restaurant dining switzerland easy ways to save
Everyday Money

8 Easy Ways to Save on Restaurant Dining in Switzerland

June 18, 2024 - Daniel Dreier

Do you love eating out but find Swiss restaurant prices a bit steep? Check out these simple ways to enjoy a lot more great food and good times in Switzerland for a fraction of regular menu price tags.

Switzerland has one of the most diverse and vibrant culinary scenes in the world. Whether you are enjoying the ski slopes or grabbing takeaways in the city, great dining experiences are rarely more than a short walk away. In addition to being a literal melting pot of local creations and Italian, French, Austrian and German cuisine, Swiss restaurants and take-aways also serve up ethnic foods and modern fusion to suit the most adventurous palate.

A food lover’s paradise? For those with a very healthy bank balance, it certainly is. But don’t let the high cost of eating out in Switzerland limit you to home food, leftovers and hanging out in your living room. There are numerous ways to enjoy great dining at prices that can match (or beat) those in other countries. You can find some of them here.

1. Use coupons

Switzerland may not be known as a coupon culture, but coupons are absolutely the easiest way to enjoy more dining for less in this country. Many Swiss restaurants run specials, and coupon websites make it easy to find these. Groupon’s Swiss website may have closed up shop in 2016, but Deindeal, Poinz, and Realdeals are still going strong, and regularly list coupons for dining deals at restaurants across Switzerland. Count on deals that shave up to 50 percent off regular menu prices, on average, particularly off multi-course meals and all-you-can-eats.

Coupons are updated regularly, and aside from saving you money, chasing these deals is also a great way to explore new restaurants.

2. Join a 2-for-1 dining club

Who really enjoys visiting a restaurant alone? Luckily, in an effort to win new customers, a number of Swiss restaurants participate in programs which let two people enjoy a meal while only paying for one. Divide that bill with a dining buddy and dining out suddenly seems a lot more affordable.

Prozentbuch is an app-based voucher book which costs 44.90 francs (6 months validity), 59.90 francs (12 months validity), 79.90 francs (18 months validity), or 99.90 francs (24 months validity). That is about what you would spend on two or three decent restaurant meals. You get more than 80 two-for-one dining vouchers and more than 50 two-for-one drink vouchers for restaurants and bars in Basel, Bern, Lucerne, and Zurich which can be redeemed within the membership term.

The Dipi Pass club card costs 89 Swiss francs, and entitles you to discounts on a two-for-one basis at around 50 restaurants.

3. Take advantage of membership discounts

Your bank accounts, health insurance policies, employee benefits, auto club memberships, credit cards and association memberships may just be the key to trimming your dining check.

For example, the Stucard debit card offered to young customers by many cantonal banks entitles holders to discounts at numerous restaurants and takeaways. Gourmet members of Alligro warehouse stores get rewarded for purchases with Resto Club vouchers which can be redeemed at hundreds of restaurants.

4. Buy unused restaurant vouchers

Switzerland has a thriving second-hand market and buying unwanted restaurant vouchers is the perfect way to score cheaper dining experiences. Online flea markets and auctions like Ricardo, Tutti, Ebay and Anibis provide prime hunting grounds for deal-hungry gourmets.

Although the restaurant selection can be a bit of a hit-and-miss, it’s worth keeping tabs on voucher sales because unused vouchers typically sell for around 60-70 percent of their face value. What’s more, there is nothing to stop you from bargaining for a better deal. Because many of those selling unwanted vouchers received them as gifts or loyalty rewards, they are often happy enough to get something for them rather than holding onto them until they expire.

5. Check into discounts on takeaways

In Switzerland, the VAT rate you pay at sit-down restaurants is much higher than the VAT you pay for takeaways (these benefit from the same low VAT as grocery stores). If you are ordering food from a restaurant to go, ask them if they offer a discount on takeaways.

Many Swiss restaurants offer automatic takeaway discounts as high as 20 percent, which goes much further than the difference in VAT.

6. Use Reka money to pay

Reka money is accepted as payment at face value by over 2000 restaurants and take-away outlets across Switzerland. These are listed on the Reka Guide website. Apart from the standard discounts explained in the guide to Reka money, it’s also worth checking if your employer, housing cooperative, or association memberships offer Reka money with bigger discounts.

7. Help fight waste

Some Swiss restaurants offer discounts on takeaways when you bring your own reusable container. This helps minimize packaging waste.

If you frequently get dinner takeaways, check out Too Good To Go. This app-based service lets you buy “Marketplace Surprise Bags” of food that restaurants did not sell at the end of the day. In addition to helping fight food waste, you can also score great meals at a fraction of standard takeaway prices.

8. Take surveys

Some restaurant chains reward you with discounts, complimentary desserts, or other money-savers if you take their online customer satisfaction surveys. Information and links to surveys are often printed on the back of receipts, and you can easily complete the survey right on your phone. After taking the survey, you get a code or voucher that you can redeem for a discount or other reward. The best offers can cut 50 percent off the cost of your meal.

More on this topic:
Easy ways to save at cinemas in Switzerland
Tips for getting cheaper hotel stays
Switzerland on 30 francs a day
Swiss sharing economy platforms to fight waste and save money
How to take cheap family holidays
Free activities for kids in Switzerland

Request now for free

Leading credit cards

Free credit card

Swisscard Cashback Cards Amex

  • No annual fees

  • Two cards Amex & Visa/Mastercard

  • With cash back

Free credit card

Migros Cumulus Visa

  • No annual fees

  • With Cumulus points

  • Without foreign currency fees

Request now for free

Cheap bank accounts with card

Free bank account

Yuh

  • No account fees

  • Banking partner: Swissquote & Postfinance

  • CHF 20 trading credit with code «YUHMONEYLAND»

Swiss digital bank

Alpian

  • Multi-currency account with Visa card (CHF, EUR, USD, GBP)

  • Favorable foreign exchange rates

  • CHF 100 welcome bonus

Online private account

UBS key4

  • 50 KeyClub points as a welcome gift

  • Online private account with debit card

Swiss health insurance

Selection of offers

Free quote

Helsana Completa

  • Supplemental health insurance

  • Contact lenses and vision aids: 90 percent up to CHF 300 per year

  • Cost contributions for preventive measures

Quote

Atupri TelFirst

  • Telemedicine model

  • Managed Care Model

  • Free quote

Offerte

Helsana Sana

  • Supplemental health insurance

  • 75% for complementary medicine remedies

  • Cost contribution for prevention, vaccinations, ultrasound: 75 percent

Editor Daniel Dreier
Daniel Dreier is editor and personal finance expert at moneyland.ch.
Free subscription

Sign up for the free newsletter

Subscribe now
more than 3 million pieces of data

Find all comparisons here

Go to comparisons