5 Ways to Save Money at Fancy Bars & RestaurantsMoney The List
Dining out in general can get pricy — but at high-end restaurants, dollars add up quickly. So we met with bar manager Michael Liberatore at The Gladly in Phoenix, Arizona, who shared secrets to saving money at schmancy restaurants.
1. Sharing is Caring
First, a little sharing goes a long way. “Don't hesitate to ask for someone to split something,” says Michael. “Odds are you're probably going to get a couple more sides out of it if they're putting it on two plates for you.” Mmm, more sides? Now that’s a hack we can sink our teeth into!
2. Check Out the Specials
Next, get more bang for your buck and food on your plate with the daily specials. “They're priced a little less than our regular entree features, and you're tending to get a little more out of it, especially with an appetizer feature,” Michael reveals. “You could be looking at a pretty nice plate of food.” That certainly sounds nice to us!
3. Save More During Lunchtime
Next, lunch is the new dinner and it's serving up savings. “With lunch, you're coming in and grabbing a quick bite with a smaller portion size that probably has a reduced price,” Michael shares. “Also, you're probably not gonna be having a glass of wine or a couple cocktails, so it can literally be all about the food experience right there.” But what if you do want an afternoon drink? “Some places do happy hour, specifically for lunch,” Michael adds. “If you did want to grab a drink, there's always an option for that.” Cheers to that!
You can also try hitting the fancier spots to look for savings in prix fixe lunches. “You can get a three-course meal during lunch for a substantially reduced price,” shares Michael. “So you're getting a full-sized entree, a chopped salad, and a dessert of your choice for around the tune of about half of that of a normal bill.”
4. Buy the Bottle, Not by the Glass
Finally, buy the bottle – not the glass! “If you're thinking of having more than a glass of wine, [or] if you're there with a couple friends – the smarter investment would be to go ahead and buy a bottle of wine,” Michael insists. “A lot of places […] tend to price a bottle to where it's a couple dollars less than […] ordering four glasses of that wine.”
5. Score More Booze at the Bar
Michael has a few more tips for scoring more booze for your buck at the bar. For example, if you’re ordering a bourbon, Michael explains why you should for a bourbon “up” instead of a double: “If you wanna get the most out of your money for a drink, […] doing a double – it sounds great, but it might not be the best investment. You can start by ordering a rocks pour neat and asking for it up. So you can get a rocks pour ‘neat’, no ice in there – two ounces let's say, and you can ask for that up. If you don't want it stirred, you can have that ‘up’ pour poured into a ‘neat’ glass, and get a couple more ounces.” We’ll always toast to a heavy pour of liquor!