Written by: Marcus Adams
In tough economic times, meals out can seem like a terrible extravagance – but that fact is that many restaurant chains are suffering in the recession too, and will consequently offer some amazingly cheap deals and you most definitely can eat out on a budget.
In fact, there’s never been a better time to eat out in the UK:
Thanks to the rise of the celebrity TV chef, and the arrival of large chains like Wetherspoons, even the much-maligned Great British pub food is looking and tasting better than ever, and with celebrity outlets appearing in city centres as well as helping to revitalise a number of our seaside resorts the nation is fast becoming a foodie’s paradise.
To get the most from your local restaurant scene, you’ll need to keep an eye out for vouchers codes. Our forum devoted to voucher codes will give you loads of money saving deals for eating out on a budget. Two for one deals are rife these days, and work really well for couples seeking a romantic candlelit dinner for two.
Dine at a set time on a shoestring budget:
No establishment, no matter how upmarket, wants empty tables. They’re paying overheads for staff, power and perishable ingredients whether they like it or not – so even if they’re not making much profit from covers at non-peak times it’s better than nothing. You may find yourself a bit short of fellow diners sometimes, but that can be a blessing as you won’t have to wait long for your food or miss out on that last piece of cheesecake because the couple in the corner got to it before you.
You’ll also get the best, and therefore cheapest, deals if you eat what the restaurant wants you to eat. Daily specials are advertised for a reason, not because the chef decides what to offer on a whim: If they’ve had a large delivery of one type of ingredient and need to offload it, or the ‘eat by’ date on something is rapidly approaching then you’ll be encouraged to choose the daily special that contains it, often via a reduced price or an abnormally large portion.
Don’t be shy about approaching restaurants and doing a deal with them:
You’ve got nothing to lose. It won’t go down well at a really upmarket venue, but if you visit your local Indian, explain that you’ve got £30 between you and ask for £30 worth of curry then the chef will often be delighted and you’ll usually get a lot for your money.
Restaurants can be notoriously fierce when it comes to undercutting one another, so why not take advantage? The recession may be biting, but if you’re crafty enough it can work in your stomach’s favour.