According to the National Retail Federation, restaurant cards are one of the most popular gift card choices -- coming in second only to department stores. Consumers can save big on these cards by visiting websites such as Restaurant.com that offer them for prices lower than face value.
Buyers can browse by location, cuisine and average entree price. The choices vary widely, from local mom-and-pops to major chains. There are also multiple discount levels, with purchase prices that represent a 50 percent savings or more.
While it's possible to score some good deals with Restaurant.com, be sure to read the fine print, says Scott Testa, a retail consultant and assistant professor of business administration at Cabrini College near Philadelphia.
A minimum purchase may be required, gratuities are likely to be added in and the gift cards may be for food only (no drinks).