Thursday, October 6, 2016

Boston: Dine at a Discount with GoPapaya App

Whether you're a student or someone with a "real job", everyone loves saving money, right?
Well, Bostonians can now have more opportunities to save money while dining out with this new mobile app startup called GoPapaya.

The idea of GoPapaya is like HotelTonight: they work with restaurants to fill tables during the restaurants' down time by offering discounts to customers, usually between 10-30%. On top of that, since they are new and promoting their app, you can sign up with my referral code "pigs10" and they will send you a $10 Amazon gift card after you complete your first reservation!

The restaurant will set a discount on the app in real time, and you'll have 30 minutes to arrive at the restaurant once you make your reservation. When you open the app, it will show you what discounts are available and for how much, sorted by the distance.
Once you reserve the table, they will hold it for 30 minutes. During this hold and when you're checked in, you can't reserve another table unless you cancel the current one. Here's when I made one for lunch at Patty Chen's Dumpling Room in Central Square.
Go Papaya
To use it, you'd turn on your bluetooth, and the app will automatically detect when you get to the restaurant and check you in. You don't need to purchase anything from the app so there's no upfront cost like Groupons.

When I got to Patty Chen's Dumpling Room, I just told them I made a reservation with GoPapaya, and they knew what I was talking about.

Patty Chen
Pork Dumpling "Ramen" at PC Dumpling Room

The discount does not include alcohol (because Massachusetts law) but otherwise there's no restriction and you can order whatever you want. This way it is better than some Groupons where you have to do a special prix fixe menu.

I've used it at India Pavillion, also in Central Square, which was offering 20% off for lunch.
The discount is automatically taken off your bill, so there's no awkward "can I get your voucher number" moment (in case you're trying to impress a date!)
They are still growing the list of participating restaurants, but even now there are quite a few near my work in Cambridge. Other places that I've been meaning to try in other parts of town that are listed are Holly Crab, Limoo Tea Bar, La Voile, and Swish Shabu.

I like to have GoPapaya handy for those times when I can't decide where to eat, and I can just see what's available nearby with a discount. There's no upfront cost to both you or the restaurant (they only pay a small fee when a customer actually comes in, but no setup fee), and no fear of my prepaid vouchers expiring before I could use it. I can't tell you how many times I've let my various vouchers expire!

Don't forget, sign up with code pigs10 to get a bonus $10 Amazon gift card after you complete your first reservation!


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