Tens of thousands of dollars are wasted each year in gift certificates to restaurants that go out of business, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.
Commissioner Jerry Farrell says the new "One for One Hundred" gift certificate program can help consumers make sure their gifts don't go to waste.
The gift certificates can be bought online at www.ctrestaurant.org or at a kiosk at the Milford Post Mall starting Friday. They're valid at nearly 100 restaurants across the state from Greenwich to Hartford.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says this program is what more retailers need to do: "A rash of restaurant and retail closings last season turned expensive gift cards into worthless plastic." The idea is that if one of the restaurants goes under there are still 99 other restaurants where the certificates can be used.
Penny Lane Pub in Old Saybrook is one of the participating restaurants. "I think it's a win-win situation for restaurateurs and consumers," said owner Bob Hansen, "Hopefully it will inspire people to come out and sample a variety of cuisine in Connecticut."
One hundred restaurants are currently taking part in the program. The Connecticut Restaurant Association hopes to extend it to other restaurants in the coming months.
You can also find half-off gift certificates through our partner website, DiningHalfOff.com.