Written by Paul Roberts
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For the last 26 years I have eaten out in restaurants EVERY DAY!
Many times two or three meals in one day! About 98% of all my
meals are from restaurants. I've spent so much time in
restaurants that, over the years, I've, even worked in a few as
dishwasher, cook, and manager trainee. I rarely eat out in
fast-food establishments. I enjoy the "family-style, dine-in
type" restaurants. The kind with a smiling hostess, friendly
waitress, and a manager who gets around and speaks to all the
customers. When I find a place that has good food and friendly
service, I keep going back! It doesn't take long to be on a
"first-name" basis with each employee that you deal with.
Through the years of eating out, I've occasionally received a
"FREE" meal! The following methods to receive free meals are NOT
SCAMS or ILLEGAL SCHEMES! I'm also NOT going to tell you to get
someone else to pay for your meal, but if it works for you... Go
For It! I DID NOT go out and plan or create these methods, they
just started happening to me!
"ON THE HOUSE"
By frequenting the same restaurant often, you get to be pretty
good friends with the managers and owners. On several occasions,
I've been offered a meal "on the house" for one of two reasons:
1. Owner/manager wants my opinion of a new menu item and offers
it free of charge, or 2. A dinner, either ordered by mistake by
waitress, or prepared by cook by mistake... too good to throw
out.. offered to me free of charge... Thank You! (Right place at
the right time!)
I've also received FREE MEALS for doing the restaurant a favor
from time to time. I once suggested my favorite restaurant to a
local cub scout troop for a banquet location. I received a FREE
MEAL from the manager in appreciation. A co-worker of mine was
looking for a caterer for his family reunion. I suggested he
call my favorite restaurant for a price (and mention my name).
He got a good price - and I got a FREE MEAL in appreciation!
Also, while "hanging out" at my favorite restaurant, I've been
asked by the manager to run to the grocery for him to pick up
some item they may need. When I get back, he's "taken care" of
SECRET SHOPPER SERVICE
I once saw an ad in the classifieds for a secret shopper. I
answered the ad and was hired by a national restaurant chain to
eat in one of their restaurants twice a month. Each time I
visited I had to make a full report on service, food, time it
took, etc. I was reimbursed for my meals plus received extra
money for doing it! Watch your classifieds, or you may start
your own service.
Many restaurants offer discounts or free birthday cake on your
birthday. I have found one restaurant that will give you a FREE
MEAL on your birthday! I cannot print the name, but I can tell
you it is a national chain of restaurants, and, you can get
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner for FREE! (I go to different
locations for each meal.) Call your local restaurants to see
what they do for birthdays.
FREE MEAL BENEFITS
A few years ago I decided to get a part-time job to make some
extra money. Since I spent so much time in restaurants, I
thought food service would be my first and best choice. I soon
found myself working in a buffet style restaurant where
employees can eat FREE on the days they work!
Probably the best way I've found to get "practically free"
meals is to trade for a service or product. I say "practically
free" because there is a very small cost involved. I had already
owned a pin on button machine much like those you see advertised
in most magazines. I've been making sports buttons for schools
and teams for about 7 or 8 years. One day a manager asked me if
I had any Easter buttons for his waitresses to wear for the
holiday. I came up with a design, had it printed and took 25
Easter buttons to the manager. When he asked me "how much?", I
didn't know what to charge. He offered me a $9.00 steak dinner,
and I said "OK!" (NOTE: My TOTAL costs to make these 25 buttons
was $1.63!!) The following month he wanted 50 Mother's Day
buttons (25 for each of his two stores). I received TWO complete
meals of my choice including drink and dessert!! Every major
holiday for the last seven years, I've traded holiday buttons
for "practically free" meals!! I've also approached other
restaurants in my area and had similar success. NOTE: I only
approach restaurants that I really would like to eat in. Just
think, if you could barter with enough restaurants each holiday,
you could accumulate enough meals to possibly eat "practically
free" every day!!