If there are four words that sum up the American dining ethos in one fell swoop, they would be "all you can eat." The unalienable right to eat until we burst is, at this point, engrained into our DNA as Americans, and heaven forbid you try to take our plates away before we’re finished. Thankfully, lots of chain restaurants have gotten in on the action, and will keep serving you food (or let you return to the buffet or salad bar) until you say when. From unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks to more than 20 varieties of unlimited pizza, we’ve rounded up 11 of the top chain all-you-can-eat deals.
The 11 Best Chain Restaurant All-You-Can-Eat Deals (Slideshow)
The buffet as we know it actually started centuries ago as a way for families to display their wealth and ability to put lots of food on the table, and they didn’t become restaurant fixtures until the 1940s, when Las Vegas impresario Herb McDonald introduced the concept. The idea spread throughout Vegas like wildfire, and by the 1960s buffets had made their way across America. The "unlimited free food refills" brought to your table concept caught on soon after that, and by the 1990s the "all-you-can-eat" concept got a slight rebranding, as some establishments, looking to lessen the gluttony aspect of the approach, have re-dubbed it "all you care to eat." Ah, marketing.
There must be certain psychological reasons why we’re drawn toward all-you-can-eat deals at restaurants. For one, it gives us back a sense of control, which we more or less lose when a restaurant tells us that we’ve eaten enough. It also makes us feel like we’re getting a good deal, which may or may not be the case (in some cases it’s obvious; in others we usually feel the need to eat more in order to "get our money’s worth"). But any way you slice it, getting an all-you-can-eat deal makes us feel like kings and queens, able to summon more food upon command, as much as we want. And while we might be paying for it later, it makes us feel pretty good and powerful in the moment.
In order to rank these deals, we focused on not only the selection of food served, but also the value you’re receiving for your money and the length of availability. But should you decide to take any of these chains up on their offer, remember the one cardinal rule of all-you-can-eat dining: don’t fill up on the bread.
The 7 Best All You Can Eat Deals In NYC
You don't have to wait for a cruise to Barbados with your Aunt Dolores to satisfy your lust for "All-you-can-eat" style dining there are plenty of gluttonous, no-limits feedbag-strapping opportunities on offer right here in NYC. From classy steakhouses to country barbecue joints, carb bombs to finger-licking crab boils, New York has unlimited options for every kind of palate, and sometimes at wallet-friendly prices, too. (And if bottomless booze is more your style, we've got you covered there too.)
Scroll through our favorites here then leave your epic eating adventures in the comments.
Texas de Brazil (courtesy of the restaurant)
TEXAS DE BRAZIL: Of the city's growing Brazilian steakhouse additions, this Upper East Side newcomer wins hands down with the absolute best bang for your buck of unlimited meats. Fork over $59.99 and you'll be swarmed with waiters bearing succulent steaks and other meats skewered by massive swords, as tradition dictates. Of those, keep your eyes open for the perfectly medium-rare bacon-wrapped filet mignon and their signature picanha (top sirloin), sliced thinly and bursting with juicy flavor.
The flat fee also gives you access to their ample salad bar, stocked with a variety of cheeses, meats, veggies, sushi and other cold items plus a hot bar that includes rice, beans, potatoes and other hot items. Oh, and just try not to fill up on their addictive cheesy bread, which they'll deliver to your table when you order.
Unlike the circus-like atmosphere of many churrascarias, Texas de Brazil's handsome interior boasts decor less like a cruise ship buffet and more like an intimate steakhouse. It's a safe place to take a date, especially if they can really put it away.
Texas de Brazil is located at 1011 3rd Avenue, (212) 537-0060
Chinatown East (via Yelp)
CHINATOWN EAST: It's definitely not Jiro-approved but this Upper East Side Japanese/Chinese hybrid offers a $33 all you can eat sushi deal that turns out better-than-average rolls—and not just the dinky California variety. All the rolls, including pricey offerings like the Special King Crab Roll (spicy king crab with crunch, cucumber, topped with white tuna and avocado) and the Alligator Roll (salmon, avocado and crunch inside topped with eel) are fair game too plus you get miso soup and salad, should you so desire. The deal also includes unlimited beer, wine and sake, which pleases the young, boisterous crowds that pack in on weekend nights. If you'd prefer to eat without chants of "Sake bomb!" aim for an early dinner or a weeknight.
Chinatown East is located at 1650 3rd Avenue, (212) 987-3500
Brother Jimmy's (via Yelp)
BROTHER JIMMY'S: Cool bros across the city flock to one of these bbq outposts for SEC games and cheap cans of Natty Light. But for the gluttonous, try out the chain's unlimited ribs deals, offered on Sundays. Try out any flavor of pork ribs or get a combination plate that includes all three. You can also choose two sides—think mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and coleslaw— plus cornbread and pickles on the plate. The deal goes for $27.95 at the 8th Avenue and Murray Hill locations and $22.95 at the West Side and Original outposts and also includes unlimited draft Bud and Bud Light.
Brother Jimmy's has multiple locations in Manhattan.
Brick Lane Curry House (via Yelp)
BRICK LANE CURRY HOUSE: Two of the three Manhattan locations of this popular Indian chain offer a lunch buffet seven days a week starting at noon. $10 ($11.99 at the UES location) gets you unlimited scoops of chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken and a rotating selection of other flavorful curry dishes. Rice and naan are also included for sopping up sauce and scooping up the proteins, plus chutneys and sauces for additional flavor. There's no killer phaal curry on the deal, so stop by for dinner if you want to burn your insides.
Brick Lane Curry House is located in the East Village (306-308 E 6th Street, (212) 979-2900) and the Upper East Side (1664 3rd Avenue, (646) 998-4440)
Fish (via Yelp)
FISH: Every day from noon until 4 p.m., this West Village eatery steams up pots and pots of Maryland blue crabs and offers them up for $24.95. Crack and suck as many of the critters as you can, making sure to get lots of delectable Old Bay seasoning on the little bits of meat. It takes a little practice to expertly get all the crab meat from the shells, so bone up on techniques before you stop by for lunch.
The only offer this special when the crabs are biting (around late March or early April) so make sure to call in advance to see if they have the catch.
Fish is located at 280 Bleecker Street, (212) 727-2879
Becco (via Yelp)
BECCO: She's busier with a little Flatiron food court these days, but Lidia Bastianich's lovely Restaurant Row eatery still draws crowds with it's flavorful Italian fare and budget-friendly $25 wine list. Carb fanatics know to order the Sinfonia di Paste ($22.95), which includes unlimited table side service of Chef William Gallagher's three daily pastas. Marinara, clam sauce, stuffed ravioli, cheese-covered gnocchi and other tasty pasta preparations have been part of the lineup. Plus, all the noodles are handmade and have that nice chewy texture not found in their dried counter parts. The meal also includes either Insalata Cesare or an Antipasto Misto to balance out the doughy gut bombs.
Becco is located at 355 W 46th Street, (212) 397-7597
BXL (via Yelp)
BXL: If you've got a Jackson-faced bill, you can dine on as many succulent mussels as you can fit down your gullet at any of this Belgian chainlet's three locations. On Sunday and Monday evenings, $20 buys you unlimited moules frites in a fragrant wine broth. The first order comes with two pounds of the suckers plus a basket of fries, bread for sopping up the broth and a Stella Artois to wash it all down.
BXL has three Manhattan locations: 50 West 22nd Street, 125 West 43rd Street and 210 East 51st Street
You might be thinking that Olive Garden is a very unconventional place to have a happy hour, but who cares? You do you. Stop in Monday through Friday from 3-6 pm to have your pick of any glass of wine or cocktail for only $5. If you're more of a beer person, don't stress, you can enjoy a glass for $4. Not to mention, some of your favorite Olive Garden dishes are offered for only $5.
You won't want to miss this happy hour, because some of your favorite starters and drinks are under $6. Choose from options like lettuce wraps, sushi plates, and dumplings, plus any cocktail, wine or beer. Stop by Monday through Friday from 3-6 pm to see for yourself.
Score Free Food on Your Birthday at These 24 Chain Restaurants
I love birthdays, and it's not just because of the presents and parties. It's mostly because I get to eat cake (on my birthday and for the next week) and I get free food. In the past, my parents would take me out to dinner, but now that I'm in college my parents aren't usually there to celebrate it with me.
Luckily, there are a bunch of chain restaurants all across the United States where I can get a ton of free food and drinks for my special day no matter where I am. To make it even better, some of these restaurants offer specials throughout the whole month and not just on the day of your birthday. If you want to make your special day/month even more special, check out these 24 chain restaurants that offer free food on your birthday.
#SpoonTip: Check out where to get free dessert on your birthday too, because sometimes cake is not enough.
11 Restaurants With Awesome Rewards Programs
If the barista at Starbucks greets you by name, the Panera cashier knows your order by heart, and Dunkin' practically pre-programs your daily latte, it's time to start making that loyal streak work for you. Many chain restaurants have rewards programs that give you free meals or drinks when you rack up enough points. For the places you frequent, it's silly not to take advantage. Here are the best places to get your freebie on.
Starbs recently revamped its rewards program, making it easier for members to claim small rewards instead of having to save up. For 25 stars, you can get a free espresso shot or dairy substitute if you're patient, you can get free merch or at-home coffee with 400 stars. Best of all: Members are the first to know about Starbucks' weekly happy hour deals.
Chick-fil-A's tiered membership program starts out awarding members 10 points for each dollar spent. As you move up the chain, Silver members can early 11 points per dollar and red members 12 points. While that doesn't seem like a huge difference in value, red members earn bigger prizes like tickets to the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame and Backstage Tour Tickets, too. All members get a birthday reward!
This April, Tim Hortons launched Tims Rewards in the U.S. The program is pretty straightforward: After every 7 purchases, you'll earn a reward. Pick from a free coffee, tea, or baked good.
Dunkin's rewards program gives members 5 points for every $1 spent, with bonus points available on special days. Once you earn 200 points, you'll get a free drink of any size.
If you can't get enough burrito bowls, you might as well start getting rewards for them. Chipotle Rewards launched in March with 10 points awarded for each $1 spent. When you hit 1,250 points&mdashperiodic bonuses will help you reach it faster&mdashyou'll earn a free entree.
Earn 10 points for every $1 spent at P.F. Chang's. At 2,000 points, you'll get a free entrée. To make it easier to claim that first reward, P.F. Chang's gives you 1,000 points when you first sign up.
With Papa Rewards, you earn 1 point for every $1 spent online or in store. With every 75 points earned you'll get a $10 Papa Dough certificate to put toward a pie (or bread, or wings).
Let's start with the grand prize: When you sign up for BJ's rewards program, you immediately get a coupon for a free Pizookie. After that, you'll earn 1 point for each $1 you spend on food or beverages at the restaurant. For each 100 points you earn, you'll get a $10 off coupon.
If your family or friends frequent Dave and Busters, it's worthwhile to sign up for their free rewards program. When you sign up, you'll get a free $10 game play card after that, you'll get the same amount each time you spend $100. You'll also receive monthly savings emails and updates on what's new.
When you join MyPanera, you automatically earn a free pastry or sweet from the bakery. How much you have to spend to get rewards is a little vague, but a ticker on your dashboard will show you how close you are to your next reward. "The frequency of visits, the volume, and type of purchases made" are factored in to your total, Panera's fine print states.
Outback's rewards program is rolled into a larger umbrella of restaurants that includes Carabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. To earn a reward, you have to visit any of the restaurants three times during a six month period. You'll then get 50 percent off your check on your next visit, though it's capped at $20 off ($40 off if you're eating at Fleming's). For families who eat out often, it's a pretty easy way to save some cash.
Krystal launches All-You-Can-Eat Krystals and Fries for $5.99
ATLANTA, June 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Krystal Company launched an incredible dine-in deal over Father’s Day weekend – the first of its kind in the hamburger QSR industry. The South’s favorite fast food is featuring All-You-Can-Eat original Krystal burgers and fries for $5.99 per person.
“Krystal was born during the Great Depression when people needed a fresh and filling meal at a price they could afford,” said Paul Macaluso, Krystal president and CEO. “We’re honoring Krystal’s heritage and generations of value-conscious customers who count on us to deliver on that original brand promise.”
“Krystal is nimble and innovative. We’re able to lean into this offer, because our small, square burgers taste better in multiples. We’re giving our customers more of what they crave at an unbelievable price point,” said Paul Macaluso, Krystal president and CEO.
The company has recently invested in improving the way it cooks this signature product, making it hotter and fresher, and invites customers to experience even more of this iconic flavor with an industry first, All-You-Can-Eat offer. The All-You-Can-Eat promotion was originally rolled out in Montgomery, Alabama, where the impact on sales was immediate, according to Macaluso.
“Since rolling out the new limited time offer, the overwhelming response from customers has been excitement and even disbelief at this great deal,” Macaluso said.
All-You-Can-Eat Krystals and Fries are served from 6 a.m. to closing at participating restaurants while supplies last. Krystal is also offering its new Sprite Slushies in Lemonade, Grape and Fruit Punch at a promotional price point of $1 at all restaurants until September 23 while supplies last.
The South’s oldest fast-food brand, Krystal was recently selected to USA Today’s Top-10 Best Regional Fast Food List.
All you can eat Stone Crab Claws $34.99!
Went to Ballyhoo for the first time over the weekend in Key Largo on Mile Marker 97.8. I'm not a big fan of Stone Crab, but everyone else was doing it at the table and figured I'd regret not going for the experience. Food came with a decent salad, side dish, drawn butter, mustard sauce and lemon wedges. The place was not bad, did not smell like seafood (ie fresh) and the claws were pretty darn good. They also throw in all you can eat snow crab legs for the price. Most patrons were eating something else so I figure the food must be pretty good.
Now, this might not be Joe's, and you may need to peel the claws yourself (they are pre cracked) but I thought it was pretty darn tasty and unbeatable for the price. Also the servers kept them coming relentlessly for the duration of the meal. Just thought I'd remind everyone we're in season. If you're in the mood for a delicious and messy meal, it might be worth taking a look.
Family time at Chili's is better with Kids Eat Free rewards
Looking for a great family night out, but don't want to break the bank? You've come to the right place. At Chili's, My Chili's Rewards loyalty members can receive emails and texts for a free kids meal for children 12 and under with the purchase of any regular entree. Kids have the option of choosing from a variety of options including Pepper Pals Cheese Burger Bites, Pepper Pals Cheese Quesadilla, Pepper Pals Cheese Pizza, Pepper Pals Grilled Chicken Dippers and more.
Which Fast Food Chain Gives You The Most Fries?
Everyone knows that fries are the best part of going out for burgers or fried chicken. And while the fight for which chain has the best fries will rage on forever, there's one indisputable fact that we wanted to figure out: Which fast-food spot gives you the most per order?
To truly put these restaurants to the test, we ordered a medium fry at each restaurant, counted up the fries in each carton, and then factored in the price of each order. What we found was pretty surprising. Here are each of the brands ranked from least to most spuds per order.
And, if you're more of a more-is-more person, we also investigated the major chains' large fries. To see how those stacked up, check out the video above.
Chick-fil-A: 20 fries
These waffle-cut wonders are pretty sizeable, but you still get less than two dozen. That's kind of a bummer when you're paying $2.29.
Arby's: 33 fries
Curly fries are amazing when you're craving them, but a medium order (which set us back $2.39) isn't super-plentiful. That being said, one or two of the individual corkscrews could have accounted for at least two or three standard fries. Even then, though, it wasn't enough to score higher.
Steak 'n Shake: 36 fries
The super-skinny shoestring fries were slightly sparser than we were expecting&mdashespecially when compared to other chain's offerings, like the piled-high triple steakburger. At $2.49, we weren't as sold on it.
Burger King: 36 fries
BK cuts its fries thicker than average, but three dozen in a medium ($2.59) isn't all that much once you know how much the other places are packing.
Shake Shack: 38 fries
The beloved crinkle-cut spuds come in that open-top rectangular tray, which makes it looks like there's more inside. It's a little disappointing, since they set you back $2.99.
Popeye's: 51 fries
Seasoned and crispy, the "regular" box of Popeye's cajun fries is pretty full. And for $2.09, they might be the best deal around.
Wendy's: 56 fries
These coarse-cut fries fill the medium carton&mdashwhich set us back $2.19&mdashpretty well. We can't complain here.
McDonald's: 76 fries
The fries at Mickey D's are pretty standard&mdashthey're not thick-cut and they're not shoestring, they're in between. Because of that, more fries can fit inside the medium carton ($2.19). And that's exactly how we like it.
Smashburger: 91 fries
Unlike its shoestring fry competitors, Smashburger piles its orders high with nearly 100 fries. We were also pleased with the $2.29 price tag on its "regular" size.
Five Guys: 98 fries
By a landslide, Five Guys wins this competition. Not only are its fries fairly course cut, you get an entire "regular" size cup overflowing with fries and an extra couple handfuls thrown into the bag on top of that. They'll set you back $4.29 but since they're double the average order at spots like Wendy's and McD's, we'd argue it's well worth it.
Your restaurant is calling out for you.
With these 25 marketing ideas, nothing can stop you from dominating your market. One important thing you have to do is build a marketing funnel for your restaurant website and landing page.
This funnel will give you the opportunity to cater to every customer as soon as they visit your website – regardless of the stage they’re in the customer buying cycle.
From the early stage of awareness, down to the bottom of the funnel where they eventually orders from your restaurant or visits in person, you need to understand, educate, and inspire them with useful content.
Which of these restaurant marketing ideas have you executed? Share your opinion.