Is “The Fork” A Legit Deal Or A Scam?
Is “The Fork” A Legit Deal Or A Scam?
You might have seen The Fork pop up from time to time when researching restaurants in Europe and the UK with discounted deals for eating at certain restaurants. Sometimes, it’s 30% and sometimes it’s even 50%. For me, it sounded suspiciously like those Entertainment coupon books back in the states.
And ultimately, you find that you’re drawn in by a deal that doesn’t turn out as good as it initially seemed. There’s always some minimum spend, or restriction that you have to follow down to a T if you want to get the deal. So you’re here because you are wondering if thefork.com is a legitimate deal or a scam?
I made sure to read the fine prints back and front (all one line of it) before trying The Fork for the first time and you can breathe a sigh of relief, THE FORK IS A LEGITIMATE website, it’s easy to use for reservations and the deals are actually pretty good. You just have to understand how it all works and I’ll break it down for you here. Definitely read through to see how you can easily earn €50 to use at restaurants.
Why Are Restaurants On The Fork?
The Fork is a UK based company that partners with restaurants to offer deals while promoting restaurants that could use some new customer flows. And this could be for a number of reasons. Maybe the restaurant sucks, maybe they are just new, or maybe a lot of destination operate seasonally so offering promotions can draw in traffic during slower periods?
Either way, checking out their Special Offers in the area where you want to eat and then cross referencing a few of the restaurants with reviews on Google is a great way to find new restaurants to try on the cheap when you’re traveling.
How Do The Fork Deals Work?
So first and foremost, The Fork is a one-stop reservation and review website so you don’t have to call the restaurants directly to look for availability, check the menu, or read reviews elsewhere. On top of that, there’s a filter option to look for restaurants that are currently offering some kind of menu or promotion.
I’ve found a lot of European cities offer special lunch menu deals that are truly incredible. I usually like to do a long walk when I first get to a city and just look at restaurant menus I come across if I like how a place looks. I make note of any menus and then plan to go back. With the Fork, it’s nice to browse restaurants and see if they offer any special menus. I always love a good deal.
Bookmark this page and save this special code: 83EBDDE8 and use it for your first reservation to get 2000 Yums. That’s worth 50€ off your bill for the meal after.
What Are The Fork Yums Special Offers?
But even better than that is their Special Offers filter quickly shows you all the restaurants in a search area offering some kind of percentage off deal.
A quick search for Porto, Portugal shows 91 restaurants currently offer deals between 30-50% off. You’ll see the cuisine type, the ratings, comments, address, and average price (before the discount).
I’ve clicked on one of the restaurants and from there you’ll see the “restrictions” for the deal. In most cases, preset menus and drinks are not included and the 50% applies to the “a la carte” menu, which is basically most of the menu.
The best part is you can actually see the current menu and prices right there. And to the right of that, you can click to see the date and times where the deal applies. In this case, it looks like it’s mostly available only for lunch.
What Are Yums and The Yums Loyalty Program?
This brings me to the next best part of The Fork. The Yums loyalty program. Instead of earning loyalty at individual restaurants or cafes (you know, buy 10 coffees, and the 11th one is on us type of deal). You earn points for all your reservations, you earn points for referring others, and then you can redeem those points to take €20 or €50 at participating restaurants.
You’ll earn 100 yums for every reservation you make on the website. Restaurants that show a YUMS x2 means you’ll earn 200 points for your reservation.
If you refer someone and they use your referral code, you earn 500 Yums. And they in turn earn 1000 Yums on their first reservation. Sometimes, it’s double, so it really just depends on when you sign up.
Great, 100, 200, 1000, 2000 Yums. What do they actually amount to? Well, 1000 Yums earns you 20€ when you redeem and 2000 Yums earn you 50€ off your bill when you redeem. And it’s automatic.
Now, the only fine print is the Yums is you need to find a restaurant that accepts them, which is easy enough using the “Accepting My Yums” filter.
So basically, if you’re reading this, bookmark this page and save this code: 83EBDDE8 and use it for your first reservation to get 2000 Yums. Basically, make your first reservation and then you get €50 off the next one. No-brainer. Do it now, because the deal is for a limited time, and then it will revert back to 1000 Yums.
How To Use the Fork Filters?
So, now to the fun part of picking the restaurants. USE THE FILTERS. Use the Special Offers filter first and then further narrow it down with all the other filters, like whether it’s Michelin rated, starred, recommended, or it’s an INSIDER restaurant. There are basic ratings, cuisines, neighborhood filters, but also filters for things like “Good for a business lunch,” “Oceanfront,” “Romantic,” Birthday,” or even “Bistronomic,” whatever that is.
You can do this on the website or through the App, which I recommend downloading because it’s convenient and you can keep better track of your points and referrals.
After you figure out a restaurant that works for you, make a reservation and you’re set. Once you get to the restaurant, the discount is already on your reservation and will automatically apply when the check comes out. If you have any questions about the deal or restrictions, just ask the restaurant before you order to be sure.
How Much Are Yums Worth?
If you’ve used the Fork in different countries, you might have noticed that your Yums redeem for different amounts. The questions I get the most are: “How much are Yums worth in the UK? How much are Yums worth in France? How much are Yums worth in Italy?” So on and so forth. Here’s a quick chart of how much Yums are worth in different countries. Yes, they are different depending on where you redeem them.
How To Use and Redeem Your Fork Yums Points?
Once you’ve earned 1000 or 2000 Yums (those are the redemption blocks), you can apply the discount off your next booking. When you are booking a restaurant, just check to see that the restaurant says “Accepts Yums” next to the Average Price. You can select the “Accepting my yums” filter to easily sort through the restaurants where you can redeem.
Next, you’ll want to go to that restaurant and choose the date and time you want to reserve.
If there are any other offers, you’ll see it on the page as well. For example, at the restaurant above, there’s a 20% discount Monday – Saturday and a special menu on Sundays. You’ll have to choose between using your Yums or one of the offers. As far as my experience goes, you can’t choose both. If you click on the little info icon to the top right of the “Use Your Yums” box, you’ll see what your points are worth. Usually, 1000 Yums will get you $20 and 2000 points will get you $50. That’s either $, £, or € depending on where the restaurant is based. So in the UK, the points are worth the most. Refer to the chart above.
Once you’ve selected your reservation time, date and number of guests, you can choose from the offers that are available. You can see below that I can exchange 2000 Yums to take €50 off my entire bill. Book your reservation and it will automatically be applied to your bill when you finish dining. No need to tell the waiter ahead of time.
Can You Combine Yums With Special Offers or Menu Offers?
This was the first question I had. Could I benefit from a restaurant offering 50% off their a la carte menu and use my Yums at the same time? The straightforward answer is No.
As you can see below, the restaurant is offering 50% off their “A la carte” menu. But you have to choose whether you want the 50% off offer or whether you want to redeem your Yums. Unfortunately, you can’t double dip and do both. You however, will still earn Yums for the reservation. In this case, you’ll get double Yums and get 200 Yums for making the reservation.
The only exception to this room is if the restaurant is having some kind of non-Fork specific promotions. In this case, obviously that promotion will apply and if they accept Yums, you can choose to redeem your points then.
So remember all this, remember this code: 83EBDDE8 if you want to quickly get 2000 Yum points and don’t forget to use The Fork the next time you are looking for a new restaurant to eat in a new city. I actually use it all the time now, if only just to have ideas of where to eat. When there’s a deal that works out, it’s even better.
The alternative is to not use it and get nothing back for eating out. Lastly, if you’ve used the Fork or you plan on using it, please take a moment to come back and let me know what kind of deal you got and where in the comments. It will help other readers too.
Alright, get out there. If you need some travel ideas, check out my 386 item bucket list for inspiration.
Updated on October 21, 2023