What Would You Do For a Free Steak Dinner?

You know the saying “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”  (the creed of the hard-working postman.)   That is exactly how I felt when it came to redeeming my free Outback steak dinner.  

Over the summer, Outback had an online giveaway — one free steak dinner and all you had to do was sign up.   Easy right?   I jumped in and actually got it.   But never got a confirmation that I won.   So I just figured if I won, it would come in the mail.   Several weeks later, I got my free gift card.   I was pretty excited.   I know, it sounds a little crazy to be excited about a free meal, but it also meant  a night out with my husband (and that doesn’t happen very often).   So we got a babysitter and off we went.   Wait a minute — as I checked the gift card, I realized it said “only good Monday-Thursday” ugh, it was Saturday night.   So we changed our plans and stopped at my favorite restaurant (Brio Tuscan in Southlake).  

Ok, plan B.   I decided it would be impossibe to get a night out with my husband during the week.     And I only had until October 27th to use it.   So what about lunch?   Couldn’t really find anyone to meet me, so I went by myself.   Again, very determined to use this gift card.   But when I got there, no one was there.   No cars, no people and two locked doors.   I didnt realize that the Outback didn’t serve lunch.   They open at 4 pm.

Now, plan C.   I may have already said this but  I was determined to use it.   So armed with my free gift card, I went to the Outback at 4 pm, two days before my free meal expired.     As I expected, I was the only person there at 4 pm, other than ahostess and a very nice server named Michael.   I sat down, asked for my free steak and enjoyed every bite.   It was worth  the wait.   I had an 8 oz steak with mashed potatoes and a drink.   And I paid less than $3!   Now that’s a deal.   Even Laura would be impressed.

So what’s the moral of this story?   I don’t know.   Maybe you should never look a “gift card” in the mouth?  I think it’s more about determination.   When you invest that much time in something — there has to be a payoff. And my payoff was a nice, quiet meal for Free.   And as small as it was, there was also a feeling of accomplishment!   So if you ever stop by the Outback Steakhouse in Grapevine, say hi to Michael for me.


  1. I ran into similar problems. Wasn’t sure I won the free dinner until I received the card in the mail. We also were going to use it on a Saturday until I noticed the small print that said it was only good Sun-Thurs. My major complaint was that if you ordered the same steak meal from the menu, it came with a salad. Not realizing the free meal was $1 cheaper than the menu meal, I went ahead and ordered the salad. The server never mentioned this would cost extra with the free meal. We noticed the salad charge on the bill and complained to the manager, who comped the salad after telling us that a lot of customers were confused by this. He also said if we had come in on a Sat. they would have accepted the coupon. I think this was a marketing deal that backfired. After all the trouble we had, we would not go back to any Outback Steakhouse. Frankly, there are other steak restaurants in the area that are better.

  2. Could you have used it on takeout? I love a dinner by myself, so I would happily have done what you did, but takeout would be a good option too. I admire your dedication to free steak! 😉

  3. Donna Tomasi says:

    Eat there every saturday at 4:00. I know kind of early, but meeting older people who like to eat earlyl

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