x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Tasty app helps you dine at a discount

The Life: The RoundMenu smartphone app promises something different to the plethora of discounts services that have launched in the UAE.

RoundMenu advertises a discounted deal on its website.
RoundMenu advertises a discounted deal on its website.

Given the mass of discounts services now available, it's a wonder that anyone is paying the full price for anything.

More than 20 daily deals websites - including big players such as Groupon and a deluge of copycats - are operating in the UAE, offering discounts on anything from dining out to cosmetic treatments.

Despite this, one internet firm based in Dubai says it has launched a discounts service with a difference.

RoundMenu, which was launched in June by Honeybee Tech Ventures (HBT), offers discounts of up to 40 per cent on restaurant bills.

The app is available on Apple, Android and BlackBerry smartphones, and features promotions for more than 200 restaurants.

What makes RoundMenu different is that the deals are available at any time, and require no physical voucher, its developers say.

Most discounts are for restaurants in Dubai, with just a handful in Abu Dhabi. HBT says more are being added.

To take advantage of an offer, users book a table via the app, and send a SMS to a special number. Each message costs Dh5 to send - RoundMenu's main source of revenue. In return, they are sent an SMS discount voucher showing the time of their booking.

The RoundMenu app performed well in tests by The National. It quickly identifies your location and displays a map showing nearby restaurants offering discounts.

The National chose Jedoudna, a Lebanese restaurant in Dubai Media City, to test the service. The friendly waiting staff there immediately recognised the offer, and gave a 30 per cent discount on the Dh100 (US$27) bill, a Dh25 saving after the cost of the SMS.

One minor gripe with RoundMenu is that opening timings are not displayed for all outlets.

But overall, the service proved handy. Time will tell whether copycat services follow.

bflanagan@thenational.ae

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