There’s a coupon floating around for Restaurants.com that gives you 80% off their coupons (making $25 gift certificates only $2). I got a few but now that I’m doing the math without the huge discount these gift certificates are basically worthless.
Take for example a $25 gift certificate to Cactus Bar and Grill. Without the 80% off you pay $10 and have to rack up a bill of $50 and then have 18% gratuity and 11.25% tax added on to that pre-discounted tab.
Say you the tip is applied pre-tax so it’s just $9. The tax would be about $5.63 so the total amount owed before you apply your $25 gift cert is $64.63. Knock off that $25 and you owe ~$40 but you’ve already spent $10 to get the gift certificate so you’re back to the original $50.
You only saved tax and tip.