Eat Cheap on Tax Day

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Thomas Barwick
    Get a juicy burger -- on the cheap -- this April 15.

    Tax day this year is bound to hurt -- but free comfort food could help you cope.

    T.G.I. Friday's, Cinnabon and P.F. Chang's are among the national chains that is offering free or heavily discounted food today,  April 15 for taxpayers who've just coughed up serious cash, USA Today reported.

    Sales at restaurants are expected to dramatically decline this year -- so eateries are upping the discounts to lure cash-strapped customers in the door, experts say.

    "This is the most challenging period for the restaurant industry in several decades," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research and information services at the National Restaurant Association.

    Burger-and-beer joint T.G.I. Friday's is giving its customers $5 gift cards for every $15 to $25 purchase they make at the restaurant and $10 if they drop more dough.

    Cinnabon is offering an even sweeter deal -- from 5 to 8 p.m., diners can get your sugar fix for free when the chain hands out its mini-bun Tax Day Bites to hungry customers.

    West Coast residents can hit up Taco Del Mar for its "Taxes Suck: Tacos Don't" promotion -- e-mail the restaurant, and they'll send you a coupon for a free taco.

    Even upscale eateries are offering food on the cheap this April 15: Chinese chain P.F. Chang's and seafood outlet McCormick & Schmidt's will both give customers heavy discounts to lighten the tax load.