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Restaurant.com Complaints Summary

33 Resolved
82 Unresolved
Our verdict: When using services from Restaurant.com with a poor resolution rate, be vigilant. Understand the common pitfalls other customers have faced. Prepare thoroughly for any interactions with their customer service, and consider alternative solutions if your issues are not addressed satisfactorily.
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Restaurant.com complaints 115

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3:21 am EST
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Restaurant.com Misleading website & advertising

Received restaurant.com card as gift. The restaurant.com website lists many participating restaurants in central NJ. Tried to redeem the card at a restaurant listed on their website, only to find that the card could be redeemed at relatively few restaurants, i.e., just because a restaurant is listed on their website does not mean you can redeem your card toward discount at that restaurant. VERY MISLEADING.
Later purchased a $100 discount coupon for $40 with no apparent restrictions, only to learn of restriction after clicking to purchase the item, i.e., have to spend at least $200 at the restaurant to use the $100. discount coupon. This was NOT indicated to me prior to purchase. MISLEADING and DISHONEST. Hopefully this is also illegal, as I'd like to see restaurant.com shut down to protect other consumers from such practice.

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Shubhkam
, US
Jan 02, 2015 6:11 pm EST

Recently I went to the Mantra restaurant in downtown Jersey City. It serves Indian food. We had a LOT of leftovers - specially the rice -like 80% was leftover from 2 different rice orders - obviously growing up in a 3rd world country you cannot waste food or water, so we asked the waiter to pack it. To my shock the next night when I went to eat it - there was a TINY FRACTION of what should have been my leftover rice that I paid for and deserved to take home. I am very upset as this is the 2nd restaurant this has happened at. The first was Confucius in Jersey City where they gave me a tiny portion of my large schezuan eggplant dish leftovers! I stopped going there - and I guess I'll have to do the same to Mantra - the schmucks! What is up with that? Why aren't they packing what's rightfully my leftovers and giving me only a tiny bit to take home? Are they serving my leftovers to other customers? Its very annoying since I don't even open the bag until a day or two after having gone out - its usually late at night when I have no energy to call and yell at the manager for running such a dip-crap operation! And then there's the Brownstone diner with the obnoxious staff - after making 7 of us wait for over an hour and it was the 3rd time I went to ask the maître-de?/man when we were going to be seated - he said "if you ask me one more time I won't seat you at all!?" I was furious, I left with our out of town visitors and never went back there again either - I am sure if I was white he wouldn't be talking to me like that! So fed up with the restaurant experience around here - its so much better to stay home; but when you have company you're forced to go out because everyone wants to eat their own thing.. But its just such a pathetic experience at some of these places - specially when you think they're neighborhood places who should be interested in repeat business!

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11:50 pm EST
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Restaurant.com invalid certificates

I purchase 4 certificates at once on the restaurant.com website for a local restaurant. They cost me $2 each and I was to recieve a $25 gift certificate for each. I received an email and was able to print the coupons out. Went to the restuarant and on the front door was a copy of one of these certificates and in BOLD BLACK letters it read-this restaurant doesn't accept these certificates. I contacted restaurant.com and all they were willing to do was give me certificates to another restaurant-non which were local. I have filed a complaint with paypal to get a refund. I also noticed they are still selling these certificates on their website-SCAM don't buy

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8:04 pm EST

Restaurant.com Don't use this site... it's not worth it

This site is HORRIBLE! First off I bought a deal online for Restaurant.com that advertised the deal as "$50 Restaurant.com GIFT CARD". When you read GIFT CARD that means you get that money off no matter what you spend. That is NOT the case with this site. They DO NOT have gift cards they have COUPONS...big difference there. Also, I looked at the website first and looked at the list of restaurants that you can buy "gift certificates" for, but if you have an eGift Card those sames restaurants don't show up as ones you can go to. I bought the deal for those specific restaurants I saw at first and come to find out that I couldn't even go to those ones. With an eGift Card you can't see the restaurants you are allowed to go to until you have an actaul eGift Card to redeem. That right there is a litte deceiving when they show some restaurants, but you can't actually go to those restaurants. Also, they have partner sites that you can use your "gift certificates" at...well... I have had to contact those sites mutiple times along with restaurant.com because I have had so much trouble using the "gift certificate". One site actually told me that Restaurant.com was giving out EXPIRED certificate numbers and that's why they won't work online.

I have been dealing with the crap site for a few weeks now and I have told EVERYONE I know not to use this site. It is deceiving, they aren't gift certificates, and I have had nothing but issues trying to buy Christmas presents for people I know.

Don't use this site... it's not worth it. You are better off buying an actual gift certificate to a restaurant instead of trying to use a coupon with way too many restrictions.

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5:19 pm EST
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Restaurant.com Fraudulent Coupons no refund

I bought a restaurant.com certificate last night - the restaurant refused to accept it, said "We told them to take us off their list - we don't honor their coupons, they are fraudulent". I was disappointed as I had just bought it that night... called restaurant.com this morning and explained they said they CANNOT ISSUE A REFUND but would give me another certificate to a restaurant of my choice... I didn't want that just wanted a refund and they wouldn't give it to me, so I had to go thru my credit card company... STAY AWAY from this company - very slimy.

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jaberwocky
Fort Wayne, US
Nov 19, 2011 5:27 pm EST

it clearly says on their site:

"Please note that Certificates cannot be returned for a refund of the purchase price."

and any restaurant or business has the right to refuse coupons at any time for any reason, read the fine print.

By going to the credit card company, you are skirting the rules of the site YOU agreed to by using it, which means you are in the wrong, not them.

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6:53 pm EDT
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Restaurant.com Classic Bait and Switch Scam

I wish I had read the reviews before I bought into this scam. Huge mistake! They list several reputable classy restuarants on their site as places you can gift certificates. What really is on the list when you go to redeem your certificate is another story. I paid $20 for a $50 gift certificate, sounds like a good deal doesn't it. When I went to redeem, there were several restaurants listed that don't accept the promotion, or are "out of stock". What is left are a list of restuarants you don't want to eat at. Plus, when I redeemed my certificate, it had a clause that said I had to spend an additional $50 ($100 total) to use my $50 certificate. Do the math and you will see this website is a RIP OFF!

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ttaylor29229
Irmo, US
Mar 16, 2013 12:33 am EDT

Well yes you have to spend $100 to get $50off, but it clearly says that while your are browsing the coupon on the site. I have used that one many times. You spend $100 and get $50 off. So you are getting $100 worth of food for $50. Sounds good to me. Comes in handy when your pates are $40-$95 a plate. Like Henneys in Cola SC or Saluda's in Cola SC or the Brazillian Grill in Cola SC or BB Kings joint in Las Vegas or even the TV show "Chopped" Celebrity Judge Chef Aaron Sanchecz restaraunt in Las Vegas. Believe me $50 is about 1 persons plate in these extravegant places.I have been to all I have mentioned and used a Restaraunt.com certificate to assist my wallet.

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5:11 pm EDT

Restaurant.com I purchased coupons for a particular restaurant who refused them

"I purchased coupons for a particular restaurant who refused them. When I informed Restaurant.com, they didn't stop selling them and refused to give me a refund because 'they didn't know'. I would call the establishment and make sure they honor the coupon and that they will continue to do so until you can use it."

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ttaylor29229
Irmo, US
Mar 16, 2013 12:22 am EDT

I understand where you are coming from but I have used Restaraunt.com many times and purchased sertificates of places who no longer took them. The staff at restaraunt.com was always kind and eager to help me replace the cerificate with one of equal value. Although they did not give me a monetary refund but I still recieved the same item of equal value. And when I told them they no longer accepted certificates since 5 months prior, she actually contacted them and tried to find out why. After she was done with them, she helped me and the very next day, the restaraunt was sold out of certificates and within that same month, they were not on the list anymore. So I dont understand what happened in your case. I have always had positive experience with them. I have been using them for years since 2007 and about twice a month we go somewhere on date night.

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1:56 am EDT
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Restaurant.com Restaurant no longer accepts certificates

I bought a $25 Yoko's gift certificate three months ago - I did not rush to use it since it noted that it did not expire. We attemped to use the certificate tonight and were told that Yoko's no longer accepts the certificates due to problems with restaurant.com. Apparently restaurant.com was difficult to get in touch with. They did mention that we could call and get our money refunded into restaurant.com credit to use towards another certificate. Do I really want to go through the effort and have this happen again? Probably not and that's probably what the website wants so they get to keep their profits.

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dreamk
las vegas, US
Jul 13, 2011 5:47 pm EDT

this restarant.com .. they bad .. they're only think they do the business but they didnt think the restaurant owner will cover the food cost and rent employee and others ... we want to cancell but they didnt want to do it for us.. it's not right . we are not even use them or get the customer from them that much.. we ask to cancell or ownership change .. they dont want to do anything.. Gosh .. this company just want to make money from nationwide restaurant. send cheap customer.. most customer complaint here they siad they are not cheap customers if they siad are not cheap why use restaurant.com...cheap is cheap cant change... so think about it... look like restaurant just give food for free withou make any profit. we want to keep it run and stay ... people need a job... please understand..

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5:27 pm EDT
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Restaurant.com Bad customer service

Sales person IDRIS, Oh might gutch, He was so mean, he was mad everytime I asked a question, he was walking me thru the web to print out my certificate, for a first time buyer is so difficult to do it yourself, he tried so hard to make you feel so stupid. Everytime I asked go to continue he will say something like is self explanatory, at the end I told him he has a job because of us purchasing, and if he continues to treat people like that he won't have a job soon because this was the last time i was going to buy from them . Please dont buy from this place, they should traine their people first and I hope restaurants.com reads this and gives him some kind of disciplinary action. I almost have my company start bying frm them

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unsatisfied in PA
Sheffield, US
Dec 19, 2011 10:15 pm EST

If you think customer service was bad, wait til you use your coupon! Nightmare & totally fraudulent. Buyer Beware, stay away!

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10:06 pm EST
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Restaurant.com HOW TO DIVORCE YOUR RESTAURANT FROM THESE ### SUCKERS!

BEWARE and do NOT sign your restaurant up for this SCAM! They will bleed you dry and take what little profit margin you have left! If you are in the unfortunate position of having signed up for this program, they will ignore your repeated requests to cancel the program and try every trick in the book to keep your listing on their site so that more and more of your customers are printing these coupons and using them like monopoly money for free food and drink.
We are restaurant owners who kept notifying them for 6 months of our cancellation, but they kept ignoring us. We finally got smart and found ONE strategy that worked. It finally dawned on us that they were continuing to post our photos, menus, and other copyrighted materials on their site despite our repeated demands that they remove the listing. We had to send them a formal certified mail letter as legal notice BOTH to Restaurant.com AND their internet service provider notifying them they were engaging in willful federal copyright infringement in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by continuing the display our copyrighted photographs, designs, menus, and other media belonging to us on their web site despite our repeated “take-down” notices to them.

The letter demanded thousands of dollars per day in copyright damages for every one of our copyrighted images for each day they continued to display such images on their site, plus attorney’s fees and court costs. BAM! Our listing was taken down within hours of sending them (and their ISP) this legal notice. So any restaurant owners out there who are suffering with this company can try this copyright angle if they refuse to promptly cancel your listing upon request.

For the rest of you, just say “NO” and don’t get sucked into this scam in the first place! You are MUCH better off creating your own “loyalty” program where you can attract and reward customers in ways that are under your complete control. For that matter, you can create a Facebook listing and simply send out posts on facebook offering specials to your followers there. You don’t need Restaurant.com and it is potentially very dangerous for your business.

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Denise67
Grafton, US
May 25, 2011 7:18 pm EDT

I too am a restaurant owner and I signed up for a 90 day period to accept the coupons and I followed my contract to the "T" including a notice to the company stating that my contract would be good for only the 90 days and then it would opt out - They call my business constantly and tell my employees that I will not be taken down until I do an "exit" interview with them - WHAT is that ? I even allowed some older customers to take a carryout so that they could make their minimum to try and be helpful and what do I get in return? Harrassed by this company and their refusual to honor my notice to remove myself from their site. I also have posted a sign at my front door stated that my 90 day contract is up and no longer accept the coupons. This company was given the written notice they said they required and then when I told them that something needed posted on the site about my contract end date so that people would not waste their money on the coupons that it wasn't "THEIR" problem - so who's problem is it? It doesn't allow me to make the changes to the site! So now my attorney said he will handle their fraudelent practices. BUSINESSES STAY AWAY>>>>>>

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pegitom
RPV, US
May 20, 2011 6:07 am EDT

offer every rdc customer that comes in the same deal as rdc. That way you get the GC money and the difference in the GC vs. minimum purchase. RDC works as your advertising vehicle and then you steal all of their customers. Win win.

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jbs3626
Kirtland, US
Mar 16, 2011 7:16 am EDT
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I put a sign on the front door and on our websight that posts "we no longer accept rdc coupons"

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4:13 pm EST
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Restaurant.com fraudulent coupons

I purchased through my nursing insurance site NSOMarketplace, some restaurant.com coupons for a Christmas gift for my children at their favorite restaurant. When they tried to use them, they were embarrassed to find out that they were fraudulent. I notified restaurant.com on February 25th I believe and was told I could get replacement coupons to another restaurant. I stated that I wanted a full refund. It seemed that i was going to get my refund until today when I received an e-mail stating that I cannot get a refund because I paid through PayPal and they cannot refund past 60 days! I purchased these on December 23, 2010. They were found to be fraudulent on February 25th and I cannot get a refund! I am very upset about the run around I am getting!

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dmendenhall
Portland, US
Nov 19, 2011 5:15 pm EST

Restaurant.com also issued me fraudulent coupons - I found out the same day I purchased and they said NO REFUND as well - just would issue me another coupon for another restaurant of my choice... I protested said they are advertising restaurants that don't accept their coupons and they took no responsibility. Slimy company - stay away.

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5:45 pm EST
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Restaurant.com RESTAURANT OWNERS LAWSUIT

ATTENTION RESTAURANT OWNERS!

We own several restaurants in Iowa and was recently scammed by RESTAURANT.COM out of thousands of dollars. They fraudently signed our name on one of there agreements and still would not cancel us once we notified them. They have sold over $30, 000 worth of customer discounts coupons that our restaurant will still need to honor just to avoid them boycotting us. It's a mess!

I am organizing a lawsuit against them! If you have been involved with Restaurant.com and would like to join me in a multiple lawsuit - please contact me at: [protected]@aol.com

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Readyforachange
Fort Atkinson, US
Jun 21, 2011 11:20 pm EDT

I have had a terrible experience with Restaurant.com due to their misleading terms and conditions, fraudulent promises and unethical practices. Their customer service is atrocious and borders on insulting. I would NEVER recommend that any restaurant owner get involved with this company. I have had to file twice now with the BBB to try to get my client removed from their website. It has been a complete and total nightmare. Then they threatened to come after me legally if I attempted to spread the word about my experience. What a joke.

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ScamAvoider
, US
Mar 21, 2011 9:14 pm EDT

We have a restaurant in North Carolina with the exact same pattern! We as the owners NEVER even saw or signed an agreement, then the coupons started rolling in. Once the coupons start rolling in you are stuck taking them pending cancellation or else it really pisses off customers... but then they REFUSE to cancel a contract you never agreed to in the first place!

We repeatedly called and cancelled for 6 months, then finally had to send cease and desist letters to their ISP and legal counsel, and they only removed our site once we threatened them and their ISP with copyright damages and treble damages under NC Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Today, NINE MONTHS AFTER their ISP finally took down our listing (which we had never authorized in the first place), they have the gumption to call and threaten legal action because our customers are now calling them asking for refunds because we will no longer accept the coupons (which we never authorized them to sell in the firt place).

This is the biggest scam on the planet. They are preying on small independent businesses that already have difficulty making it. There have got to be at least a dozen different legal claims restaurant owners can make against these ### based on tort law, fraud, misrepresentation, fraudulent inducement into entering contracts, unfair and deceptive trade practices (treble damages + attorneys fees), willful copyright infringement by displaying restaurant's copyrighted menus/photos without authorization, violations of laws governing gift cards and financial transactions, interference with business relationships with customers, and the list goes ON.

I will send this to your private email address as well, but I really think its time someone should take these suckers DOWN! Karma is b*&ch!

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4:07 pm EST
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Restaurant.com misleading sales pitch

You will not make money using their service! They will mislead you into believing that. When, in fact, you will begin to lose money once your regular diners find out about the coupons and begin using them at every visit...we are learning this the hard way and wanted to reach out eveyway way we can to educate others before it's late. Beware...There is a 90 day period BEFORE you can opt OUT of the program!
On another note; their customer service division is a nightmare to deal with...they don't like to respond to complaints via email...and continually insist on replying to my emails via telephone...wonder why? I want everything recorded, could it be that maybe they DON'T! Be wary my friends...

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FDL_HOU
Houston, US
Jan 30, 2011 7:02 pm EST
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How many damn days in the row, do you plan on republishing this. GET A LIFE

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Lopmoksmith
Birmingham, US
Jan 30, 2011 4:18 pm EST

Not legitimate

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8:49 pm EST
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Restaurant.com STAY AWAY!!! THEY PLAY DIRTY!!!

You will not make money using their service! They will mislead you into believing that. When, in fact, you will begin to lose money once your regular diners find out about the coupons and begin using them at every visit...we are learning this the hard way and wanted to reach out eveyway way we can to educate others before it's late. Beware...There is a 90 day period BEFORE you can opt OUT of the program!
On another note; their customer service division is a nightmare to deal with...they don't like to respond to complaints via email...and continually insist on replying to my emails via telephone...wonder why? I want everything recorded, could it be that maybe they DON'T! Be wary my friends...
~ICM

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Update by icm
Jan 25, 2011 8:50 pm EST

You will not make money using their service! They will mislead you into believing that. When, in fact, you will begin to lose money once your regular diners find out about the coupons and begin using them at every visit...we are learning this the hard way and wanted to reach out eveyway way we can to educate others before it's late. Beware...There is a 90 day period BEFORE you can opt OUT of the program!
On another note; their customer service division is a nightmare to deal with...they don't like to respond to complaints via email...and continually insist on replying to my emails via telephone...wonder why? I want everything recorded, could it be that maybe they DON'T! Be wary my friends...
~ICM

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phantomgourmet
Center Conway, US
Oct 01, 2012 7:53 am EDT
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A new service is on the way. It will sell certificates at FACE VALUE. It will pay over the majority of the proceeds to the restaurant. Buyers of the certs earn 10% in rewards for dining, travel, electronics, from partners / advertisers of the site. So it does not kill restaurants. The site is about to launch, and is called restaurantbrowser.com, and also has nearly 100 websites that will feed in traffic. It will also go under the name dinnercertificates.com. If you want to reach out to me with questions, please email: armourarch@gmail.com - restaurants will be able to log onto the site, sign up free, and gain exposure, and clients, without selling out at 10 cents on the dollar, or even less. I agree, these early dining sites were bad. Help is coming!

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Still Learning the Business
Culver City, US
Sep 02, 2011 10:54 pm EDT
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I am a newbie in the restaurant game -- only 6 years in this and still learning. I realize that couponing only attracts the bargain hunters and does not help business except filling the empty seats at almost zero margin or sometimes loss. I was suckered in to Restaurant.Com scam recently believing that if minimum purchase requirement is 2x gift ceritificate face value I will at least recover the food cost. But one most popular gift certificate --$25.00 face value -- has only $35.00 purchase requirement which end up with negative margin when you factor in sales tax and credit card processing fee. I have requested Restaurant.com to change the minimum requirement to larger value and they have been hiding behind bureaucratic maze and delaying while continuously selling the gift certificates. After more than a moths of dispute and no resolution, I had to reject Restaurant.com gift certificates. I posted big signs in my restaurant and my website. Some customers get upset when they miss our notice in the website or in the restaurant, but most understand and agree to ask Restaurant.com for refund. I figure the customers who get angry for us not honoring the gift certificates are the ones who will never come back to our place unless there is a big discount anyway. So it is not going to be a much of loss to us. Anyway, if you have signed up with Restaurant.com, then you need to ask them 10to change the minimum purchase amount up to acceptable level, 2) limit total number of gift certificates issued monthly. If they do not cooperate, post big signs in your restaurant and on your website and tell the customers that you cannot honor the gift certificate since you cannot continue losing money.

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New York2
Albany, US
Aug 22, 2011 11:24 pm EDT
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I am a restaurant owner. Unfortunately I have gotten involve with this scamming company, if I had known from the beginning how they worked I would not have even talked to them. They did not disclose any information about selling coupons or gift certificates to costumers, nor did they mention the fact that they keep all the money from those sales. According to the sales representative they wanted to put our name in their website for people to comment on it. This has caused us major economic problems since we are not getting any money from it. We tried to cancel, but they have REFUSED TO DO IT. THEY WON'T CANCEL AND THEY WANT US TO HONOR THE GIFT CERTIFICATES WHICH THEY KEEP SELLING FOR AMOUNTS OF 10 - 100 DOLLARS

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RiCESPICE
, US
Jun 26, 2011 7:39 pm EDT

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After thorough calculations, we lost $14.50 out of our pockets for a $25 gift certificate.
The meal is worth $35 which is $24.50 in raw material and labor. We only get $10 back from spending $24.50

We hoped to be on restaurant.com so it could bring in new customers which will come back and pay full price. It doesn't work like that.

Turns out everyone who used the GC will always come in with one, and some of our regulars who found out about GC would go on and purchase one. We have lost $2, 356 so far in participating with this site. Not from profit, from our pocket. Their staff told us we could raise the minimum, but when I called we can't. They said we can opt out the program in 90 days. We called, no one answered. We emailed, no one answered. So we posted on the page that we won't accept any certificates after 6/24.
The next day that message was removed and they changed our site password.

I just wanted customers to understand what restaurants are going through. No restaurant is making ANY money from these certificate. They sit back and get paid when you buy their GC. But we have to work hard to get the dishes served to you.

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smallbiz11
, US
Jun 22, 2011 9:43 pm EDT

I am yet another restaurant owner victimized by restaurant.com. The sales representative said that we could cancel at anytime. Now it turns out that fine print says 90 days notice and an Exit Review is required in order to terminate.

The customers that restaurant.com brought in spent the bare minimum and never come back unless they have another gift certificate.

Owners, do NOT sign up with restaurant.com. You will regret it.

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restaurantuer
Ocean City, US
Jun 17, 2011 1:38 am EDT

I let the Restaurant.com representative mislead me. I didn't read throughly the pages of fine print. I wanted to cancel immediately. They said we had to be on their website for 6 months before we could cancel and we are supposed to except them forever. I just wanted to try it. We still recieve them daily that were purchased last October. Please realize all the money goes to restaurant.com for marketing your business on their website. You will recieve zero dollars only grief. There are ways to manipulate them. I just wasn't told how. I made a huge mistake. The bad part is that we did this for exposure. Our regulars use them so we are preaching to the choir. The guests that use them only spend the minimum 99% of the time. The guests do not read the stipulations and get mad or ignore them and you are left holding the bag. Some guests have left the rest.com print out in check presenters like they were cash without reading the fine print. I suggest that you just give your money first away rather than get invloved. STAY AWAY!

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Denise67
Grafton, US
May 25, 2011 7:53 pm EDT

I too fell for the "free advertising" aspect - but live and learn. You are so right about them not communicating - My phone at my restaurant is a BUSINESS phone - I do not accept calls for any reason other than emergencies - This phone is where I take my carryout orders and customer questions...They told me that they needed written 90 day notification for the cancellation and that was done - one of the gentleman on the phone told me that it would cancel as of May 20th and when I asked about something stating that on the site to keep customers from wasting their money by continuing to buy the coupons that I would no longer accept Restaurant.com's response was "Thats not our problem"... NOW the time frame is up - I'm still on their web site and their only comment is that I MUST DO AN EXIT INTERVIEW VIA PHONE WITH THEIR MANAGER to be removed from the site - BULL CRAP Restaurant.Com - When I left the Military they gave an exit interview debriefing - when I left the government they gave an exit interview debriefing -- -what do you need to debrief ? What a ripoff artist you are? Stay far away from this site - they are misleading, confusing and you are unable to reasonably work with any of their staff.

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Angel Hernandez
Orange Park, US
May 21, 2011 8:08 pm EDT
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Hi suzidalal, sorry to hear that you also fail to Restaurant.com Scam! I'm a victim as well, I was losing money giving free food away and never made any profit from coupons being sold at restaurant.com they are making money of us... I had told them to take us off their program before the 90 days. But they have failed using different techniques to avoid us. They kept saying to validate the coupons and that they will take us out of their program after coupons where validate. But in the mean while they would keep selling the coupons they never stop selling them. I was fed up so I stop taking coupons I posted on my restaurant door 2 big notices that we are no longer taking restaurant.com coupons... People that come to our restaurant ask us why we don’t take the coupons and I tell them the truth.. Be nice to them and explain why and they will eat in your restaurant even if they don’t use the coupons. I hope this help. We need someone to protect us from these scams.

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e-squared
Rockwall, US
May 20, 2011 5:56 pm EDT

Here's what bugs me ... Often, when I use a restaurant.com gift cert, I always get a "Oh, you're one of those people" look from the waiter or manager which makes me feel like I did something dirty. That, unfortunately makes me NOT want to return to that restaurant.

But, on one case, the restaurant manager came to my table and welcomed me to their restaurant, asking me if it was my first visit. When I said yes, she began to tell me all about her restaurant and the weekly specials they had on certain nights, and some of their special dishes. It made me feel wanted and I'll go back there ... even without the restaurant.com gift cert.

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suzidalal
Chicago, US
Apr 29, 2011 3:54 am EDT

shut up you spic

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Restaurant.com MISLEADING

ATTENTION ALL RESTAURANT OWNERS AND MANAGERS:
IT IS VERY CRUCIAL YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE ENTERING INTO IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING DOING BUSINESS WITH RESTAURANT.COM! Please read contract closely and ask lots of questions. Do some research on them and you'll know what I mean.
I wish someone warned ME about them.

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J Carol Smith
Liberty, US
Jun 16, 2012 5:45 am EDT
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I purchased 3 coupons-2 @ $4 each one @ $20. When I completed my purchase, I could print the 2 $4 coupons but the one for $20 did not even show up.

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Shellin-Lin
Flushing, US
Jun 27, 2011 4:56 pm EDT

I wish had read your posting before signing on the paper with them they are a scam~ big scam~

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jbs3626
Kirtland, US
May 03, 2011 5:33 am EDT
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Screw RDC. Post a sign on your door and websight stating you don't take the coupons anymore and call it a day. If you piss off customers that use the coupons, oh well. They'll never be back without another coupon anyways. RDC is a profit eater

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Restaurant.com Misleading advertising

BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL IN BUYING FROM THIS SITE. There is a slight possibility it may save you money if you are buying $100 or more in food from a restaurant. But see the minimum purchase bait and switch described below. Chances are that whenever you see a minimum purchase less than $100 in the description of a restaurant, your certificate will be printed with a minimum purchase of $100. Then add 18% tip and that it may not apply to anything but food and you may need a good calculator to see if it is saving you money.

Frequently a restaurant is advertised on its website with one minimum purchase but after you buy the certificate the minimum purchase increases to $100. Example on 10/24/10 Japanese Blossom in Chico CA is advertised with a "Minimum purchase of $35" but the certificate you buy has "Minimum purchase $100"

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New York2
Albany, US
Aug 22, 2011 11:16 pm EDT
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I am a restaurant owner. Unfortunately I have gotten involve with this scamming company, if I had known from the beginning how they worked I would not have even talked to them. They did not disclose any information about selling coupons or gift certificates to costumers, nor did they mention the fact that they keep all the money from those sales. According to the sales representative they wanted to put our name in their website for people to comment on it. This has caused us major economic problems since we are not getting any money from it. We tried to cancel, but they have REFUSED TO DO IT. THEY WON'T CANCEL AND THEY WANT US TO HONOR THE GIFT CERTIFICATES WHICH THEY KEEP SELLING FOR AMOUNTS OF 10 - 100 DOLLARS.

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Hello Friends, Please dont buy gift cards at restaurant.com. I bought 8 gift cards to use at 501 W Garvey Avenue Monterey Park, CA 91754 [protected] Phong Dinh Restaurant I and My family went there tonight 10/22/2010, they said: the gift card is no longer accepted. We paid the bill for $100/4 items. This is extreamly expensive and the food is 2222 bad...

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Restaurant.com Restaurant.com Certificates

I just want to say that to actually complain about restaurant.com only indicates how stupid you actually are. That is a great program and there is NO scam involved at all. It is a simple and straightforward program. Everything you need to know about how to use the certificates or gift cards can be found on the website, if you can read that is. The only requirement is that you can actually comprehend what you read, its not rocket science people. First when you purchase the certificate it clearly states beside the price the restrictions that the restaurant itself wants placed on that particular certificate. It also states that you can only use 1 certificate per restaurant per month which means you can use a different certificate at a different restaurant each night just not the same restaurant in a 30 day period. Like I said its not rocket science it just takes people who can read and comprehend what is right in front of their eyes. Also, the certificates NEVER expire and you can ALWAYS call them and change restaurants for ANY reason as long as you have not used the certificate already. No, I dont work for them I just love their program and it has given me and my family a chance to eat at places we could never afford to eat. Naturally the idiots out there who always want something for nothing or who are not happy unless they are complaining about something are trying to ruin it for the rest of us smart people. So quit trying to get everything for free and learn to read!

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Worthless certificates
Clearfield, US
Feb 29, 2012 9:35 pm EST
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You are being shortsighted in the scope of your comment. There are more issues at stake here than not comprehending the terms stated on the certificate. In my case, I purchased 20 certificates. 13 of them are worthless because now, merely a few months after these "no expiration date" certificates were issues, the restaurants are refusing to honor them. That is 3 out of 6 restaurants in my case. I am initiating a charge-back to the credit card company, as there are no other restaurants we would be able to use and even if there were, it would probably be an endless process of exchanging and exchanging as these restaurants are deciding to pull out of the program. I did not get what I purchased, the ability to use my certificate at the specific restaurants I chose.

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BAD SERV-NEVER PURCH FRM RESTAURANT.COM
, US
May 18, 2011 5:32 pm EDT

you are so stupid, you work for this people, you like free things too, thats why you are here. dummy

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St.Joe,Mo.64501
, US
Nov 02, 2010 1:10 am EDT

Wheres the restaurants in the St.joseph, mo area mrs wise just curious Its a headache and a scam in the end not everyone wants a freeby but we sure cant pay the gas to drive all the way there and then get turned away cause the restaurant is not accepting

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Restaurant.com Restaurant.com is not a scam, it's the few small restaurant owners

restaurant.com is not a scam It's the few restaurant owners that give it a bad experience for a few consumers. Instead of paying for traditional advertising, owners allow a discount on their meals. You agree to let restaurant.com advertise your business and for them to keep whatever cost of the certificate the consumer pays as payment for that advertising. The consumer abides by the terms on the certificate, minimum purchase, exception days, etc.

And then you complain when people come into use them. Or you now decise to no longer accept them, worse yet after the patron has eaten and deman full payment. Instead of accepting the certificate happily, you provide the customer with a bad experience. Now the chances are nil that they will ever come back, worse yet they will tell others of their bad experience.

Ironically, bringing in new customers is the effect that this program is suppose to have on your business. But many small owners are short sided and it has the opposite effect.

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Melody Fields
Grants Pass, US
Jul 13, 2015 6:51 pm EDT

As a consumer, I bought certificates from Restaurant.com, but when I heard the complaints decided not to use them, I threw money down the rabbit hole, thanks to them. I received an email trying to recruit people to be Independent Consultants for Restaurant.com, and came here to read reviews, and hadn't realized which company it was until I again began reading the complaints. The entire site and business is just a sham for consumers and restaurants owners.

As for any restaurant.com shrills on this board, I can only say that there is no way that I am going to go into a restaurant not knowing how my family will be treated, or worse what kind of food we would be served. If I told management up front that I have a certificate, there could be food/service problems. If I presented the certificate after the meal, there could be payment problems.

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classactionlawsuittoday
, US
May 09, 2013 9:49 am EDT

Most consumers will go to restaurants looking for a free meal or just to complain.

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Mommy2Bree
Colton, US
May 09, 2013 9:23 am EDT

As a consumer, not restaurant owner, I'll say that I've used restaurant.com coupons a few times and think its a great incentive to find new restaurants in the area. Once in the door, it's on the restaurant itself to determine if i'll be coming back or not. If I get bad food or service then you're absolutely right, I won't become a regular full paying customer! However I've discovered one particular great restaurant that I never new existed and never would have known about were it not for Restaurant.com. And the r.com reviews I read for this place are fantastic... the only reviews I found for them anywhere on the internet I should add. I do agree that this is a system easily abused and that should change. You should not be permitted to buy a certificate for a certain restaurant more than once, as it's should only be an incentive to try something new. I also think r.com should maybe tell consumers that THEY keep all money paid for the cert - I didn't know that until I looked more into the company. In the end, I do plan to go back the the restaurant I spoke of as a full paying customer. Unfortunately the economy has hit me too so how often I eat out has changed (which I assume has a big effect of why the return rate of customers is low) but I've also spread word of mouth advertising for them which is the best form of advertising, right? A great restaurant can shine on restaurant.com i'd think... but if you're not a great restaurant that's a different story.

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AnnMarie13
sewaren, US
Feb 07, 2013 11:13 am EST

I think they need to restructure the whole business. I believe that in the beginning a new customer certificate would be wonderful so you can "try out" a new place. But once you've been there before just a small discount would be wonderful. I have to say that we have tried a few restaurants that we normally couldn't afford or that we had just not heard of before and there are reasons people don't go back sometimes. We had bad experiences at most of them, and the one we didn't have a bad experience at was just simply far away so it can only be a once in a few months type of place to go eat and believe me when we are happy with our meal we are more than happy to pay full price the next time we go. Running a mom and pop place today is very hard, with sometimes very little reward. The best thing to do if you want to increase service is to sit down with a business adviser, marketing expert, or even just someone else who runs a more successful business and talk through what works and doesn't work and how you can change things to increase business where it's needed. In the end, that one time investment will save you more than if you go the restaurant.com route.

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gbjordan
Greendale, US
Apr 17, 2011 8:54 am EDT

Hey jbs3626, you're mixing up the comments. My comment is below my name, not above it. Thanks.

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jbs3626
Kirtland, US
Mar 16, 2011 7:35 am EDT
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gbjordan you must obviously work for restaurant.com customers are pissed that they can't use the coupons we asked you not to sell and the restaurants look like con artists. Thanks for your 100% honest review praising restaurant.com I can not wait until you guys go bankrupt for causing all these restaurants commotion. Maybe when a contract is signed your sales reps should sign with OWNERS not Waiters or Waitresses or Hourly line cooks. You know your company conducts illegal business and knows our restaurants have the RIGHT to deny coupons. See you in court. I'm sick of my restaurant looking like a crook and being posted on your websight when 9 months ago I asked for you to remove my restaurant and logo from your sight.

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ScamAvoider
, US
Mar 10, 2011 10:17 pm EST

Restaurant.com is a blood sucking leech that misleads and bleeds dry independent restaurants. Most customers do not understand that restaurants are lucky to take 4 to 8% of total revenues to the bottom line even in good times, many have gone under in the financial crisis. Restaurant.com provides no legitimate source of advertising and the restaurant gets zilch back for all the free food and drink they give away. On top of that, it is typically regular customers who abuse the program by using dozens of them each week and never paying a reasonable price for the meals. The worst part is that Restaurant.com will not let you cancel the program once their misrepresentations become evident, so you are stuck taking more and more coupons because you cannot shut it down. After repeatedly trying to cancel, we finally had to threaten a $100k+ copyright lawsuit against both Restaurant.com and their internet service provier for contining to display our copyrighted menus and photos for several months despite our repeated objections. That was our only way to finally get rid of them!

Restaurant owners struggle every day in a highly competitive business in a down economy. If you want your favorite local restaurants to go out of business and all their employees to be out of their jobs, then keep on buying these ### sucking coupons.

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jcald3944
Cincinnati, US
Dec 26, 2010 9:43 pm EST

I too own a small restaurant owner and agree this is a scam against restaurants, we do a large lunch trade so I tried Restaurant.com to try an increase dinner trade making the coupon only valid after 4PM. Restaurant.com changed the terms to include lunch I was giving $25 worth of food away my lunch check average is $9.00 so 3 meals basically for free and having to turn away full paying guests. I am in the business to make money and earn a living not give food away for free. I also had Restaurant.com guests trying to feed a whole family for free, if thats what you want hit Golden Corral, others angry because they don't want to abide by the terms they bought the certificate for get angry at me not Restaurant .com. I wrote a letter to the president of Restaurant.com to complain about his company and asked him to not sell to the guests that refused to not abide by the terms and he didn't even reply.

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gbjordan
Greendale, US
Dec 10, 2010 7:21 pm EST

No Shirt, No Shoes...thanks for your insight. You're giving owners some advice here, and since I'm one of the two owners on this post, I'll assume it was directed at me. I didn't get roped in by a 'hard sell'. I was looking to drive traffic, and I didn't have the $$ flow necessary to do it. Trading COGS for guest traffic instead of $$ for guest traffic was what I got, and it was exactly what I thought I would get. The reason I made this post was because of all of the consumers complaining about the restaurants...why are the terms different for each restaurant? Why is the gratuity included? Why can't I get specials? Etc.

Here's my experience. I followed the rules and cancelled the program in writing 30 days prior to our anniversary. We continued to be listed on the site. Every gift certificate purchased from 6/09 until 2/10 had an expiration date 1 year from the purchase date (ex. Expires 12/23/10 except where prohibited by law). After 2/10, every gift certificate purchases stated on the bottom "This Gift Certificate Never Expires". R.com told me that "we didn't sell any extra gift certificates so, no big deal, and the expiration date was taken off because some states, like California don't allow gift certificates to expire." I asked if the 'except where prohibited by law' covered that, and he told me that it did, but they "changed it and let all of their customers know that some of the gift certificates will expire in 1 year." So, I'm left to piss somebody off that comes in with a gift certificate for my restaurant that says 'this never expires' because R.com supposedly let every one of their purchasers know that 'some restaurants have a 1 year expiration'?

With that said, I'll stand by my original post. The problem with Restaurant.com isn't R.com itself, it is the people that use the gift certificates. I'll argue that you can't compare the 'advertising' you get on R.com with traditional advertising. R.com advertising will drive more traffic in the short term, but its impossible to know what the long term benefits are. My experience is that a very small percentage of R.com guests come back as full price paying 'regulars'. That was confirmed to me by a R.com agent who told me that according to their studies less than 10% of their customers return as full paying guests.

So, as an owner, I'll tell you that R.com will generate unprofitable sales in the short term, and the long term gain in regular, paying guests probably won't be worth the extra COGS as compared to traditional advertising. If you do work with R.com, add every single one of those guests to your database, as it will increase the liklihood that they become your guests instead of R.com customers.

Jordan

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emen74
Rockville, US
Dec 10, 2010 3:12 pm EST

Being the holiday season, I bought a friend of mine that is currently unemployed a chance to dine out. I carefully read the restriction and it clearly stated "a $35 minimum purchase" which I AGREED to. I bought a $75 gift certificate and I felt $35 was reasonable for dinner. To my surprise, AFTER I purchased the gift, get the e-mail to print it, it THEN tells me "must purchase a minimum of $150 at the restaurant." After contacting their customer service they said I agreed to the restriction by checking a box, which I DID, but it isn't my fault the restriction I agreed to BEFORE buying the product is different to the restriction that appeared AFTER buying the certificate. An OBVIOUS SCAM. I now am trying to get a refund through them or through my bank. It's embarrassing to give a "gift" where the person has to buy $150 worth of food and they are unemployed. My Holiday shopping turned SOUR the moment I got scammed by restaurant.com

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Restaurant.com Gift Certificates

HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE.

What a great deal. Give someone a Restaurant.com gift card so they can pick a restaurant and go out for dinner on you... EXCEPT, they will still have to pay to cover the minimum to be able to use the certificate. Advertised as a great gift with no fees and no shipping, but for your recipient to be able to enjoy what you are trying to give them, they have to spend their own money.

This is such a horrible scam, especially for people who are not used to using this site and will be very confused by all the limitations put on them for times and days of use, changing policies, certain products that are not covered and on and on. Even for my wife and I who have used the site, as recipients, we were astonished at the limitations and the fact that the gift given to us still required us to spend money. AND, we could not use the additional 8O% off that we had earned ourselves with the gift we were given, we could only use that on our own additional purchases from them.

If you plan on giving someone one of these as a gift, DON'T, or don't forget to send them the money you saved buying it, else you are forcing the person you give it to to spend their own money also.

Anyone wanting to give someone a meal for a gift is better off contacting the restaurant itself and buying a gift card or certificate directly and having it sent to the recipient. Then you will not be requiring them to spend their own money to enjoy your gift.

We may continue using this service for ourselves once in a while, but it is NOT a service for giving a gift to someone else.
Gifts are supposed to be easy and not cost the recipients. Restaurant.com gifts are just the opposite.

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Michael Cervantes
Sacramento, US
May 12, 2010 12:42 am EDT

Do Not Buy this!
Restaurants.com is rip-off! If you purchased the gift certificates, like my wife and I did, make sure you read the fine print. Basically you'll find that the participating restaurants make you purchase minimums (which didn't include the drinks) and, oh did I mention they tack on a mandatory 18% gratuity BEFORE the discount?
I figured out I saved 4$, on a $70 meal-I had to purchase more food than I wanted. Buyer beware: save your money and don't fall for these phony discounts!

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Restaurant.com buyer bewart

You guys don't know how Restaurant.com works. I'll explain it from the standpoint of someone who owns a restaurant and works directly with them. Restaurant.com sells the Gift Certificates and keeps all of the money from said sale. Restaurant.com 'sells' their program to restaurants by giving them 'free advertising'. "We'll put you on our site, add your restaurant to our mailing list, and to our e-list and you'll see hundreds of new customers!"

The only money that the restaurant sees from these transactions is the money that is spent over and above the actual gift certificate. The reason many restaurants add an 18% gratuity is because you, the consumers, don't understand that when you're $50 bill gets reduced to $25 you should still tip on the $50.

This is also the reason that there are so many terms and they are different for different restaurants. The once a month rule is in place for the following reason: Restaurants don't make any money off of these except what you spend above the gift certificate. For example, you bought a $25 GC online for my restaurant for $2. Restaurant.com gets that $2. You come into my restaurant and spend your minimum $35. I add the 18% and take off the $25 from your bill. I gave you $35 worth of food and got $10 for it. You also tipped the server about $6.30. Factoring in the cost of the food, the cost of the server, the cost of the cook, and the cost of keeping the lights on in your booth, I made about -$1.27 on the entire transaction. Obviously not a good deal for me. We more than likely impressed you with our food, so you want to come back. If you can come back every day with a Restaurant.com gift certificate, I'll go out of business. If you want to come back every day but can only use a Restaurant.com GC once a month, you either come back in between and pay full price, or you wait.

To say that most problems come from the restaurants and not restaurant.com is completely false. In my experience, 95% of the problems come from the guests using the gift certificate. We as operators are put in a position every time one of you either didn't read the terms or didn't care and just wanted to take advantage of us. We either have to go with the 'customer is always right' and lose our balls, or we have to risk pissing you off and never seeing you again. What I've found in my experience is that you probably aren't going to come back without a gift certificate anyway, so we may as well piss you off and hold you accountable for reading a little bit. Here's what I see on a weekly basis:

Customer doesn't spend the minimum
Customer wants to use two restaurant.com coupons
Customer wants to use the 'gift certificate' with another coupon
Customer wants to use the gift certificate on a daily special that is already discounted
Two couples go to dinner, each has one
What is this 'service charge'?
Customer wants cash back for the unused portion
Customer spends $28, leaves the restaurant.com $25GC and $6 in cash in the book and leaves

We will not be 're-joining' Restaurant.com because for restaurants it is a profit eater.

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Update by gbjordan
Apr 17, 2011 8:52 am EDT

Hey jbs3626. I think you're mixing up comments. I'm an owner, definitely against R.com. My post is underneath my name. Thanks.

Update by gbjordan
Dec 10, 2010 7:33 pm EST

No Shirt, No Shoes...thanks for your insight. You're giving owners some advice here, and since I'm one of the two owners on this post, I'll assume it was directed at me. I didn't get roped in by a hard sell. I was looking to drive traffic, and I didn't have the $$ flow necessary to do it. Trading COGS for guest traffic instead of $$ for guest traffic was what I got, and it was exactly what I thought I would get. The reason I made this post was because of all of the consumers complaining about the restaurants...why are the terms different for each restaurant? Why is the gratuity included? Why can't I get specials? Etc.

Here's my experience. I followed the rules and cancelled the program in writing 30 days prior to our anniversary. We continued to be listed on the site. Every gift certificate purchased from 6/09 until 2/10 had an expiration date 1 year from the purchase date (ex. Expires 12/23/10 except where prohibited by law). After 2/10, every gift certificate purchases stated on the bottom "This Gift Certificate Never Expires"; R.com told me that "we didn't sell any extra gift certificates so, no big deal, and the expiration date was taken off because some states, like California don't allow gift certificates to expire." I asked if the 'except where prohibited by law' covered that, and he told me that it did, but they "changed it and let all of their customers know that some of the gift certificates will expire in 1 year." So, I'm left to piss somebody off that comes in with a gift certificate for my restaurant that says 'this never expires' because R.com supposedly let every one of their purchasers know that "some restaurants have a 1 year expiration"?

With that said, I'll stand by my original post. The problem with Restaurant.com isn't R.com itself, it is the people that use the gift certificates. I'll argue that you can't compare the 'advertising' you get on R.com with traditional advertising. R.com advertising will drive more traffic in the short term, but its impossible to know what the long term benefits are. My experience is that a very small percentage of R.com guests come back as full price paying 'regulars&'. That was confirmed to me by a R.com agent who told me that according to their studies less than 10% of their customers return as full paying guests.

So, as an owner, I'll tell you that R.com will generate unprofitable sales in the short term, and the long term gain in regular, paying guests probably won't be worth the extra COGS as compared to traditional advertising. If you do work with R.com, add every single one of those guests to your database, as it will increase the liklihood that they become your guests instead of R.com customers.

Jordan

Update by gbjordan
Jul 06, 2010 4:15 pm EDT

I'm the original poster. I notified Restaurant.com in writing that we would not be participating in the program when our 'contract' ran out (6/30/10). On 7/2/10 we were still listed on their site. Our 'contract' states that we are required to honor the certificates up to 1 year after the purchase price. I notified Restaurant.com that since they breached their contract with us by having us listed after 6/30, I would not be honoring these certificates at all any longer. We have it posted on our website, on our facebook page, and on our specials board at the entrance. I have had one guest complain.

Now, for restaurant owners who are involved with this company...I've found that a very small percentage of Restaurant.com customers have become regular full price paying customers. With that said, as an owner, you do have access to the email addresses of every person that bought one of your certificates. Use them. I have added over 300 emails to my customer database in hopes of converting these guests into regulars.

Jordan

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J Pod
03431, US
Jun 06, 2013 10:16 pm EDT

Wow, I'm sorry all you restaurant owners are loosing money on this. I recently used points I had on my visa extras card to get gift certificates to use at Restaurant.com. I don't mind paying the gratuity on the full price of the meal. I personally try to correct EVERYONE when they try to cheat on the tips, those people suck. But I am always generous with tips. Anyway, I went on the restaurant website to redeem the certificates I got with my points and purchase these discount certificates for restaurants I thought my son and his girlfriend might enjoy trying in their area. You see they are moving south and don't know the area well, so I review the restaurants listed, picked a couple that got good reviews from Yelp and obtained them. Since they are moving, they will be on a tight budget for at least the first month till they get settled. They will be making plenty of money with the new jobs they got but I expect that they WILL be repeat customers after they have tried these establishments. I thought that was a great way to bring in business for those restaurants. If they are worth trying then my son and his girlfriend will be back but they wouldn't use Restaurant.com to buy certificates before they go. Anyway, the website DID serve a purpose to bring in business for the restaurants I picked anyway. I picked ones that fit their taste buds. P.S. I will be sure to remind them to tip on the full price. LOL

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New York2
Albany, US
Aug 22, 2011 11:40 pm EDT
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I am a restaurant owner. Unfortunately I have gotten involve with this scamming company, if I had known from the beginning how they worked I would not have even talked to them. They did not disclose any information about selling coupons or gift certificates to costumers, nor did they mention the fact that they keep all the money from those sales. According to the sales representative they wanted to put our name in their website for people to comment on it. This has caused us major economic problems since we are not getting any money from it. We tried to cancel, but they have REFUSED TO DO IT. THEY WON'T CANCEL AND THEY WANT US TO HONOR THE GIFT CERTIFICATES WHICH THEY KEEP SELLING FOR AMOUNTS OF 10 - 100 DOLLARS. WE Also tried to cancel the sale of certificates that were higher than 25 dollars and to post in the website that the restaurant was not accepting them because of problems with restaurant.com and the website canceled our ACCESS to the account. THEY WANT THE RESTAURANT'S COSTUMERS MONEY NO MATTER HOW THEY DO IT.

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I Don't Care
overland park, US
Jul 23, 2011 11:46 pm EDT

You discuss the mandated 18% "gratuity" which apparently you put in your pockets and expect that the customer tips on top of that? Wow... I'd hate to work for you. You talk about how all the customers don't read the terms and conditions and then gripe about how you're getting hosed by restuarant.com. Sounds like you didn't read (comprehend) terms of your agreement with restaurant.com and details of the program. Point fingers at others that (might) have the same failings as yourself and pocket the gratuity meant for the waitstaff: world. class. [censored].

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Fivestar Mike
Woodstock, US
Jun 01, 2011 6:47 pm EDT
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Do any of you restaurant owners feel that you've been harmed by restaurant.com? Have they failed to cancel your agreement after you followed their cancellation procedures? Have they attempted to bill you for 'outstanding certificates' after you've been out of their program for some time?

We are assessing interest in participation of a class action suit against restaurant.com at this time for issues such as these and more.

If you are interested, please contact me via email at info@canstaqueria.com or by phone at [protected]

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pegitom
RPV, US
May 20, 2011 5:59 am EDT

I too am a restaurant owner in the Los Angeles, CA area. I must say, I feel a little better reading the posts from restaurant owners about their frustrations with restaurant.com. I concur with most of the comments made, although we have been really fortunate in that most of the people read the fine print and understand the restrictions. Of course, we get the few people that create an arguement, but we just show them on the gift certificate where it has the restrictions. I was mostly pissed at restaurant.com because the sales person would tell us one thing, then when we tried to make some changes, the "partner relations" department would say something completely different. For example, the sales person told us that we could restrict the # of days to honor restaurant.com to any time after the first 90 days of being involved in the program. After the 90 days expired, I called the sales person to tell him that we only wanted the GC to be valid Monday - Thursday as our busiest days are Fri/Sat/Sunday. I was so surprised to hear that we "had" to offer the coupons at least 5 days a week. Nowhere in the agreement does it say we would have to honor the GC on any # of days. We also wanted to change the minimum purchase from $35 to $40. I had to call about 6 different people at corporate, and pretty much had to threaten legal action in order to get this changed. It took about 5 weeks for them to make that change after they finally agreed to it.

After all of this disappointment, I decided to send in my notice to cancel my restaurant.com listing. Buth then I had an epiphany. Every restaurant.com customer that came in, I offered to sell them a $25 gift certificate for $10 (same deal as restaurant.com). There would be no restriction as to whether it was dine in or take out, I sweetened the deal by reducing teh minimum purchase from $40 to $35. As a restaurant owner, we get the $10 that normally would go to restaurant.com and on top of that the $10 delta from the gift certificate vs. minimum purchase. Customer doesn't lose anything because they are getting the exact same deal that they would normally get at restaurant.com. So far, this has worked really well. I sent out an e-mail to all of the people who purchased a gift certificate from restaurant.com and we've received pretty good feedback. Basically restaurant.com is doing all of the advertising to drive in some new customers, and then we are converting them to our gift certificates.
Fight the Power!

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jimbrown
DC, US
Mar 18, 2011 6:58 pm EDT

does anyone know how a restaurant can cancel rdc without a lawyer
called them and told them but they still offer coupons

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VTConsultant
Milton, US
Feb 28, 2011 2:21 pm EST

I completely understand the restaurant's position, but having recently tried to redeem a $25 Restaurant.com "coupon" and had it refused by the merchant in question (Shelburne Steakhouse, in VT) for the reason that "we aren't accepting them anymore because we don't make any money from them" (versus any issue where we didn't read the fine print carefully) we were just blown away and much angrier at the restaurant than at Restaurant.com, scam that they might be. Note that the restaurant has no mention of this policy on their Website, just on a printout at the hostess stand.

For context, my wife and I eat out quite frequently and tend to be very regular customers at our favorite establishments. Our typical bill (before gratuity) is $75 - $120, and we tip a straight 20% on top unless service is awful. We also rarely use gift certificates, unless they are given to us. The restaurant in question is a new one in our area we had not yet tried out, it's right across the street from my wife's offices, and my own little sister recently started working for them. If the food was good, we would be back all the time! When we were told that the $25 coupon we had (which we had been given as a "thank you" by a friend) would not be honored because the restaurant doesn't make money from them, we could not believe it. We shouldn't be responsible for the restaurant's poor decision to do business with a bad merchant. Based on that experience, they not only lost two individual customers, but also two large business accounts (my wife's firm and my own), and we are telling everyone we know about the experience and warning them away, both from Restaurant.com, but also from the restaurant because of their very poor handling of the situation.

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jarthursmith
Bluffton, US
Jan 24, 2011 11:13 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

It's very interesting how the restaurant owners continually complain vehemently about RDC but these same restaurants NEVER identify themselves. As I've said repeatedly, as a consumer, my husband and I have discovered some wonderful restaurants by using RDC and we DO return to these restaurants WITHOUT A COUPON! We've also recommended and taken some of our friends to these newly discovered restaurants and have NOT always used coupons. So, to begin with, your observations are NOT accurate (at least as far as our family goes) and, also... people filing complaints should check spelling so at least these unhappy restaurant owners appear to be somewhat familiar with proper use of the English language.

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jbs3626
Kirtland, US
Jan 24, 2011 9:14 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

RDC has cost my restuarant thousands of dollars in COGS. My restaurant is no longer listed on rdc ever since I had an attorney take on the battle to be removed from their websight. This was the worst mistake any restuarant owner could make. The clientel are not faithful customers. I have never seen a rdc customer come back to my restuarant without a coupon. Actually I have never witnessed a rdc customer spend more than ten bucks over the minimum purchace. I am at my restaurant all six days a week so I can make my "witnesses" honest. I've dealt with so many hassles from the rdc customers since they choose not to read the terms and follow the rules. RDC costs a fortune and I wouldn't be surprised if they lied to me and sold more than one coupon a day for my restuarant. One friday night when we were participating with rdc we had 50+ tables booked in our 28 table capacity dining room. It was a nightmare! 34 tables were cheap rdc customers spending the bare minimum. Full paying classy customers were forced to wait long for their table to be ready which was not fair. I gave out over $1, 100 worth of goods to the rdc customers and none of them have come back without a coupon. Overal rdc cheapens the image of an upscale restaurant and eats profit. It's better to have low covers and control your operational costs than be booked with cheap customers and raise your operational costs.

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No Shirt No Shoes
, US
Nov 14, 2010 3:01 pm EST

I am a consumer and have been using gift certificates from restaurant.com for many months. I follow the rules and have never had a problem. I was curious about the perspective of the restaurant owner, so I came to this site. I just have a few thoughts:

1) I am not surprised that some restaurant owners have entered into a contractual arrangement with restaurant.com without understanding the terms of the contract. There is no excuse for entering into any contract without understanding the terms. There are many attorneys and CPA's out there who offer reasonable rates that can review the contract before you sign. Falling prey to hard sell tactics is not an excuse either.

2) For financial reporting purposes, each restaurant.com gift certificate transaction should be recorded at the full value of the meal provided. The offset should be recorded as an "Advertising Expense". That way a restaurant owner can track the expense and compare it to the annual advertising budget. If the expense is what you would have budgeted anyway, then you will balance correctly. If not, then you may have to cut back on other forms of advertising until your contract expires. If your total revenue is in excess of what you had budgeted as a result of using restaurant.com, you may have a favorable experience. The secret is to track the results of any form of advertising. If you can't track the results, what is the point?

3) I understand that many states, if not most, impose a meals tax. I am not suggesting that the restaurant owner pay the tax based on the grossed up transaction if it is not required by the taxing authority.

4) I notice that when I go to the restaurant.com site, that some restaurants are "out-of-stock" with regards to certificates. This is obviously a control mechanism to protect the restaurant owner from unlimited risk.

5) I noticed that some very reputable web sites have mentioned restaurant.com and recommended it to consumers, particularly in this economic environment. I know there are many scams out there, particularly for credit counseling and other services, taking advantage of desperate individuals. This does not appear to be one of them.

For what it's worth...

Overview of Restaurant.com customer experience

Restaurant.com has received numerous complaints from consumers regarding their services. Customers have reported issues with redeeming their vouchers, with some restaurants not accepting them or claiming they have already been redeemed. The website has also been criticized for misleading advertising, with some customers claiming that the discounts offered were not as advertised. Additionally, there have been complaints about the limited selection of restaurants available on the website, with many customers unable to find a suitable option in their area. Overall, Restaurant.com has faced significant criticism from customers, with many expressing frustration and dissatisfaction with their services.
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