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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:45 PM

If you get a Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Papa John's, Chick-Fil-et Gift Card what will U do with it?

EVERY year we get the same gift from my partner's sister and his parents. Gift cards for Olive Garden (Darden Restaraunts). We've never used them--we've always given them away to some of our poorer friends. (we didn't give them as gifts--one friend got robbed so we gave them several pizza hut gift cards--knowing it would save them some money while they saved up to replace their computer and tv).

In year's past we just weren't so keen on chain restaurants. Now there are political reasons to not use some of these chains. So we just had this discussion at home about the Darden gift cards. Not using them means they just get to keep the money...but we also really hate the idea of sending our friends there knowing they might spend more money than just the gift cards at Darden. We also don't want to make our friends fans of restaurants that politically make me pretty danged mad.

So we've decided what we are doing with our Darden gift cards this year. We are going to go eat at a nearby restaurant and give the cards to homeless people in the neighborhood. Some very poor people will get to eat and the restaurant is going to get business from people that they don't want returning so there is not desired repeat customer scenario happening.

We worry that Olive Garden will refuse service but we can't think of a better thing to do with the gift cards.

Any suggestions?

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Reply If you get a Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Papa John's, Chick-Fil-et Gift Card what will U do with it? (Original post)
DonRedwood Dec 2012 OP
JI7 Dec 2012 #1
DonRedwood Dec 2012 #4
JI7 Dec 2012 #18
StopTheNeoCons Dec 2012 #29
marybourg Dec 2012 #12
mr_hat Dec 2012 #2
MiniMe Dec 2012 #3
RC Dec 2012 #7
DonRedwood Dec 2012 #13
RC Dec 2012 #44
Fawke Em Dec 2012 #45
RC Dec 2012 #54
JI7 Dec 2012 #21
demosincebirth Dec 2012 #42
lonestarnot Dec 2012 #5
Shivering Jemmy Dec 2012 #6
DonRedwood Dec 2012 #19
hlthe2b Dec 2012 #8
DonRedwood Dec 2012 #14
Fawke Em Dec 2012 #46
Science Geek Dec 2012 #9
antigone382 Dec 2012 #11
DonRedwood Dec 2012 #17
DonRedwood Dec 2012 #15
JI7 Dec 2012 #22
AlexSatan Dec 2012 #39
JI7 Dec 2012 #41
AlexSatan Dec 2012 #48
bemildred Dec 2012 #10
KG Dec 2012 #16
customerserviceguy Dec 2012 #35
DollarBillHines Dec 2012 #20
Lightbulb_on Dec 2012 #23
jackbenimble Dec 2012 #24
name not needed Dec 2012 #25
EX500rider Dec 2012 #37
muntrv Dec 2012 #26
Agschmid Dec 2012 #27
Ruby the Liberal Dec 2012 #28
southernyankeebelle Dec 2012 #30
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #31
REP Dec 2012 #32
Systematic Chaos Dec 2012 #33
ibegurpard Dec 2012 #34
slackmaster Dec 2012 #36
OldHippieChick Dec 2012 #38
mzteaze Dec 2012 #40
brokechris Dec 2012 #43
kentauros Dec 2012 #47
JPZenger Dec 2012 #49
brooklynite Dec 2012 #50
darkangel218 Dec 2012 #51
rainin Dec 2012 #52
Enrique Dec 2012 #53

Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:49 PM

1. you can just use them yourself also and not pay more than the card is worth

the only extra you spend would be tip.

whatever you do i think they should be used since they are already paid for.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:53 PM

4. we never use them!

I'm on a really strict diet--we just skip chain restaurants all-together. It used to be easy to give them away but now I don't want my friends eating there either!

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Response to DonRedwood (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:37 PM

18. then the idea of giving it to homeless people works

do you ever have get together and provide snacks ? you can maybe use them for appetizers or something.

i don't know if they have expiration dates where you are. at least in california i don't think gift cards can have expiration dates.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:28 PM

29. Yes, I will give them to the homeless...nt

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Response to JI7 (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:16 PM

12. You can sell it on Cardpool.com

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:52 PM

2. Sure. Give it to a homeless person. n/t

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:53 PM

3. The card is already paid for, so the chains would make money from you not using them

Give them away if you want, but they should be used by somebody.

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Response to MiniMe (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:59 PM

7. I think you just ruined someone's fun.

 

No one is thinking of the people working there. They will be the first ones hurt from downsizing from lack of business.

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Response to RC (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:25 PM

13. Getting your hours cut to 29 is food stamp wages... I don't care to support a business

that would do that to their employees. People at my work qualify for food stamps--I see them wrapping up donuts and putting them away for later when I bring them in. I'm not going to willfully support a business that forces their employees to either quit or be poor or work a second job on the weekends just to eat.

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Response to DonRedwood (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:12 AM

44. Unemployment is better?

 

Do you really think most of those people would be working there if they had something better?

Things are not really so black and white for those in the inside, as they seem to the outside observers.

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Response to RC (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:18 AM

45. Wow! I didn't realize we were allowed to seriously quote Fox News here.

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Response to Fawke Em (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:42 AM

54. That is not Faux snoze

 

That is reality. No wonder this country is in such trouble.

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Response to RC (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:38 PM

21. an indie restaurant can open up and take it's place

and they can work there.

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Response to MiniMe (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:45 AM

42. I'll use mine. they got their money anyway.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:54 PM

5. send it to mittwitt.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:54 PM

6. I would use them

At least the Olive Garden one. I like their salads.

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Response to Shivering Jemmy (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:37 PM

19. we had three years worth stockpiled (christmas, birthday, birthday)

3 or 4 cards a year and never used them!

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 07:59 PM

8. Giving to a homeless person was my first thought as well...

I really don't know how they can refuse service without a real backlash, if they have the gift card. I know if I witnessed them refusing to serve a homeless person who clearly had means to pay, I'd walk out and I doubt I'd be alone--even in areas where they have a pretty RW clientele.

Other than that, i guess there are websites that will buy back gift cards, though not for face value. You could do this and then donate the proceeds to a food bank or similar.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:28 PM

14. yeah, we thought of that too...but then darden still gets a nice new customer from the deal

we want them to benefit the very least as possible.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned to ask family for a different gift card. My partner would KILL me if I did that!

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Response to DonRedwood (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:22 AM

46. Here's a thought: you said up-thread that you had to be on a strict

diet. If this diet is because of some health issue, then you can use that in your favor.

You can point out to your partner's family that you have to eat a certain way and could they honor that instead of giving you gift cards to places where you mustn't eat.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:05 PM

9. Go to Olive Garden,

Order a glass of water while perusing the menu, decide not to eat there and give the entire balance on the card as a tip to the waitperson who brought your water. That way, you are helping the very people that Darden mistreats.

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Response to Science Geek (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:09 PM

11. This is actually a really good idea.

The worker will get more bang for their buck (I think they get half price while working, and maybe 25% off when they're not on the clock, so they will make even less money off of it.

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Response to antigone382 (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:31 PM

17. And mathmatically sound!

If we can't find a homeless person in the neighborhood this is our next favorite idea (and the worst for darden's pocket book so far! That makes it a really great idea!)

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Response to Science Geek (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:28 PM

15. OOOOH!!! That is a very good idea!!!!

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Response to Science Geek (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:40 PM

22. are you sure that can be allowed ? since the cards are already paid for

they would see it as getting cash back or some other thing which they do not allow . check the rules first.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #22)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:46 PM

39. That is fine

 

I've never seen a restaurant that doesn't let you put a tip on the gift card.

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Response to AlexSatan (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:27 AM

41. well, then that seems like one of the better options than

at least you know that money will all go to the employee

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Response to JI7 (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:32 AM

48. I agree (nt)

 

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:05 PM

10. Another vote for nearest homeless person.

You want to make sure it gets spent.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:30 PM

16. mmmmm cheddar biscuits!!!

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Response to KG (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:43 PM

35. Marie Callender's

now has a cheese biscuit mix that you can buy at Dollar Tree (just picked one up this evening), hopefully it tastes as good as the ones at RL. Since their cornbread muffin mix is pretty good, I have hope!

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:38 PM

20. If we had any of those places...

I would give it to our Community Center - they know who needs them.

All of our restaurants are independently owned.

None of the restaurants you listed could survive here.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:41 PM

23. Mmmm.. Chicken sandwich...

 

Been on a bit of a bender recently...

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:16 PM

24. Homeless person or...

Or some other folks who might never get to have a meal out. Maybe give them to the local senior center. Older folks like to get their money's worth and maybe even a little change back.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:20 PM

25. Go to the Olive Garden and smoke while breastfeeding in public.

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Response to name not needed (Reply #25)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:27 PM

37. "Go to the Olive Garden and smoke while breastfeeding in public.."

Yeah but for that you would need a pitbull too...

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:24 PM

26. Give it to the homeless people.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:27 PM

27. You can always just go redeem the gift card...

Bring it to the restaurant and ask for your $$$ back, many states now require restaurants/retailers to do this when asked by the consumer.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:28 PM

28. Why don't you just gently suggest to the donors that you would

prefer something else?

I know not all families are open like this, but mine for years now has always asked "where would you like your gift certificates from" and done it that way (not as blunt or obvious, of course).

Before the internet, they would all call the local restaurant of choice to arrange sending a check for a gift certificate. Now, they are mostly all deceased, but I would assume the same process, but on websites for gift cards.

I know that isn't an answer to your question - just thought I would throw it out there.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:28 PM

30. Well I certainly wouldn't give them to a homeless person who may not be excepted in the place.

 

You could re-gift them to your mail person or your child's teacher or your newspaper person. Give it to a sales person you know that would appreciate the card. That is what I would do. I always get my grandkids 2 teachers cards from our local Applebee's. Believe me the teachers enjoy that very much.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:30 PM

31. Women's shelter or homeless. (edited)

 

If you go with homeless I would also suggest giving them a chance to clean up and possibly some clothes. I've done this before and it takes some effort in that you have to get to know the people you are helping, but you might be very surprised by these folks, I know I have been.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:31 PM

32. 2 ideas. 1. Order food to go; give it to a homeless person (include a hot drink!)

The homeless people I know wouldn't be comfortable going into an Olive Garden or Red Lobster (for many reasons) but would really really like a big meal from a "nice" place like that. Food that travels well (no refrigeration, not runny) is really appreciated, though a hot drink is usually a big hit.

Fast food gift cards are different; it's "sit down" places that my homeless acquaintances prefer to avoid.

2. Another idea: donate them to a shelter/other charity that can either use them or raffle them for cash.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:32 PM

33. Use the cards and tip your server about 2/3 of the total of the bill. It's a win-win!

Unless the service is just inexcusably poor, I guess. But how often does that really happen? I can count my experiences on one hand.

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Response to Systematic Chaos (Reply #33)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:35 PM

34. there ya go!

and be sure to tell the waitperson why!

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:53 PM

36. I'd give it to a homeless person

 

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:39 PM

38. The working poor come to our food pantry and would

LOVE to get a meal out. Most have families. I suggest looking for a local food pantry and asking the workers to give it to someone they know would/could use it. (Maybe even the workers there as they probably don't make much or are volunteers)

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:01 AM

40. Darden Foods

owns other upscale restaurants such as Seasons 52 and The Capital Grille. You could always use the gift cards there altho they have the Olive Garden logo or Red Lobster....all Darden gift cards can be used at ANY of their restaurants.

Otherwise, there are several websites that allow you to sell the cards or trade.

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)


Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:24 AM

47. Make an Olive Garden thread in Meta

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:36 AM

49. Give it to the smelliest homeless person you can find, along with bus fare to the restaurant

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:39 AM

50. I would probably unfriend anyone who gave me one for having such poor taste...

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:10 AM

51. How about sell the gift cards online, and give the money to a homeless person? nt

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:38 AM

52. I like the idea of feeding the homeless.

Buy the food and hand deliver it to the homeless person. That way they don't risk being refused service. Plus, they are risking running in to entitled jerks who look down on them and might make them feel uncomfortable.

You could go with the homeless person and eat together.

Lastly, do boycott these places. Just be sure to clearly send the message to the employer that you will not spend your money there until they change their practices. I understand that people are desperate for jobs and are afraid of losing them. If we don't fight them, they will continue to impoverish their workers in new and sickening ways. (Just wait... Walmart just announced that they are charging employees for parking in the company parking lot. Not true, but this type of thing is coming.)

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Response to DonRedwood (Original post)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:39 AM

53. give the Olive Garden one to your worst enemy

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