We’re in deep, says the New York Times: each of us is contributing to the dissolution of “real dating” by, among other things, not being able or willing to take someone out to dinner or even drinks. But do you want to be old-fashioned, damn it, and take your girlfriend, boyfriend, new flame, best friends or just yourself out to a nice (and possibly even fancy) dinner? Sure, but that normally involves spending your entire week’s food budget on one meal, which is how we get stuck buying discount deals or avoiding nice meals out. If you loathe presenting the server with your Groupon, discount code, or other obscure deal for which they severely judge you, Savored could help bring you a delicious and discretely discounted (up to 30%) meal.
Savored is a start-up that was recently bought by mega-couponer Groupon, which has miraculously not yet messed up the idea behind it, nor screwed local businesses over. In fact, thanks to Groupon taking over, signing up for and using Savored is totally free, and even has the NYT on its side. I wanted to keep this to myself, but I got too excited about what it could mean for expanding my culinary adventures with friends.
Moving on: Savored works like OpenTable– though only with participating restaurants– securing you reservations at sit-down spots, and with that reservation, a discount on both food and drinks from 15% to 30%. The amount of the discount depends both on what the restaurant has agreed to offer as well as the time slot you choose for your reservation. This helps the restaurants book tables at otherwise slow times as well as garner new customers that otherwise might not stop in. As you might expect, weekdays generally carry a higher discount and more availability than the weekends. The discount is quietly added to your bill from the start, without having to ask for it or provide the code, which you receive just in case it is ever needed.
Savored features discounts at 27 restaurants in Brooklyn, which is 25 more than Restaurant Week thinks are worth including in their offerings. Some popular choices on their in-site rating system include El Mio Cid in Bushwick, Aurora and Betto, both in Williamsburg, Building on Bond in Boerum Hill, and Fornino Park Slope in — you guessed it– Park Slope.
The streamlined site is pretty, easy to navigate, and allows you to make reservations up to 30 minutes before the reservation time. You can add any restaurant to your “Hot List” for quick reference by clicking on the star featured on each restaurant’s page. Restaurants are rated on a scale of 0 to 5 stars by Savored users, with comments on each individual eatery’s page along with the menu, price range (indicated by the familiar $ – $$$$), external website, what type of food it serves, and a scrolling bar of similar-to’s that you might like. The app version is just as useful as the website, and of course, is also free.
In case you’re like, “Waaaait, where have I heard this before?”… you have. Scoutmob offers free 50% discounts on local restaurants and businesses, but there is often a maximum deduction allowed, such as their 50% off at El Mio Cid, which has a $20 maximum deduction, as does Miranda in Williamsburg (also offered by Savored). If you’re planning on spending more than $40 and buying drinks with your meal, you’re better off snagging a Savored rez. Aside: one thing Scoutmob does have, riddled with stipulations though it is, is a 50% (up to $18) discount at Cafecito Bogota, which is beloved by Greenpointers and visitors alike.
If you’re more impulsive, there’s also Leloca, a free mobile location-based app. It sends you instant notification if there is a sudden opening at a top restaurant and you can scurry over and save 30%-50%. Of course, standing on a street corner with your date waiting for your Leloca app to light up with a dinner option isn’t exactly planning in advance.
Happy Eating (for less)!
Follow Meredith on Twitter @mereoftheolsons
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