MANCHESTER, NH — If you’re like me, you’re always hungry for a great deal when dining out. So, after learning about Dealici, a new dining-out app, I was curious to see how it actually worked.
Full disclosure — Dealici is advertising with Manchester Ink Link this week to help get the word out. But I’m test-driving it on my own, so that I can bring you the scoop.
On Thursday I downloaded the free app on my iPhone and checked out the current deals. Turned out there was a good deal at Murphy’s Diner that was about to expire: Pay $7.70 for any entree of House Favorite menu item and redeem between 1-9 p.m.
I purchased 2 deals using my credit card, then checked to make sure the deal was stored in my “purchased” tab. It was.
Then, my husband Jim and I headed over to Murphy’s.
It was about 5:30 p.m. and we were the only ones there, so we took advantage of the big half-circle booth. We settled in and were greeted by Kelly, our server, who said she’s been waiting for someone to try out Dealici.
After asking what were her favorite menu items, we decided to start with appetizers and drinks — we were excited to learn that Murphy’s has happy hour specials daily from 4-6 p.m., which means appetizers and draft beers are all half-price.
Kelly’s recommendation, Kickin’ Chicken, turned out to be just that: A zesty Tex-Mex spring roll with dipping sauce, just right for the two of us. Half-price meant it was only $4.50, and we each got a Sam Adams Cold Snap on draft. We also put in our orders — Jim went for the steak tip dinner ($13), and I got baked haddock ($11). Menu price for those items would be $24 total, but thanks to the Dealici deals (I paid $15.40 for 2 deals) we saved $8.60.
And, because two deals were purchased, the savings increased by another $2.2o after my purchase, which gets “banked” as Dealici bucks. In the end, not only did we save the $8.60, and earn $2.20 in meal credit, but we saved $4.50 on the appetizers and $2.50 for each of the drafts (after 6 p.m. Ladies Night kicked in, so I bought Jim a beer, or two!)
The only kink came when Kelly had to get her manager to help figure out how to apply the Dealici promo to our tab. He explained that since it’s still new for them, there’s a learning curve, but they were both pleasant about the process, and we were able to leave Kelly a good tip based on what our bill would have been, and her stellar service.
We had such a great time that we are ready to try it again.
We’re going to go for the current deal at Brother’s Restaurant (expires Feb. 2): Each deal you purchase gets you 30 percent off of $12 spent on food/drink (you pay $8.40). If we pre-buy two deals, the discount will grow to 35 percent, and we’ll “bank” another $1.20 (.60 cents each).
Total savings will be $7.20 for the deal, plus the $1.20 additional savings, which equals $8.40 off of $24 spent.
There are also current deals available at The Nashua Garden, Lui Lui, and La Hacienda Del Rio, in Nashua; and STREET, and Blue Mermaid, in Portsmouth.
The key to Dealici’s appeal is that if you are going out to lunch or dinner with friends, you can purchase several deals for the same restaurant, which drives the price down further for everyone. And if you share your dinner plans with other friends via social media, who might be looking for a meal on the town, and they buy the same deal, everyone gets a deeper discount whether you eat together or not.
The deals just have to be used during certain off-peak hours, to help restaurants bring in customers during what are otherwise slow times. It’s all fully explained via the app.
Think of it as crowd-funding a meal discount.
And you don’t have to worry about doing the math — Dealici does all the calculating and banking.
I noticed a new deal that just went up for The Foundry in Manchester, redeemable on Jan. 24 or 25 between 4-10 p.m. The deal is for 25 percent off $25 spent on dinner. If two or more people buy in, the discount will increase to 35 percent, which means Dealici users bank $2.50 per deal for the next night out.
I can see how this will be habit forming.
Oh, and I almost forgot: Special bonus deal for all of you reading this now: Use the PROMO Code WLCMINK when you make your first purchase and get an additional $5 off!
Bottom line: Once you get the hang of it, Dealici seems like a true win-win — diners save instantly, restaurants draw more business, and we all support the local economy.
By the way, if you’re looking to save a few bucks tonight, consider buying in on the Brother’s Restaurant Dealici deal — and we can both cash in on a good meal, a night out on the town, and some savings.
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