Want to eat at charming, good-quality restaurants for half price?
We'll let you in on the secret: savvy diners save £100s a year by going out for dinner at 'soft launches'.
What is a soft launch?
A soft launch is where a new restaurant or part of a restaurant chain offers special discounts when they first open up. This is to encourage customers to try their new service.
What are the benefits:
- It saves you A FORTUNE. If you love to dine out, you'll know it's a treat that can quickly add up - but with soft launches, there are regular deals that knock 25% to 50% off the standard price, plus you'll get to try new, fancy restaurants.
- Be in-the-know first. These are brand new restaurants. Bask in the glory of having been one of the first visitors
- You'll get to try new things - and might discover a new favourite. It can be easy to get stuck in the same routine, visiting the same tried-and-tested chain restaurant again and again.
Where to find soft launches:
There are loads of restaurants offering soft launch deals - you can find out about them by following websites like:
- Soft Launch London - current deals include 25% off food at Pepitos and 50% off food at SOW
- London On The Inside - current deals include 50% off food at Ooty Station on Baker Street and 50% off food at Pachamama East
- Hot Dinners - 50% set menu dinner at Cantina Laredo in Covent Garden and free Champagne at Kanishka in Mayfair
We struggled to find any websites with the same concept outside of London, but the following have dining deals that are just as tempting:
- Manchester Confidential - current deals include £25 bill for £12.50 at Banyan Spinningfields and £50 bill for £25 at Cibo
- Restaurants of Liverpool - current deals include 50% off a la carte at Wheeler's of St James's and a complimentary bottle of wine at The Smugglers Cove
- We'd also recommend checking daily deal sites like Groupon, Wowcher and Itison (Scotland and the north of England) for regional dining deals - many new restaurants use group-buying sites to launch while existing restaurants offer deals like this to fill their quieter periods.
How much can I expect to save?
It depends how often you eat out at the moment and how often you plan to eat at soft launches, but this couple from London claim to save £600 a year.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.