Requested, a smartphone app that helps you save money during off peak hours and helps you get a table at peak hours, is starting to show real momentum in Sacramento.
I had downloaded the app several months ago, but hadn't tried it out until this past Sunday.
At about 4 p.m., we were looking for a restaurant to eat at that night. On our list of places to go included Empress Tavern and Localis, but neither were open on Sunday.
So we turned to Requested App. At a minimum, it (like Open Table) shows what restaurants have availability that evening. But as part of that process, not only did it show us what restaurants had space, it also showed which restaurants were willing to give us a discount to dine in on a slow night.
We ended up choosing and making a reservation at Formoli's Bistro, a restaurant with a stellar reputation, but one that we generally consider too far since it's all the way in East Sac. (I know...East Sac isn't that far, but distances are relative though.) It was a restaurant that we weren't originally considering, but the 20 percent discount got us in the door.
When we arrived, we informed the hostess that we had a reservation via Requested.
They seated us quickly. We noticed the restaurant was about half full that evening, so the dollars we were spending were dollars that they weren't getting otherwise.
We decided to order the seafood gumbo and the pork chop. As expected, they were top notch. The gumbo was creamy and didn't skimp on the seafood, and the pork chop was literally the best pork chop I've ever had. It was succulent throughout, and the corn salsa below it provided a great, spicy bite.
At the conclusion of our meal, the waiter presented us a "bill," though it was more of a listing of the things we ordered to make sure their system recorded it correctly.
The app took care of calculating the discount, adding tip (which by default is set at 20 percent, though you can adjust it within limits) and billing my credit card. No need to do math or wait for the waiter to come over, collect your credit card, swipe it and return with a receipt for you to sign.
As a quick aside, the discounts are dynamic. What discounts are available depend demand. It may change by day of the week, time you're going out, etc. You may not receive the same discount I got on Sunday.
All in all, I was very impressed with the Requested system. It performed as advertised, helped restaurants fill empty chairs and helped me save a couple bucks. I'll be using them again.
You can download the Requested App here and save $10 off your first use. (Disclosure: I'll also get $10 when you use it.)
For more information, visit RequestedApp.com.
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