Looking for a discount on your dinner? Our research shows that you should never pay full-price for pizza or Italian food.
We hope you're hungry, because deals are on the menu. The very best restaurant deals, that is! Here at DealNews, we see lots of nom-nom-related coupons every day, but some restaurants are definitely more generous with their dining deals and discounts than others.
To find out which establishments have been practically giving away the food, we searched our archives for restaurant coupons from the past two years. Read on to find out where a hungry dealhunter should go for a taste of savings.
The Top Restaurants for Coupons and Deals
1. Outback Steakhouse
The top spot on our list goes to Outback Steakhouse for its unwavering, some might say obsessive, desire to distribute free Bloomin' Onions to every man, woman, and child. Over the past two years, this Australian-inspired steakhouse averaged three offers per month, usually in the form of a free Bloomin' Onion appetizer or a dinner discount.
Get the deal: Outback can afford all those giveaways because the freebies often require you to say a secret word or phrase to your server, like "bloomin' Monday." Keep an eye on their Facebook page or set up a DealNews alert to make sure you know the phrase du jour. Otherwise, just look out for good old-fashioned printable coupons.
2. Papa John's Pizza
Papa John's holds the distinction of being the most convenient eatery on our countdown, as this pizza purveyor's offers are all redeemable online and can be delivered to your door. This pizzeria averages about two offers per month, but those deals are usually valuable coupons that can last as long as a week. The most common discount? 50% off the price of a large pizza.
Get the deal: No coupon-printing required here; Papa John's deals are always online coupon codes, so just make a deal alert to hear about them from us. Better yet, you can earn pizza freebies when you sign up for the Papa John's Rewards program.
3. Olive Garden
Placing third in our roundup, Olive Garden should change its slogan from "when you're here, you're family" to "when you're here, your friend eats free." BOGO entrées are a staple of this Italian restaurant's deal menu, although it's also been known to offer a free kids' meal or dessert with a purchase.
Get the deal: Printable coupons are the name of the game at Olive Garden, and we see about two a month on average. While you can always find printables here, another great place to nab these old-school coupons is in your mailbox. (Your actual, physical mailbox, that is, not the one where you find all those cat pictures.)
4. Pizza Hut
Just four entries in, and we're already on our second pizza place! Pizza Hut distinguishes itself from other pizzerias on our list by consistently offering a very specific sort of discount: get a pizza for less than $10. There may be a limit on the number of toppings or the pizza size, but rest assured, it'll cost less than $10. We find that sort of constancy oddly comforting.
Get the deal: Once again, pizza proves to be the most convenient food, as you can almost always score a Pizza Hut deal via online coupon code. Set up a deal alert and let the cheap food come to you.
5. Jamba Juice
If our countdown was making you thirsty, you're in luck! Jamba Juice has the privilege of being the only drink seller to make our list, and it's in the top five to boot! BOGO beverages are the discount of choice at this establishment, which is lovely because everyone knows you shouldn't drink alone. We've seen a little less than two of Jamba Juice's coupons per month on average over the last two years, but they tend to stick around for awhile before expiring.
Get the deal: Jamba Juice uses printable coupons, so the usual deal-finding rules apply. That said, redeeming these coupons can be tricky: As is the case with many drink sellers, participation in coupons varies wildly by location. Jamba Juices located in airports are especially notorious for not accepting printable coupons.
6. Chili's Grill & Bar
When it comes to tasty freebies, you can always count on Chili's. This Tex-Mex restaurant never delivers discounts, but instead clawed its way up to the sixth spot on our list through free apps, desserts, and kids' meals. Unfortunately, these aren't true freebies; they always require an adult entrée purchase.
Get the deal: We see a couple printable coupons from Chili's per month, so you can always opt for a deal alert. You can also join the Chili's Email Club; not only will you hear about coupons, but you'll score some free chips and salsa just for signing up.
7. Boston Market
If you're looking to feed the fam with traditional American fare, your best bet is the restaurant in our seventh slot. Boston Market offers a wider variety of discounts than most of the other entries on our list, but we have seen a fair number of dollar-off coupons. Of course, Boston Market stands out from the pack for one type of offer in particular: half-off Family Meals. No other restaurant on our list is as committed to feeding so many people at once (with the possible exception of the pizza places).
Get the deal: Boston Market is a big fan of the printable coupon, and has one to two discounts per month on average. This is one restaurant you'll want to set a deal alert for, though — many of its best coupons are only good for one day.
8. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
Krispy Kreme does just one thing, but it's an awesome thing: it gives away free doughnuts to the doughnut-less masses. This pastry purveyor serves up BOGO dozens of doughnuts and single-doughnut freebies on a fairly regular basis, sometimes as often as once a month. There are periodic doughnut droughts throughout the year, though, which is why Krispy Kreme didn't find a higher spot on our countdown.
Get the deal: Would-be doughnut devourers should set up a deal alert, as many of these offers don't require any sort of coupon — you just have to show up. If you want to be extra sure you hear about Krispy Kreme freebies, check out their Facebook page.
Moving from warm and flaky to cold and creamy on the sweet spectrum, the next best place for deals is Baskin-Robbins. You can count on this ice cream shop to offer BOGO ice cream once a month, with a coupon that lasts about a week. The only caveat here is that sometimes the coupon will dictate that you buy the flavor of the month, which is kind of a crapshoot taste-wise.
Get the deal: No special hoops to jump through here; just keep your eyes peeled for a Baskin-Robbins printable coupon around the first of the month. Who knew free ice cream could be so convenient?
10. Burger King
Fast food's already got a reputation for value, so maybe that's why only one such restaurant made it into our top 10. Either way, Burger King likes to use coupons to promote new or seasonal menu items. The burger joint will often knock a dollar or more off of a given food or beverage, which is a pretty steep discount for them. Although Burger King only runs about one a month, these promos can last a couple weeks or more. An enterprising dealseeker could see this as an opportunity to redeem the same discount multiple times (hint hint).
Get the deal: Once again, printable coupons are your friend, although some offers don't even require a coupon.
11. Domino's Pizza
Placing eleventh on our list and third overall for pizza is Domino's. This pizzeria seems to be aware that it lags behind Papa John's and Pizza Hut for deals, because its offers are an amalgamation of the other two: 50% off pizza coupons (like Papa John's) and pizzas for less than $10 (like Pizza Hut). Nevertheless, we'd prefer to see a larger quantity of deals from Domino's, whose average is a little less than one coupon per month.
Get the deal: Like its competitors, Domino's deals almost entirely in online coupon codes. Honestly, between these three establishments, you really shouldn't ever pay full price for pizza.
12. Sonic Drive-In
Sonic is like Burger King's mischievous fast food twin when it comes to deals. Where Burger King will offer modest food discounts for weeks at a time, Sonic is fond of slashing 50% or more off the price of a popular item for one day only. This drive-in, known for its daily drink specials, is also partial to short-lived BOGOs.
Get the deal: Sonic's deals are particularly devious because they rarely require a coupon. You just have to show up on the right day to take advantage of the offer. What's more, Sonic doesn't have a deal every month. Your best bet to catch these guerrilla-style savings is to set up a deal alert and watch Sonic's Facebook page, especially around holidays.
13. Red Lobster
Fish aficionados can rejoice: a seafood restaurant actually made our list. Filling the lucky 13 slot is Red Lobster, home of garlic cheddar biscuits tasty enough to actually kill for. Just about every coupon we've seen for this restaurant requires the purchase of two entrées; in return you'll get either $10 off your ticket, or a free appetizer or dessert. Not a bad deal for the family restaurant bracket, though we only see these coupons every other month or so.
Get the deal: Red Lobster coupons are always of the printable variety, so you know the drill.
14. Romano's Macaroni Grill
If researching this list has taught us anything, it's that Italian-style fare is by far the most discounted type of food. Macaroni Grill keeps this trend going by offering $10 off coupons every couple of months. These dollar-off discounts often require a minimum purchase, usually $30, meaning these deals are perfect for date night.
Get the deal: These printable coupons don't crop up with any regularity, so do yourself a favor and set up a Macaroni Grill deal alert.
Rounding out our list is one last fast food restaurant, Arby's. This roast beef purveyor differs from the other fast food chains we've rounded up, as it prefers freebies over discounts. Most deals aren't true freebies, as they often require a sandwich purchase. But hey, free food is free food. (Please put that on our tombstone.)
Get the deal: Arby's sends these offers out every other month or so, via printable coupons. However, you can get ahead of the game by joining the Arby's email list.
Readers, did your favorite eatery make our list? Do you have any sure-fire tips or tricks for scoring free food? Share your gastronomic secrets in the comments below!
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire
unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were
available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of
publication (unless otherwise specified).