An app- etite for cheaper dining
DINING out can be expensive, but now many foodies are being rewarded simply for eating at a restaurant.
Australians spend about $ 45 billion a year wining and dining at restaurants, which prompted Grace Wong to develop free app Liven, allowing money to be tipped back into a customer’s pocket.
The app already has 100,000 users and more than 600 restaurants on board in Sydney and Melbourne. Ms Wong said there were plans to roll it out nationally and for it to become as well known as ride- sharing app Uber, where no cash was required to pay.
Diners can click a button for the bill when they’re done, and receive up to 30 per cent back on their bill. There’s also room for users to throw in an electronic tip.
“It rewards diners with a cash credit when they pay for their meals through the app, which they can use to pay the next time they dine,” Ms Wong said.
“It’s revolutionising the way we dine, from restaurant discovery through to cashless bill payment.”
Liven gives customers a percentage of their total bill back, which they are credited with to use at the next eatery they choose in Liven’s network. The app also gives the restaurateur a commission each time it’s used.
Liven user Dagny Rocha, 26 said it allowed her to make some money back simply by doing what she would already be doing – eating out.
“I dine out about one or two times a week and spend about $ 150. You get rewarded for dining out or you can donate the money you get credited at the end to charity,” she said. “Who doesn’t like getting credit back and be encouraged to go out again? It’s also a way of getting a discount and takes it off your last bill.”
Consumer finance expert Lisa Montgomery said for people who dine out a lot, this type of app was “appealing” and could save cash.
“Food is such a commodity – we have a bar and restaurant culture and we love that good feeling of eating and drinking amazing things,’’ she said.
I trialled the app, hopping between three Melbourne eateries and found it relatively easy to set up and use. I expect it will become popular, but foodies need to watch out because it may result in them spending more money and eating out more frequently.