How to Save Up to 40% When Eating Out!

Wine is $16 a glass?

I love eating out at the trendiest restaurants, but admittedly it can get very expensive to do so. I normally use my American Express Gold card so I can get at least 6.8% back on any restaurant purchases, but even then eating out is still costly. I mean, when did restaurants start charging so much for a glass of wine? Drinking a whole bottle at home for the same price sounds more appealing to me….

You’re in Luck

If you live in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, or Atlanta (or if you are visiting one of these cities) then here’s a way for you to save a bunch of money.

There’s an app called Seated, which functions as a reservation platform for restaurants. After creating an account and selecting a city, all you do is select a party size and a time for the place you would like to eat. A member from the Seated team makes the reservation for you, after which you will receive a confirmation. At the end of your meal, take a photo of your receipt, and you’ll earn anyway from 2 - 35% back on your meal cost!

Sound crazy? Yeah, I was skeptical too. But seriously, it is that easy.

Let’s walk through an example. Below is the main app screen for Boston, showing two different restaurants. There are a lot more restaurants available in the app - 64 to be exact - but naturally I can’t fit all of them in one screenshot.

Main Seated App Screen

Main Seated App Screen

Let’s say I booked a 7pm reservation at Tiki Rock. I would get a confirmation in the app soon afterwards. Once I finish my meal, all I have to do is take a picture of the final check in the app. Within 24 hours, I would get 19% of my meal price back.

Restaurants vary in terms of the percentage back they give, and the same restaurant can also have different percentages depending on how busy the establishment is.

No Cash back from this meal, but still very tasty (Madrid, Spain 2019  ©  JOEL ANG PHOTOGRAPHY)

No Cash back from this meal, but still very tasty (Madrid, Spain 2019 © JOEL ANG PHOTOGRAPHY)

How You Get Paid

In Seated, you get paid within their store, which allows you to redeem a variety of gift cards. Merchants include Airbnb, Uber, Amazon, and Target amongst many others. Here is a screenshot of the rewards I have earned so far. For minimal effort, I would say a $422 return is pretty good!

How I redeemed my rewards on Seated

How I redeemed my rewards on Seated

A Few Tips

One of the great things about Seated is you can earn credit card points on top of the money you earn from the app, just like when using Drop. So if you use the American Express Gold card to pay for your meal you will earn an additional 6.8% back, or 5.1% back with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

In the past, I have booked restaurants on Seated that were offering a staggering 35% back. Since I paid with my American Express Gold, in total I earned 41.8% (35% + 6.8%) back on the price I paid for my food! While this high of a percentage is rare, I would say 15-20% is pretty normal on Seated.

One other tip - if you happen to be a resident who is in charge of booking rep dinners for your attendings and co-residents, book a restaurant on the app! The rep will be paying for the meal anyway, but you can simply just take a picture of the receipt and earn money! This also works if you are in charge of booking reservations for large groups. As long as you can get a copy of the final bill, you are all set to go.

I may have made some money off my residency team 😂 (2019  ©  Dr. Adam Landsman)

I may have made some money off my residency team 😂 (2019 © Dr. Adam Landsman)

Sign Up

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Seated. If you use my referral code JOEL186 when signing up, you can also get an additional $5 for free in your account! If you prefer not to use my code, I promise not to be offended.

And in case you are wondering, I am not sponsored in anyway by Seated.