Mark Your Gift Cards and Coupons

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When using coupons or gift cards in restaurants, I've discovered that it is very easy for the server to become confused, as to the ownership of these items. Make it a point to mark them with something that catches the eye, like the first initial of your last name circled in red, info marked in indelible ink, or a piece of masking tape indicating the dollar value left and your first name.


I've had a waiter tell me that my gift card had only $2 left, when I knew it was much more (my initials were on the card and the waiter managed to find it after much disgruntled effort), and one tell me that my coupon wasn't the big one, but a smaller dollar amount off, or that I never gave them the coupon in the first place.

By marking them, your misplaced property is more easily identified and the waiter is less accusatory. Since I've been marking them, there is less of a problem.

I once had a waitress make a scene, and that image has stayed with me a long time. She managed to 'find' my coupon (which she'd given to another party that had left. There it was, my coupon stapled to their bill), but we didn't need to go through this type of public disturbance.


Yes, she was probably overworked, underpaid and stressed out. She had my sympathies. But marking these items makes the meal out run much smoother.

By Holly from Dallas, TX

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February 18, 20100 found this helpful

I love this idea, thanks for sharing!

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February 18, 20100 found this helpful

What a good idea! Most of the time, it probablly is that the wait staff is working hard, not purposely misplacing your things. This idea helps them and you.

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February 18, 20100 found this helpful

Luckily, this hasn't happened to me. Thank you for alerting us all to this possibility happening with a suggestion for avoiding (lessening?) the chances of its occurring.

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November 8, 20120 found this helpful

Good idea, thanks! We experienced a similiar problem when paying the restaurant bill. My husband always gives them the exact coin change and if he has the exact dollar amount he does that also, But this particular time,the waitress put the big bill in the register drawer and when he waited for his change, she claimed he didn't get any back.


Lesson learned was that you watch them or request them to lay the bills out while they make change. We stopped going to this restaurant and never have returned because of a dishonest waitress (We recently learned she had been arrested for stealing).

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