Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Two-for-One Meal Deals Oct 1 to 14

From October 1st to 14th, restaurants all over France will be offering special "buy one, get one free" three-course menus in the 9th annual Tous au Restaurant promotion.

Launched in 2010 by superstar chef Alain Ducasse, it's meant to encourage people to eat out: in mom-and-pop bistros, in top Michelin-starred restaurants and everything in between.


So what's the deal? Book online and order the special Tous au Restaurant menu and a second person at the table enjoys the same menu free. (Pas mal!, as the French would say, when something is very good indeed.) Participating restaurants can choose whether to offer the menus at lunch or dinner or both...and on which days at what times. In some cases there's no choice; you eat what the chef is serving. In many cases however, you have multiple choices for each course.  


Last year more than 200,000 people reserved tables to enjoy the promotion in 1500 restaurants. This year, an estimated 2000 restaurants are expected to take part. The booking site went live this morning and restaurants are still being added so if you don't see one you like, check back...but be aware that the most-popular places sell out quickly.

To get started, click here and choose your region or city from the drop down menu. (You might need to play around with it a bit. For example, for Provence you can choose Provence-Alpes-Cote-d'Azur where you'll find all the listings...or choose one of the specific cities that comes up. For Paris you can choose "Paris" or a specific arrondissement.)  Then, click the links to view the restaurants' special menu and prices.  You'll see that most restaurants also publish selections from their regular menu as a convenience...but the two-for-one Tous au Restaurant menu is clearly noted. Then, to see the available dates and times, click the green bar that says Reservez une Table. You'll be asked to choose your day, time and party size...and then be taken to another page to input your name, email, phone and any special requests. I assume they follow up with a confirmation of your booking by email. The site is only in French this year but it's fairly easy to figure out.


If you book and then need to cancel, you can do that through the site as well. If you reserve but don't show, you'll be blocked from making future bookings.

Organizers say the two-week festival is not designed to be a money-maker—many restaurants just break even--but rather to get people out discovering and enjoying. It’s a great opportunity to sample a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try...or to act like a big shot and treat your friends to a fancy meal. Bon Appétit!

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