Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 June 2020

Buy now, dine later: support UAE restaurants and get a discount, eventually

UAE’s food and tech community have banded together to create an online platform called BuyNowDineLater.com

The main dining area in Wakame, one of the more than 75 restaurants that has signed up to be a part of the BuyNowDineLater initiative. Courtesy of Wakame
The main dining area in Wakame, one of the more than 75 restaurants that has signed up to be a part of the BuyNowDineLater initiative. Courtesy of Wakame

Want to support the local food industry, which has been hard hit due to the coronavirus pandemic? But still hesitant about venturing out?

Well, there’s a new way to help.

Members from the UAE’s food and tech community have banded together to launch online platform BuyNowDineLater.com, an initiative that allows customers to purchase gift vouchers from restaurants and cafes in the UAE, which can then be used later when either the restaurants open their doors again or customers are ready to venture out (as many of the listed restaurants are now open).

PointCheckout has launched the initiative and more than 75 restaurants are already listed on the website, including the likes of Pickl, Streetery Food Hall, Wakame, Taikun, Loca, BB Social Dining, Thiptara and Mythos Kouzina and Grill.

New restaurants are being added by the day. The organisers say the initiative will also be rolled out to other countries in the region in the future.

“We have a responsibility as entrepreneurs to help fellow food and beverage entrepreneurs in whichever way we can by being resourceful in these times. It was amazing to see the many partners jumping at the opportunity of supporting this initiative as well, and we thank them for that.

"We invite people to buy these vouchers and support their favourite spots around the UAE,” says Bashar Saleh, chief executive of PointCheckout.

Pickl is well-known for its exceptional chicken burgers. Courtesy Pickl.
Customers can get a 25 per cent discount from Pickl when they dine there later in the year, by purchasing a voucher now. Courtesy Pickl.

The scheme hopes to gives restaurants that are currently strapped for cash some resource to help weather the current crisis.

UAE restaurant owners can get in touch and join the platform for free (although a small gateway, or card payment fee, is deducted from each purchase).

Meanwhile, once customers are feeling more comfortable with stepping outside to dine, they can do so using their vouchers – many of which come with big discounts (as much as 50 per cent) for supporting the establishment during its time of need.

How it works: Customers can go on the buynowdinelater.com to buy their voucher. They will then receive it through SMS and email as a QR code, which can be redeemed the next time they visit the restaurant. The terms and conditions depend on the restaurants and are listed at time of purchase.

What if the restaurant does not open? The platform is verifying that each restaurant is a legal registered business, with the majority being backed by well-funded holdings.

"We guarantee that any voucher will be honoured when the restaurant opens, restaurants have to sign for that before joining," it reads on the website. But if the restaurant doesn't reopen there's likely little you'd be able to do about redeeming the voucher: it's a potential risk you'll have to take if you want to support your favourite spots.

Updated: May 21, 2020 12:35 PM

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