Maximizing Savings: Which Item Gets Discounted as the Free Entree on the Bill?

When dining out with a family, it’s always a good idea to look for ways to save money. One common method is using coupons, such as a “buy one entree, get one free” deal. But when the bill comes, which item gets discounted as the free entree? This question can lead to confusion and even disappointment if not handled correctly. In this article, we’ll explore how restaurants typically apply these discounts and how you can maximize your savings.

Understanding the “Buy One, Get One Free” Deal

Most restaurants apply the “buy one, get one free” (BOGO) deal to the least expensive item on the bill. This means that if two adults order dinner entrees priced at and , and a child orders a burger for , the burger would be the item discounted as the free entree. This is because it is the least expensive item that qualifies for the deal.

Why Do Restaurants Apply the Discount This Way?

Restaurants apply the discount to the least expensive item to maximize their profits. By giving away the cheapest item, they ensure that they still make a significant amount of money from the more expensive items. This is a common practice in many industries, not just the restaurant business.

How Can You Maximize Your Savings?

Knowing how restaurants apply these discounts can help you maximize your savings. Here are a few strategies:

  • Order items of similar price: If the items you order are similarly priced, it won’t matter which one gets discounted. For example, if two adults order entrees priced at and , and the child orders a burger for , the difference between the discounted items will be minimal.

  • Use the coupon on a separate bill: If the restaurant allows, you could ask for separate bills and use the coupon on the bill with the most expensive items. This way, you can ensure that the most expensive item gets discounted.

  • Ask the restaurant: If you’re unsure how the discount will be applied, don’t hesitate to ask the restaurant staff. They should be able to explain their policy and help you make the most of your coupon.


While it’s common for restaurants to apply the “buy one, get one free” discount to the least expensive item, understanding this practice can help you maximize your savings. By ordering strategically or asking the restaurant about their policy, you can ensure that you get the best possible deal.