Restaurants With Student Discounts

Eating Out on a Student Budget: Use Student Discounts

College student and broke are sometimes synonymous words, unfortunately. College tuition and supporting entertainment/food can rack up – but luckily there are ways to stretch your dollar. National restaurants and fast food chains often offer student discounts. Check out our top picks of restaurants with student discounts: Fast Food

  • Dairy Queen: The official website encourages franchise owners to offer a discount. They offer classic fast food, such as burgers and fries, but are best known for their ice cream. Sometimes after a test, we all need a oreo Blizzard. Discount: 10 percent at participating locations.
  • McDonalds: The first and most beloved of fast-food chains, McDonalds has added more healthy menu options in recent years. Additionally, their drinks menu offers enough tea and coffee options to rival Starbucks. Discount: 10 percent at participating locations.


  • Papa Johns: Like Dominos, Papa John’s is a long-time favorite in the student community. Unlike Dominos or Pizza Hut, Papa John is the rare delivery pizza place that offers a white-sauce pizza, for those students who want a little variety in their meals. Discount: 10 to 20 percent at participating locations.
  • Pizza Hut For the students craving more than pizza, Pizza Hut also offers lasagnas, calzones and some of the best fast-food wings available. For those long nights of studying, use this discount and revel in these little slices of heaven. Discount: 10 to 20 percent at participating locations.

Mexican Food

  • Taco Bell: Taco Bell is one of the more popular student restaurants. In addition to an already affordable menu, they’re also one of the rare restaurants that caters to any schedule. Discount: 10 percent at participating locations.
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill Qdoba is best known for their huge quesadillas. Their discounts vary by location, but they often offer a $5 student meal deal or 50 percent off student discount on specific days. Discount: 50 percent once a week at participating locations, depending on day of the week; or daily $5 student meal deals.


  • Subway: For students who want a healthier alternative to fast food, pizza, or tacos, there are sandwich shops. Subway is best known for their healthy on-the-go alternatives to fast food. Discount: 10 percent at participating locations.
  • Schlotzky’s Deli Each franchise determines which donations, sponsorships and discounts they will offer, but they offer student discounts in most college towns. Their discount varies by location, so call ahead for details. Student Discount: 10 to 20 percent at participating locations.

Sit-Down Restaurants

  • Waffle House or IHOP Don’t let the names fool you; both Waffle House and IHOP offer more than just waffles or pancakes. Southerners and East Coast students will be more familiar with Waffle House restaurants, while the Midwest and West Coast students are more likely to find an IHOP nearby. Student Discount: 10 percent at participating locations.
  • Shari’s Restaurants Shari’s is the 24-hour truck stop diner turned 24-hour family restaurant. Their menu is the usual all-American offerings of burgers, sandwiches and steaks. They also sell pies, both whole (for taking home) or by the slice. They haven’t forgotten their roots, though, and they still have a low-cost, affordable menu for budget eating-out. Discount: 10 percent at participating locations.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: Enjoy finger-licking good chicken wings for 10 percent off at this national chain.

Not every restaurant will offer student discounts at every location, so always call ahead to check first. Generally, restaurants leave it up to individual franchise owners to decide whether to offer student discounts. Restaurants often advertise the discounts locally, in the student paper, or in the student life section on the online school, college, or university website. The best method of learning whether student discounts are available is to simply call the restaurant and ask the hostess.

About Allison Freeland

Allie Freeland is the Editor-in-Chief of She has been a professional writer for a decade and received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota. She brings a wealth of information about higher education, online degrees, college life, and career advice. Follow her on G+.