This App Pays You to Dine Out

These days, there’s a proliferation of apps and online platforms vying for the attention of potential restaurant patrons. Though each of them makes the prelude to dining out easy by letting you book a table without any human interaction, there’s one app out there that will actually pay you just for using it. 

That’s the gist behind Seated, an app that gives its users up to 30% back for booking a reservation and (here’s the important part) actually showing up to eat at a restaurant. That’s right: you (kind of) get paid to go out to eat at some of the best fine dining establishments in cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.

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The premise is simple: all you have to do is book a reservation, show up on time to eat, and upload a receipt to the app verifying that you hit a spending minimum at the restaurant. Once that’s taken care of, Seated sends a reward code worth up to 30% of the check. Unfortunately, you aren’t paid out in actual cash. But with the ability to spend that money in Lyft, Starbucks, or Amazon credits, it’s almost as good. 

Seated also can play a vital role in helping restaurants out, too. Incentivizing dining out can help restaurants fill tables that might otherwise go empty, something that even fancy, successful establishments can struggle with on slow nights. The added step of only rewarding customers after they’ve uploaded a receipt also counteracts the occasional “no show” problem that restaurants can face when customers book through other methods. 

As of now, you can book through Seated in New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Atlanta. It also looks like the app has plans to partner with restaurants in Washington DC, LA, Miami, Denver, and Austin, as they’re listed as “be back soon!” on Seated’s website. Though you’d hardly find every restaurant in each of those cities on Seated, their selection (and reward mechanism) makes it easy to try out some fine dining that might otherwise be out of your price range. And once you’re in a food coma, that Lyft credit to take you back home will really come in handy. 

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