and events. This can work both with chains and with small independent places.
* Holders of Senior, Family or Young Persons railcards can get a
discount at several nationwide chains, and there also offers to be had with a normal train ticket.
* Oyster card users benefit from a couple of restaurant deals as well as other London discounts.
* American Express has a monthly-changing list of offers for its card-holders, including restaurant ones.
* The moneysavingexpert.com website also has a regularly-updated page of various discounts, which currently includes 2-for-1 at Wagamama.
* And there's a great list of lunchtime deals at top marks places from Zagat.

4 comments:

HC said...

Lots of big firms offer a Taste London card at massively discounted rates - my boyfriend got his for £20 - which makes them well worth it. We saved £20 on the first meal we used it.
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slonik said...

Ah, that makes it a much better deal. If you can't get the card at a discount though I am less sure it's worth it, as many of the restaurants included also do offers on toptable for free.

HL said...

Yes I agree. We only use it at certain places - a lot of the included restaurants are chains - but two of our local and favourite restaurants accept it, which is perfect.

Simon said...

I have a Gourmet Society Card, which is basically the same as Taste London. However, you are also able to use it across the country and I think the range of independent restaurants in London is much better. I originally got mine on a free trial (I used the code EL01, but if that's not available there is a code on MoneySavingExpert which gives you membership for £25 for 14 months (code: PREMIER)
Anyway have a look for yourself: www.gourmetsociety.co.uk