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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Trawl around! for delicious dining deals

This locally-produced app not only tells you what restaurants are nearby, but also rewards you for pigging out
The Straits Times - April 25, 2012
By: Sherwin Loh
| More
Trawl around! for delicious dining deals

App: around! (iOS) around! Rewards (Android)

Why it's cool: It uses your location to tell you about retailers and restaurants nearby that offer loyalty rewards.

Price: Free

Unless you already know where and what to eat, it is often daunting to be at a mall with no idea of what is available for lunch.

Do you hit the Japanese eatery in the basement or the Korean one on the second floor? Didn't that American cafe have a Groupon deal recently? And which restaurant is offering a good deal?

The local app around! can help you find a good meal, not with food reviews or photos, but with information about the loyalty rewards restaurants are offering.

You can use it to check what is available near your current location and the types of deals on offer (photo 1). As it works as an aggregator, around! simply collates and lists the offerings, so each deal is different.

For example, the app will tell you that Chinese restaurant Hooked On Heads is giving $10 off for every $50 spent, plus a loyalty point on top of that, while Old Hong Kong Kitchen is offering 10 per cent off your bill and one loyalty stamp when you spend a minimum of $35.

Other eateries may offer only a straightforward discount.

If you use the app often, you can accumulate loyalty stamps (photo 2), which you can exchange for further promotions and discounts.

To claim stamps or redeem rewards, you have to use your smartphone camera's QR code scanner to record a loyalty stamp, in the form of a QR code, of each participating establishment you visit (photo 3). The loyalty stamps will be recorded on the app.

For example: The offer is a free dessert with five loyalty stamps. You launch the app and click on the restaurant's name to redeem the dessert and the app generates a redemption icon with a time stamp (photo 4).

Gozolabs engineer Quek Shu Yang said restaurants have trained their staff to recognise the on-screen redemption icon. The time stamp shows that the redemption was done on the spot.

This app is still new, so it does not have many retail and lifestyle partners, and participating restaurants are scattered all over the island. You can access a map which shows you where they are, in case you decide to head to a place with a larger number of around! partners.

Developer: Gozolabs

Other apps: None. This is the developer's first app. Gozolabs received funding from the Media Development Authority's i.JAM programme.

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