Woman looking at camera(l), Costco storefront(c), Sheet with money math problems(r)

Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock @rachhhyl/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘You’re basically LOSING money by not going’: Customer shares Costco gift card hack to save 50% on dinner for 2 at Fogo de Chao

'By going you make like $70 in profit.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Oct 11, 2023

Costco sells gift cards for a variety of brands and businesses that are often worth more than the cash value folks pay for them. Utilizing these price discrepancies can give shoppers more bang for their buck, especially if they’re planning on heading over to a specific spot for which Costco is selling these “discounted” gift cards.

One TikToker believes that Costco’s gift cards for the Brazilian rodizio-style steakhouse chain, Fogo De Chao, might be one of the best gift card values that the popular bulk retailer offers.

Rachyl (@rachhhyl) posted a viral TikTok clip that’s accrued over 230,000 views on the app where she shares the incredible value shoppers can enjoy when taking advantage of the Fogo de Chao gift cards and the restaurant’s deals.

“Okay, so I am the biggest wh*re for like the best deals and just like saving money in general, and I just found this and I kind of want to show you, using girl math, so let me show you,” Rachyl says in the beginning of her video, before transitioning to her recording a promotion on the restaurant chain’s website.

“So Fogo de Chao is currently doing a promotion for $39 of like the ‘best cuts of Brazil,'” she explains. “And here is like the normal menu, keep in mind this is like an all-you-can-eat experience, and it’s $63.50 and that includes all the Brazilian cuts like the picanha, the bottom sirloin, the top sirloin, everything that you see on this besides the premium cuts.”

Rachyl notes that this offer includes the market table and bar, so customers can get a huge amount of food for only $39.

“So then here’s where it gets juicy, you go to Costco, and you get two $50 gift cards for $80,” she says, after switching her video over to show the deal on Costco’s website. “So $100 worth of gift cards, for $80.”

Next up, she shows the “girl math” she referenced in the earlier part of the video on a yellow legal pad written on with red ink. “$63.50 for the normal rate, per person, you go with a friend, go with a buddy, go with a date, $127 for 2. Plus you leave a 20% tip because you’re not a sh*tty person then it comes out to $152.40 for the both of you including tip.”

Now those are the prices of the meal for 2 if you’re not taking advantage of the promotion or utilizing the gift cards. Rachyl then decides to break down how much cheaper it would be if folks who wanted to eat out at Fogo de Chao decided to purchase the gift cards through Costco’s website.

“$39 per person, this is the deal. OK? $39 per person, $39 x 2, $78, go with a friend, 20% tip cause you’re not a sh*tty person, leaves you out the door with $93.60. That already is a $50, over $50 worth of savings.”

She hasn’t even gotten to how much steeper the price difference is for folks who buy the gift card, which she highlights next.

“Then you get the gift card from Costco: $80 gets you $100 worth of food. That $100 gets directly applied to this $93.60, leaving $7 extra dollars for the tip. Whatever. That gets you 48% off. So basically 50% rounded up,” she concludes. “That is such a crazy deal. Do it.”

Depending on who you ask on the internet, tips and gratuities may or may not be covered by a gift card balance. St. Louis Magazine writes that “it depends on the restaurant,” adding that chains and larger operations tend to allow this practice, and Fogo de Chao certainly falls under this categorization. However, a number of folks on this Quora post believe that tipping on gift cards at restaurants is generally not possible, but Best Products says that folks can often use gift card balances to leave tips; they should just check with restaurant staff before attempting to do so.

@rachhhyl Daily Deals w/ Girl Math: Fogo de Chao #costco #fogodechao #deal #girlmath #food #foodtiktok #deals #dealsandsteals #couponing ♬ Cruel Summer – Taylor Swift

One commenter thought that Rachyl’s assessment of her gift-card utilization wasn’t an example of “girl math” as they found it to be incredibly useful. “Not girl math, but boss math,” they wrote.

This was a sentiment echoed by someone else. “This is FRUGAL MATH. LOVES IT,” they said.

“It’s girl math if you explain that by going you make like $70 in profit. you’re basically LOSING money by not going to fogo,” another person clarified.

A further user said that this $100 gift card deal isn’t even the best one that Costco offers for the chain. “Sometimes Costco have additional promotions for Fogo de Chao gift cards. I’ve see it go for $69.99 last Black Friday,” they wrote.

Others noted that customers may not be able to use the gift card to cover gratuity.

“You can’t use a gift card to pay for tips :( so you’d end up with a balance on your gift card. But you can use the difference for drinks!(:” one user suggested.

Some folks mentioned that Rachyl was forgetting a very important surcharge added to the meal, which is tax.

“U forgot tax… but yea. $40 pp includes tip is nice,” one user said.

“Yes but taxes aren’t included so it’s likely to be over $100. Still,” another wrote.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Costco and Fogo de Chao via email and Rachyl via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Oct 11, 2023, 11:15 am CDT