Free meals offered at 20 NYC restaurants – if you score the golden check

Ever want to tap into your inner "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" childhood obsession and find your own golden ticket? Now you can. 

Resy, a reservation app, has joined with 20 restaurants around New York City to offer 400 lucky customers Willy Wonka-inspired golden checks in their bills. 

No, you won’t be invited to a behind-the-scenes restaurant-making, but instead, your meal will be on the house if you’re a recipient of a golden check. 

So, how does one find a golden ticket?

Resy will be posting hints to its Instagram, tipping diners about which restaurants have golden tickets. Once you believe you have the right spot, book a reservation through Resy, and hope for the best. Like in "Willy Wonka," in which a bar of chocolate is no guarantee of a win, a reservation at the right restaurant merely affords you the chance at a free dinner. You have to be in it to win it.

Some of the restaurant hints already posted include:

  • “Natural light pours in through the giant windows and there’s a pleasant, relaxed vibe, whether you’re enjoying a mescal or a cafe con leche with coconut milk.”
  • “We love a great restaurant with a versatile name — think Korean cuisine or an expression of encouragement when your dog learns a new trick.”
  • “Don’t you wish everyday could be Sunday.”
  • “Tucked away on a quaint side street in Greenpoint, you will find this whitewashed restaurant serving up wood-fired Mexican cuisine.”
  • “We hear tacos taste better when made inside a converted Volkswagon bus… but don’t be fooled, the checks are only at one location. Use your Empire State of Mind to guess where these golden checks are hiding.”
  • “Pasta fatto a mano. Ci vediamo a Williamsburg.”

It’s up to the participating restaurant’s discretion as to which table receives the golden check. The promotion runs from Monday to Sunday.

And while there won’t be any oompa loompa’s for entertainment, a golden check does cover up to a $200 tab.