My Wife and I Robbed Black Angus Last Night

For those that don’t know Black Angus is a steakhouse chain. It’s at least near me in Silicon Valley, but I don’t know how prevalent it is in other parts of the country (the “Locations” area on the site isn’t very helpful with this information). We had plotted and planned all day. We had our had our weapon prepared. Everything was a go until we showed up. We hadn’t counted on one thing: Black Angus was going help us pull off the heist. By the end of the night we had made off with over $33… in savings.

Yep our weapon was the coupon below:

Black Angus Coupon

They helped us out by offering a half-price bottle of wine with the purchase of two entrees on Monday and Tuesdays. Hmmm, that was exactly what we were ordering. We hadn’t checked the coupon’s fine print and just asked if the wine deal could be combined (in hindsight I see the coupon clearly states that it can’t be combined with other offers). Fortunately we got the answer we wanted. Checking the wine list, they had a bottle of Blackstone merlot, a winery in Sonoma that we love, for $25. It’s a fine bottle of wine, but probably not going to win a million awards. At $12.50 it’s pretty close to what you’d pay in a liquor store.

For under $50 ($49.50 to be exact) we had bread, salad, a sampler platter (consisting of a shrimp cocktail, friend garlic zucchini, 4 buffalo chicken tenders, loaded potato skins), two steak entrees (with potato and vegetables), and a big mountain chocolate fudge cake, and a bottle of wine. We at like kings and still had plenty to take home. If we had just walked in and ordered this separately it would have cost a few pennies less than $83.

I’ve written that every restaurant wants to save me money, but this economy has taken things to the next level. I’ve always known that margins on restaurants are pretty good (note: we could have probably saved a lot more making this all home), but if they are going to put things on such big sales, can they survive?

It’s never been easy to run a restaurant. It’s usually a labor of love. I really hope that love is great because right now it’s so easy to save money at restaurants.

As a final note: I know many of you may say that the restaurant robbed us. The better financial move would have been to cook dinner at home. We do that much of the time. However, on this occasion, we are looking at the glass as half full – we saved a lot and satiated our desire to go out to eat for some time.

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  1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking advantage of a good coupon, and even combining the two that you did made the deal even better. Yes, you could have made all that at home, but you enjoyed yourselves, saved money in comparison to what you could have spent, and had enough left over to take home…so that meal of $49.50 was probably enough for two meals each. If you divide that $50 over the two meals, technically it’s like spending $25 at the cheaper restaurants, only you got better quality food. I agree that this was a good deal for you guys. Well done!

  2. Great deal; I don’t think you’d have saved all that much at home; plus, you didn’t have to cook and wash the dishes. Yes, the question is: can they survive with these prices? Of course, their margin may be reduced, but they have to make sacrifices, just like us:))

  3. The coupon came in the mail (to answer Jim).

    I didn’t realize that the coupon said not to be combined with other offers until I was writing this up today.

    We tipped for normal service (what we felt we received) as if we paid $83 dollars (what it would have cost without a coupon).

    I’m not sure if breaking the company rules and allowing us a deal we shouldn’t have gotten is worth a bigger tip (something that I think Matt implied in his comment).

    Another thing to think about… if the wine was going to be $25 a bottle (it’s regular price), we wouldn’t have gotten it and our final bill would have around $58 without the coupon ($37 with).

    Would you rather be tipped well on $58 or tipped normally on $83? If you consider normally to be 15% (just putting a number that a I’ve heard as normal out there) and tipping well to be 20%, you’d rather be tipped normally on $83 (by a dollar). By upselling us on the wine, the waitress is already getting rewarded.

  4. I use MY Points and have for years.Look at websites go all the way through let page 2 load and they send point earning views fast 3 or 4 a day,I just ate early in week at Maggiano’s great Italian Food.MeatBall Sandwich Soup and more bread.Gift Card from My Points 10 dollar one free.Total tip and all 3 dollars.McD my usuall haunt had lot of buy one get one free in Sunday Paper.Even Valentines Day cheap with another free Gift Card.My Wife loves it and really I don’t say much about cards.Save-Save.
    Also My old 12 year Corolla still 28 MPG runs good.
    ike

  5. I don’t think you can complain about a 4 course dinner for that price. I’m hard pressed to think of a place where I could get prime rib, soup/salad, appetizer, and dessert for $18.50.

    It’s 9:30 AM and you made me hungry for prime rib.

    Now, for the $83 question … was the food good enough to get you to come back another time at full price?

  6. Sounds like you guys had a great date night! I totally agree with your final note that sure you could have stayed home and saved the money but if you are going to go out and purchase anything, anywhere (restaurant, clothes, groceries, travel), I want to know that I did what I could to stretch my dollar and get the most bang for my buck!

  7. Kozmo, I don’t know if the food was good enough for me to pay $83 at a future time. However, we probably would have skipped the bottle of wine (minus $25), the appetizer sampler (minus $13), and maybe the dessert (minus $6). That puts it around $40 for just the bread, salad, and entree – more than enough for our tastes.

    That’s probably not bad value for $40… in normal economic times. If Black Angus is going to back to full price and Outback (or a local steakhouse) is going to run it’s specials, I’ll surely go to Outback.

    If I want to pay prime price for prime rib, I’m going to House of Prime Rib in San Francisco. The menu has… prime rib… that’s just about it. I think there’s a fish entree (maybe available only during lent) and potentially a vegetarian meal. They choose one thing and do it well.

  8. good work sir… the deals are out there if you know where to find them, also your not having read the fine print led you to the most powerful tool for getting what you want – asking for it.

    There a Japanese steakhouse – Kobe’s Steakhouse – in Atlanta. We had a rare bad experience several years ago and commented to the GM on the way out. No big deal really. Now once or twice a year we get a buy 1 get one free hand written invitation from the restuarant and we ALWAYS go when it comes in the mail.

    A small thing we did – like you in asking – led to a win-win for everyone involved.

  9. My wife and I found a similar coupon and were all set to make reservations for V day at Black Angus and they number was routed to some ladies private cell phone. I thought maybe the restaurant was closed down, so I continued to call and the same voice mail message would play. I guess Black Angus didn’t want our business. We just grabbed a pizza and brought it home. A very frugal V day :)