Rewards and loyalty programs are great; as long as you know the rules. Learn more here.
Am I Really Combining My Dining Discount Card, Or Are You Not Being Fair?
I brought my dining discount card, so what am I missing here? “I showed up at your over-priced, half-empty restaurant, I brought my discount card, I ordered right off the menu, and yet now you’re telling me I can’t combine my dining discount card with your happy hour prices. But I’m not. I’m paying for happy hour, and then I’m having dinner – at a discount. And if you’re the one that needs two totally separate pieces of paper to arrive at the same simple calculation as me (the review-giving, word-of-mouth customer), then let’s get your accountant on the phone so I can use the dining discount card I came here with.”
Honestly, has this ever happened to you? Because it recently happened to us. And instead of just fixing the bill (which the waiter had specifically earlier stated, “We’ll figure it out at the end”), we were stuck paying for everything as if we never brought our dining discount card at all – which was the whole reason we even went there in the first place! This pricey restaurant really expected us to just have happy hour, pay for happy hour and then leave. Then turnaround, come back in, sit in a different section altogether, then have dinner, thus creating TWO totally separate transactions – so that NOW we could use our dining discount card. Heck, Bed, Bath & Beyond has 20% discount cards that NEVER expire. Too bad they don’t have Prince Edward Island Mussels!
Are we being unreasonable? Does it sound like we’re trying to ‘game’ the system? No, and no. We are working single parents. We like to find ways to have fun, BUT also save money at the same time. It’s a ten percent off world; we are not ‘tightwads.’ In fact, I tip very well, thank you! And to stay within budget, we are getting more proficient at utilizing Loyalty Programs and Rewards Cards for our favorite places to eat and drink (clearly not without a learning curve or ‘snafoo’ here or there.) So read the fine print, ask all the right questions at the beginning, and don’t forget to hit them with every discount that you’ve got! And, yes, here are some good local Kansas City dining discount cards you might consider giving a try.
Kansas City Dining Discount Cards & Apps
KC Hopps Card – This rewards card is free, and is used for eating and drinking at several area locations which include Barley’s Brewhaus, O’Dowd’s, Blue Moose, 810 Zone, and 75th Street Brewery. Click on the link for details and signing up.
KC Originals Dining Club – The cost is $27, and partners with the Kansas City Originals (Kansas City’s Independent Restaurant Association), the Kansas City Originals Dining Club Card (in association with The Kansas City Star). This card offers tremendous savings at many of Kansas City’s finest restaurants! See link for details and rules of using card. If you eat out frequently, this is a great deal!
There is also a KC Originals Rewards Card for eating at these same locations and more! It is different, but you gain points every time you eat at one of the participating restaurants. A must if you purchase the KC Originals Dining Club card (See link for details.)
I also use an App called Ibotta. I use it for grocery shopping the most, there are some restaurant rebates occasionally, BUT my favorite is that you can use it on alcohol purchases. Ibotta offers rebates on beer, wine and liquor (which we use for buying old favorites as well as trying out new brands). And yes, it can seem a little tedious at first – it took me a while to get the hang of it – but I love it now. I have earned good money for buying things I would normally have purchased anyway.
And of course, we use OpenTable to make reservations when we can – because we get points (and rewards) for doing so. Of course, it takes a while to earn a $20 gift card, but there are other benefits with using this service App. By making a reservation using OpenTable, the restaurant knows ahead of time if this is your first time there, or if it is for a special occasion, etc. And this is a great way to find out the service level of the restaurant you are going to. Did they do something special since it was your first time, or put you at a special table for your anniversary dinner? OpenTable gives them the opportunity to shine if they value their unique customer experience. Plus, you have the opportunity to provide a detailed review of the restaurant after your visit (or not, if you so choose). And you can be sure that establishments that care will always read your reviews. And this is a bonus if you are traveling – definitely use it. You can find some of the best restaurants in the city you are in…without having to find their number and call them direct…just use the App. We did it for Sides Hardware and Shoes when we were wine tasting in Los Olivos, California.
It’s Time For You To Get More Dining Discounts
So remember: some restaurants advertise an app or program you can sign up for right there at your table. Definitely look into it. Check with your favorite restaurants/bars to see if they have a rewards or loyalty program. No sense in leaving “money on the table” if you don’t have too. And don’t forget to look at the bottom of your meal receipts for special offers. By completing a quick survey, you can save several dollars off your next visit. And many restaurants have email lists that you can join – offering daily discounts and rewards points for each dollar spent. And sometimes simply liking a restaurant on Facebook or Twitter can help you build up points, or enter you into a drawing to receive a gift card. We won a $100 gift card from a Facebook like (but that’s a whole ‘nother story). And now that you’ve started earning your own dining discounts, make sure you know how to use them, and be sure to mention it when you get there. Cheers!