Here at iPhoneAppCafe, we strive to bring you the very best information and recommendations about iPhone apps and what better way to do that than go out and test our apps in the big wide world? As well as being iPhone obsessives, Ashkan (iPhoneAppCafe’s founder) and I are also fans of a hearty meal or two whenever we get the chance to indulge our appetites; however, we’re also pretty fond of a bargain. There are a fair few apps out there that offer deals and bargains in bars and restaurants around the City of London but the two major competitors are vouchercloud and Capital Eats, which both use Google Maps technology to lead you to participating eateries where you can indulge in their discounted menus.
So, after we met for a meeting in central London, (unfortunately, in between playing with our iPhones we do occasionally have to do some work), we decided to put these apps to the test and find a bargain dinner that will fill our stomachs and not empty our wallets.
I opted for my tried and trusted app Capital Eats, (which costs a whopping £7.99, but you can make this back on your first canny purchase) and lists restaurants in London that offer discounts of anywhere from 20% – 50% off the price of the food bill, or 2 for 1 deals on main meals. The user interface is very easy to navigate and it automatically shows you the nearest participating restaurants, with customer reviews and ratings of each establishment with a handy percentage of how many satisfied customers have enjoyed the offer. What I really like about Capital Eats is that if the deal at the restaurant is not applicable at that time, (for example, if it is at a weekend, certain restaurants do not run the offer), then it clearly tells you by ‘low lighting’ it’s name in grey, saving you an embarrassing dispute with a waiter. You can also plan where you want to eat based on a location within London and the map will give you exact directions as to how to get there. The only negative point, and this is something that I experienced with vouchercloud as well, is that it doesn’t tell you when the restaurant is closed in the day, which led to us trying a few bars before we actually struck gold.
Ashkan used his vouchercloud app which is free to download and sends you not only restaurant offers but other discounts such as rental cars, dry cleaning services and laser eye surgery, to name but a few. A lot of the restaurants overlapped with Capital Eats, but there were no ratings or reviews for any of the eating establishments, which meant it was the blind leading the blind, (or blonde), when it came to choosing a decent place. There were more options on vouchercloud, however, and after trying a few closed restaurants it led us to ‘Cape Town Fish Market’ sushi bar and restaurant where we sat at the sushi bar that had a revolving counter where we chose from a selection of raw seafood delicacies, safe in the knowledge that we were only shelling out, (sorry, couldn’t resist), for half the price!
Well, with our stomachs fit to burst with all of the sushi that we had gobbled down, we decided on which app was best; sure, Capital Eats is a big investment at £7.99, but you can make your money back and then some with a few careful menu selections and its user-friendly interface is a joy to use. However, vouchercloud features most of the same restaurants and it being free and including extra discounts on other venues other than eateries is sure to give Capital Eats a bit of a run for its money; the fact that you can also get a ‘buy one get one free’ bowling game, VAT-free wine at a bar and 50% off your food bill all in the same app just about swings it for us. Nonetheless, whichever one you choose, you’re still winning!