Top 10 Restaurant Deals of 2019

EatDrinkDeals today released its Top 10 list of the Best Restaurant and Fast Food Deals of 2019, celebrating a year of BOGOs, free restaurant deliveries, $1 cocktails, and casual dining specials.

The number 1 restaurant / fast food deal of 2019 goes to Burger King for the dozens of deals it provides every day in the BK app.   Other top deals for 2019 include free restaurant delivery and ongoing specials at Applebee’s, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, TGI Fridays, Papa John’s and Outback Steakhouse.

Although 2019 was a great year for dining deals, the staff of EatDrinkDeals had no trouble picking Burger King’s App Coupons as EatDrinkDeals’  Number One Deal of 2019.  Here is our complete list of the Top 10 Restaurant and Fast Food Deals of 2019.

  1. Burger King App coupons, with honorable mention to Wendy’s, Del Taco and Dairy Queen
  2. Free Restaurant Delivery
  3. Olive Garden $5 take home
  4. Red Lobster weekday deals
  5. TGI Fridays weekday deals
  6. Papa Johns promo codes
  7. Applebee’s $1 drink of the month
  8. Bloomin’ Monday at Outback
  9. Veterans Day Free Meals
  10. Happy Hour Specials

All the details follow below.

EatDrinkDeals Top 10 Deals

Number 1 Dining Deal of 2019: Burger King Coupons

Every day in 2019 you could bring up the Burger King App and choose from dozens of coupons.  Typical deals are:

  • Whopper BOGO: Buy one Whopper at regular price and get another at no charge.
  • Double Whopper for $3
  • $7 Taste Test Bundle:  1 Impossible Whopper plus 1 traditional Whopper
  • Free 4 pc Chicken Nuggets with any purchase.

Those are just a few of the BK deals.  You can find the complete list of current BK coupons in our ongoing EatDrinkDeals Burger King Specials Article

Other fast food chains also had app coupons during 2019, though none were as generous as BK’s.  Wendy’s usually has app coupons for $2 off a salad or free fries with any mobile order.  Del Taco often has a free taco or tostada with a $3 purchase.  Dairy Queen often has $1 Ice Cream and $1 Misty drinks, and discounts on Blizzards.  The biggest fast food chain, McDonald’s, also has app coupons but in 2019 McDonald’s reduced their app offers to a few minor deals.

No. 2: Free Restaurant Delivery

2019 was a breakout year for restaurant delivery.   By the end of 2019, nearly all the major restaurant chains were offering delivery, either through their own private service or from a partner like DoorDash or Grubhub.  Delivery usually costs an additional $5 to $8 but in 2019 we frequently found free delivery deals from major chains.  EatDrinkDeals tracks current free and discounted restaurant delivery deals in our Restaurant Delivery Deals roundup.

No. 3: Olive Garden $5 Take Home

In 2019 Olive Garden began offering a $5 take home deal.  With this special, dine in on one entree then you can take home up to five more entrees for just $5 each.  Take home entrees include lasagna, fettuccine alfredo and spaghetti. For all the details see our Olive Garden Specials Article.  Honorable mention for similar take home deals goes to Maggiano’s Little Italy and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

No. 4: Red Lobster Weekday Win

In 2019 Red Lobster introduced a Weekday Win menu with Endless Shrimp and seafood feasts for $15.  Guests who visit their local Red Lobster restaurant Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. can take advantage of these Weekday Win Specials:

No. 5: TGI Fridays Weekday Deals

TGI Fridays in 2019 introduced weekday specials including $5 burgers and $7.99 Big Ribs.  The TGI Fridays Weekday Specials for 2019 were:

  • Monday:  Cajun Shrimp and Chicken Pasta, $5.99 for a lunch portion or $8.99 for a full portion
  • Tuesday: $5 Cheeseburger and Fries
  • Wednesday: $5 Chicken Sandwich and Fries
  • Thursday: Big Ribs with seasoned fries and coleslaw, $7.99 for a half-rack, $12.99 for a full rack of ribs
  • Friday: $12 Endless Appetizers all day. 

For more details see our TGI Fridays Specials Article.

No. 6: Papa John’s Promos

Papa John’s Pizza offered generous promo codes throughout the year in 2019.  Current promos (as of December 31, 2019) include a large 1-topping carryout pizza for $6.99, two medium two-topping pizzas for $5.99 each, and a large Specialty pizza for $9.99. For all the details see our  Papa John’s Promo Codes Article.  Honorable mention goes to Domino’s and Pizza Hut which had week-long half-price specials several times during the year.

No. 7: Applebee’s $1 Cocktail

Every month in 2019 Applebee’s featured a drink of the month priced at $1 or $2.  Applebee’s drinks of the month included the Merry December, the $1 Vodka Cranberry Lemonade in November, the $1 Vampire in October, and $1 Adios in September.  For all the details see our  Applebee’s Specials Article.   Honorable mention goes to Chili’s for their $5 Margarita of the Month.

No. 8: Bloomin’ Monday at Outback

During NASCAR season Outback had free Bloomin’ Onions with any purchase at lunch or dinner on the Monday after their sponsored race car driver, Kevin Harvick, finished in the top 10.  The deal was good most weeks during NASCAR season, which is February through November.  We’re expecting to see the deal return when NASCAR season starts on February 9, 2020.  For all the details on this and other Outback deals see our Outback Specials Article.  Honorable mention goes to Hooters which offers free fried pickles or a boneless wings BOGO when their sponsored driver is in the top 10.

No. 9: Veterans Day Free Meals

Millions of veterans were treated to a free meal on Veterans Day (November 11, 2019) at many chain restaurants.  Applebee’s, Golden Corral,  Chili’s, McCormick & Schmick’s, and Olive Garden in particular deserve recognition for free entrees for vets.  What a great way to honor our vets, with a welcoming atmosphere and a free entree.  We provide a roundup of Veterans Day deals every year; for the 2019 version, see our story, 2019 Veterans Day Free Meals and Deals.

No. 10: Happy Hour Specials

Most chain restaurants continued to offer generous Happy Hour specials in 2019.  Examples include Cod Sliders for $6 at Bonefish Grill; Shrimp Scampi or Calamari for $6 at Carrabba’s; a California Roll at P.F. Chang’s for $6;  and a $10 Prime Burger at Fleming’s Steakhouse.  You can enjoy these deals and dozens of others by taking advantage of Happy Hour.  The Top 10 Happy Hour deals are listed in our story, Best Happy Hours of 2019.

That’s the EatDrinkDeals Top 10 list; other notable dining out deals during the year were:

  • Restaurant Week.  This annual event at many major cities allows you to visit the finest restaurants for a special price, usually around $20 for lunch and $30 for dinner.  2020 looks to be an even bigger year for Restaurant Week.  EatDrinkDeals has links to 70 restaurant week events across the country in our story, Restaurant Week 2020 Dates
  • Game Day deals. Many chain restaurants and sports bars offer Game Day Deals such as BOGOs on wings, discounted drinks.  Examples include $5 pitchers at Buffalo Wild Wings and $5 Bar Bites and Dave & Buster’s.  For all the current Game Day specials see our  Game Day Deals roundup.
  • All you can eat deals.  Endless shrimp, pasta, and other all you can eat deals were regular promotions offered during the year at several chains.  Applebee’s currently has endless shrimp, riblets and boneless wings.  Olive Garden had endless pasta in September – November.  IHOP had endless pancakes in January – February.  Red Lobster offered Endless Shrimp in September-November.  Outback also offered endless shrimp in September – November. TGI Fridays offers endless appetizers.  And of course every day you can enjoy all you can eat from the buffet at Cici’s and Golden Corral.

That’s it for 2019.  Here’s hoping that 2020 brings even better EatDrinkDeals.

Want great restaurant deals like these sent straight to your inbox?  Click here to sign up for our EatDrinkDeals newsletter!