What does “dine in only” mean?

Q. What does it mean when I see a restaurant advertise something as “dine in only”?

Adam answers:

“Dine in only” means that you have to purchase the food and eat it in the restaurant to get whatever is being advertised. It means you can not get the advertised price or discount if you have food delivered or if you order it to carry out.

For example, if you have a coupon for a large pizza for $7 but the coupon says “dine in only”, you have to eat the pizza in the restaurant. You can’t have it delivered and you can’t order it over the phone to pick it up and take with you.

Why do restaurants insist that you “dine in only”? Because they are hoping that when you purchase the discounted item, you will also order other things from their menu that will make them some profit. Using the pizza example above, if you eat in the restaurant you will probably order drinks and maybe a salad, but if you have the pizza delivered, it’s much more likely you won’t buy these other things. The restaurants uses the coupon to get you into the restaurant in hopes that the restaurant will make money off of your increased spending from dining in.