Getting 50 per cent off your meal always sounds like a good deal – after all, it is not about dining cheap, but about dining smart, as eatigo co-founder Judy Tan puts it. That may explain why discount dining apps like eatigo, The Entertainer and new entrant EatPlayLive are growing in popularity here.
The More The Merrier
Since its launch in 2015, eatigo has seen around 400,000 app downloads, and get about 30,000 new downloads every month.
Entertainer on the other hand, has had “triple digit growth every single year” according to Singapore’s country manager Keith Jaggard.
Many of the deals focus on bringing customers in during off-peak hours — this can get you a discount of up to 50 per cent.
Understand That It's All About Getting People In
“There’s a big difference between yielding and promotions,” says Ms Tan. “Promotions can cheapen your brand, but not yielding. Singapore Airlines does yielding by having different prices on different days a week. But is it a cheap brand? No, it’s not. And an empty table is the same as an empty seat on a plane. It’s perishable. Once the plane takes off, you’ve earned $0 from it.”
For Mr Jaggard, The Entertainer’s role is straightforward. “We’re a marketing platform for restaurants to be introduced to new customers,” he says.
“The one-for-one is to get people in. When you’ve got a discount, the likelihood is you’re going to spend more money. Think of us as a vehicle to push that member to that outlet. Once they step inside that door, it’s all about them having a great experience and wanting to come back. We can help drive traffic, but it’s on the restaurant to do well, too. It’s a two-way thing.”
Redemptions Are A Balancing Act
The challenge however, is maximising redemptions so they are made during the right periods, adds Sofie Di Donato, Unlisted’s business development and marketing manager. “Meat Smith is open seven days a week, and mostly these redemptions are made during peak periods. We find that promotions work well, and encourage other diners to order big-ticket items. However it’s always a balancing act, with additional pressure on our kitchen team and also the number of discounts given out.”
That is why Benjamin Ng, business development manager of the Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, explains that they work with multiple platforms – The Entertainer, eatigo, as well as reservation-focused platforms such as Chope. It all comes down to the individual restaurant’s needs, and how each platform can cater to them.
For instance, “eatigo targets your low peak hours, and excels at that. We introduced it at our Pool Grill last August after it had undergone renovation. We put the brand out there, and converted most of them to regulars,” he says.
Different Apps For Different Needs
You have to understand the apps themselves as well, he adds. “The base that distinguishes eatigo is that it’s a free app, while The Entertainer is something you buy. So people on The Entertainer are buying a ticket to going out and discovering new food. Whereas eatigo is an everyday app. You use it when you’re going home from work and don’t feel like cooking, so you are looking for whatever is convenient.”