Re-imagining London’s dining deals
London’s food scene is one of the most vibrant in the world, but for me eating out has always been an extravagance. Vouchers and online coupons can help, but I’m a foodie, and Pizza Express and Zizzi are only so interesting. Plus, call me lazy, but the thought of wading through a load of terms and conditions just to see if the thing will actually work seems like more trouble than it’s worth. Why can’t it be simple?
I have a tip for you. There is a brand new app called CityMunch. They have put together something disarmingly simple – an app that gives you vouchers on your phone that are just discounts on food, which always apply. It doesn’t matter how many people you bring or what you have to eat. And it costs nothing – the app’s free, the vouchers are free. So what’s the catch? It’s not quality – the restaurants are mostly highly-rated independents, there aren’t many faceless chains.
How it works
Actually, the way the app works makes a lot of sense. The vouchers are all short-term and time-specific – e.g. 6 – 7.30pm on a Wednesday evening. So the app allows restaurants to connect with Londoners whenever they’re short of diners, publishing real-time offers direct to customers’ smartphones.
I found it easy to work out – diners can simply check the app for a nearby deal, reserve a voucher there, arrive during the offer’s fixed availability period and show their phone to staff. As the vouchers all do the same thing, there are no “free bag of popcorn with your bagel” deals, 2-4-1s, or complicated terms to wade through. Not using a voucher is beginning to seem like throwing good cash away and this time it’s hard to use my laziness as an excuse.
CityMunch currently has 100-odd restaurants including some of London’s favourites such as Busaba Eathai, Le Garrick in Covent Garden, House of Ho in Charlotte Street and a whole load more. They cover Shoreditch, Clerkenwell, Fitzrovia and Soho, but my guess is they’ll be all over London soon!