Food & Drink

How you can get paid to eat out at your favourite restaurants

Posted by
Gary Ogden
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Here's how to get paid to eat out at posh restaurants

Ugh, paying for food, what a chore, what an unreasonable, debilitating social construct. I don’t want to do it anymore - I want to get all my food for free, because I deserve it - I should not have to spend my hard-earned cash on sustenance, I should be given it, free of charge. 

Thankfully, there are actually ways of doing this that don’t involve peeling a flat badger off the A329M and frying it with some dandelions. There are much better, far less dangerous ways of nabbing your vital meals for free (and you can still continue to purposefully hit wildlife with your Astra if you want - you just don’t have to eat it anymore).

So, to start off, I thought I’d hit you with a giant truth-bomb, a tip of such magnitude that it will effect not only your young, malleable mind in irreversible ways, but also your dusty wallet: you can get paid to eat for free.

MoneySavingExpert suggests becoming a mystery shopper if you fancy bagging a few free meals a week, and also getting paid for it. There are a number of companies you can sign up to, like Mystery Dining by HGEM, Service Scan and Market Force, and they’ll send you off to a variety of eateries, whereby you’ll have to rate the service and food, before getting a little bit of cash for your troubles. Then you can expense the food afterwards - it’s a hella sweet deal.

I mean, you’re not going to be raking in the big lemons, but you might get an extra fiver on top of a nice free meal out, so I’d say you need to quit your complaining, asap, before I give this job to someone more grateful.

If you don’t fancy the responsibility of an actual, real job and/or hate filling out questionnaires, but still want food for nowt, then there are other ways you can skirt around the very contentious issue of paying.

For example, there are many a fast food app out there, and a bunch of them will give you a swathe of complimentary grub should you be so inclined (which you are). For example, the KFC app will give you a free side when you sign up, and even better: free fries every Friday. The GBK app will gift you a free side if you refer a friend to the app, and the Burger King and Greggs apps often punt out freebie offers into your starving hands, so keep an eye out for them.

Here's how to get paid to eat out at posh restaurants 1

The GBK app is good for regular freebies

Krispy Kreme, Greggs, subway and Patisserie Valerie will also all give you free tasties on your birthday if you sign up to their apps. It might just be a cookie (in the case of Subway), but it’s a free cookie, and as everyone knows, that tastes a damn sight better than one you have to waste money on. It all adds up.

Other apps, like Olio, will enable you to swerve your way into some free nosh straight from locals who would otherwise be chucking it out, so yes, you’ve got to trust that Mrs Burnestein down the road has washed her hands before making her beef wellingtons, but it’s still a good deal. If you’re lucky, it might even be food they haven’t cooked themselves. To Good To Go also does the same type of thing but focuses specifically on cafes and restaurants who have surplus food at the end of the day. Certain chains like Starbucks, Wasabi and Itsu also run similar schemes.

And finally, if you don’t mind paying a tiny weenie amount, but still selfishly want top-quality food, then you could nip along to a ‘training restaurant’ - an eatery where soon-to-be top chefs hone their craft. One such restaurant is Taste in Morden, where you’ll be able to bag a high-end three course meal for as little as £14.50 - top stuff.

Essentially, what we’ve learned today is that you’re wasting your precious money on food, when you could be getting it for free. So put that wallet away, get out your smartphone, download some apps and start rifling through your neighbours’ bins for the plastic wraps that Peperamis come in, that you can lick.

Trust me, they taste amazing. If you don’t suck or lick the Peperami condom then you are missing out.

(Image: iStock)

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", PDAs, not having eczema anymore, hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the eczema thing though. @garyblogden

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