If you like to eat out regularly (and who doesn’t), either at fine dining restaurants or even casual eateries, be sure to join a reward or loyalty program. Many restaurants are more than happy to slip you a little green in the form of a discount when you come back regularly.
We have a few tips for choosing a restaurant loyalty program that best suits your restaurant dining style. These tips can help maximize your savings.
Tips for choosing a loyalty program
The best restaurant rewards programs for you to join are those with convenient locations and a menu selection that you always find appealing. If you travel regularly for vacation or business, include these locations in your decision.
We recommend you choose at most two or three reward loyalty programs. A good mix might include one casual restaurant for everyday dining, one for take-out, and one fine dining restaurant for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, engagements, etc.).
A restaurant that offers several dining styles would help you rack up points for any type of dining you may want to do: dine-in or takeout.
Be sure to compare the fine print when choosing any reward program:
- Some restaurant rewards programs give additional discounts for your birthday or wedding anniversary, plus special invitations and exclusive offers from discounts on dining, gift cards, wine, and other perks.
- Other programs may place restrictions on your rewards, for example restrict you to dine-in only or add an automatic gratuity to your bill.
- More flexible dining reward programs allow you to earn rewards for every dollar you spend with them, whether you are dining in, getting take-out, enjoying cocktails or food in the lounge, or buying gift cards.
- Finally, some restaurant loyalty programs also offer perks or discounts with other retail partners. This is a great option if their partners are also companies where you are likely to visit.
One final thought: by their nature, rewards programs tend to be feasible only for larger restaurant chains.
However, many smaller, local, single location restaurants offer punch cards that reward you with a freebie after multiple purchases. So check with your local barista or mom-and-pop restaurant whether they offer a punch card or other loyalty program.
Below, we’ve got a list of loyalty programs at locally-owned Seattle-Tacoma area restaurants, followed by some national (and in some cases, international) discount gift card and loyalty programs.
If we left your favorite restaurant off this list, send us an email and we’ll be happy to add it.
Seattle restaurant loyalty programs
These restaurants represent locally owned restaurants offering loyalty programs that give you discounts for repeat business.
Some of these restaurant chains have expanded well beyond Seattle or were bought out by national companies, but they started here. So, we still consider them home grown Seattle restaurants.
We are after all, very loyal, too.
Black Angus Steakhouse: Includes 3 restaurants in the south sound (Lakewood, Puyallup, Federal Way). Join the BA Prime Club.
El Gaucho: Includes 3 El Gaucho restaurants (Bellevue, Seattle, Tacoma) and the AQUA by El Gaucho (Seattle Pier 70). Join El Gaucho Revelers club.
Emerald City Fish & Chips. Buy 6 lunches, get your card punched, and get your 7th lunch FREE. One location: 3756 Rainier Avenue, Seattle, WA 98144.
Ivar’s Restaurants senior rewards program is for people 55 years and older. Benefits include a 10% discount and free birthday meal. Use the 10% discount as often as you like at any Ivar’s Full-Service Restaurants, Seafood Bars, or Kidd Valley restaurants (excludes stadium locations, e.g. Safeco Field). Join Ivar’s Carte Clam Club.
PCC Markets doesn’t promote it on their website that we could find. But they offer a punch card good on several items including coffee and soup. Buy 10 and get the next one free.
Ray’s Boathouse and Café: One waterfront location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Join Ray’s Loyalty program.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers operates a dozen locations throughout Puget Soudn. Join Red Robin Royalty.
Restaurants Unlimited: Locations in Seattle and Puget Sound area cites, and more across Washington State and around the country. Earn one point for every dollar you spend on food and beverages at any of their restaurants. Joining is free and the rewards are generous. Dine at any of the following Puget Sound restaurants: Cutters Crabhouse (Seattle), Fondi (Gig Harbor), Henry’s Tavern (Seattle and Bellevue), Maggie Bluffs (Magnolia), Palisade (Magnolia), Palomino (Seattle and Bellevue), Scott’s Bar & Grill (Edmonds), Stanford’s (Seattle/Northgate and Tukwila/Southcenter), and Stanley & Seaforts (Tacoma). Or, find another Restaurants Unlimited location.
Schwartz Brothers Restaurants: Includes 3 Daniel’s restaurants (Seattle and Bellevue), Chandler’s Crabhouse (Seattle), and Spazzo (Redmond). Join Schwartz Bros rewards.
Starbucks pay-by-phone app rewards earns you free beverages or food. Join My Starbucks Rewards.
Taco Time fast casual Mexican restaurant with 70 northwest locations offers an app that lets you to pay-by-phone while you earn dining rewards. Join Taco Time rewards.
National and international dining rewards programs
These loyalty programs work across multiple restaurants and locations.
Alaska Airlines Dining Rewards earns airlines miles when you register credit/debit cards and dine at participating restaurants. Dozens of restaurants in Seattle and throughout the West participate. Join Alaska Mileage Plan Network.
OpenTable is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations. And it’s free to use from either the desktop website or mobile app. On OpenTable, you can search for a restaurant based on location, type of cuisine, price range, date, and time you want to dine. Once you find a table, it’s super easy book a reservation. But that’s not all, there are two ways to save on dining out with OpenTable Rewards Points:
- Earn Dining Rewards Points for reservations you make and honor through your free OpenTable account. Redeem Reward Points for a discount at any OpenTable restaurant. Reservations with OpenTable usually earn 100 Dining Points.
- Save even more with Bonus Dining Reward Points. Look for “1,000 Point” Dining Reward reservations at select restaurants and times.
- For more information, check the list of Seattle-Tacoma restaurants on OpenTable.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining earns you points when you use your registered Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card from Chase at participating restaurants. Choose from dozens of restaurant in the Seattle area or in destination cities when you travel. Join Southwest Rapid Rewards Dining.
Restaurant.com is the nation’s largest dining deals site offering discount dining deals in a range of prices from $5 to $100. Search from your desktop or mobile phone. Search for Seattle restaurants and thousands more nationwide. Find deals by searching by restaurant name, type of cuisine, city, zip code, or Dine@Home deals. Restaurant.com gift certificates are available as physical Gift Cards or eGift Cards. Gift Cards include free standard shipping in the U.S. and eGift Cards can either be printed by you, sent directly to your mobile phone, or emailed to a recipient (even you). The gift certificates never expire and can be exchanged. Restaurant.com dining discounts are always changing. But here are some examples and tips:
- You might find a $25 Restaurant.com Certificate for $10, and save $15 on you next dining experience.
- On a recent check, we found certificates priced from $2 to $40, on purchases of $5 to $100, saving $3 to $60.
- Popular restaurants restrict the number of certificates they sell, so check at the first of the month for best selection.
- New certificates are added each month, so plan to visit Restaurant.com regularly.
If you eat out regularly at fine dining restaurants or casual eateries, you can save money when you join a loyalty program. Choose a few loyalty programs from restaurants that match your dining style, with convenient locations and menu selection that you are most likely to use regularly. Also check with smaller restaurants and coffee shops for a punch card loyalty program. Loyalty programs can help maximize your savings every time you dine out or get take out.