Earn $15 in Gift Cards For Each Restaurant Reservation

A huge challenge for businesses with high fixed costs is how to unload spoiling inventory without lowering the price existing customers pay. Airline seats that take off empty generate nothing for the carrier. Hotel beds that go empty on a given night can’t be resold in the future.

Restaurants have empty seats, too the rent is paid for and there’s very little extra staff time at the margin on a given night when an extra customer walks through the door. There have been lots of attempts at cracking the nut of the restaurant excess inventory space. Now there’s a new one that’ll give you $15 or more per reservation on top of whatever other rewards you may earn for dining out.

This week Nick Reyes wrote about the Seated App which is a new attempt to drive restaurant bookings towards unfilled slots, and move diners to participating restaurants.

  • You get a $15 gift card (your choice of Uber, Amazon, or Starbucks) for dining.

  • It must be a party of 2 or more people and you won’t find the least expensive restaurants participating, they need the economics to be worth incentivizing at $15 per meal (although their cost is less than $15, they’re going to be paying less than par for gift cards, it no doubt costs the restaurant more than $15 to drive a booking through the app)

  • They are currently in New York, Providence, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco covering approximately 2200 restaurants

One Frequent Miler reader used the app to book breakfast at the Park Hyatt Chicago while staying as a guest there. Though they’re a top tier Hyatt elite, and breakfast was free, they still got a $15 gift card on top.

Some restaurants offer $20 gift cards, but you can’t reserve all times, they’re looking to incentivize off-times. Gift cards should be sent within 24 hours of dining.

Since this is a reward for the reservation it trades off with much devaluaed OpenTable points which usually reward at under $1 per booking. This doesn’t trade off with:

  • any points from your credit card
  • earnings via Rewards Network Dining for Miles programs if the restaurant participates in those as well as this app
  • paying with gift cards or Restaurant.com gift certificates

In Austin I’m thrilled to see Peached Tortilla (there’s a location coming to the airport) and Dai Due included. I’ve been to several others like Vox Table and Wink though I’m not a regular. I wouldn’t say they have most restaurants I frequent, but it also seems worth checking if a restaurant is available through this app that I’m going to eat at anyway before making a booking some other way.

If you’re referred by an existing member you get an extra $5 with your first reservation, and the person who refers you gets $5 as well. My referral code is GARY36 and you’re welcome to leave yours in the comments.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. David520

    Good idea for an app, especially for me as I eat at off hours. Decent selection in Miami – many places I hadn’t heard of. Only thing I didn’t like is that I had to connect through Facebook and couldn’t just sign up with my email.

  2. So the app has access to my location, all my contacts, all my incoming and outgoing calls, and it starts running in the background as soon as I turn the phone on even if I don’t start it?


    That’s definitely a bad deal. Please screen these “offers” better — or at least be outright about the fact that you’re giving up your privacy.

  3. What privacy? The government stores your cell phone geolocation data and screens your emails. Your comings and goings are tracked via traffic cameras and the data is stored and searchable. Your credit file was just hacked. That ship sailed a long time ago.

  4. I’m with Josh. Just because my privacy has been compromised, no sense leaving the electronic blinds up for all to see.

  5. “One Frequent Miler used the app to book bookfast at the Park Hyatt Chicago”

    “Bookfast” sounds interesting = literally: fasting on books?

  6. I, too , agree with Josh. After reading comments today, I am going to remove the app. If the ship has sailed, then I guess we should not bother to read any articles regarding the Experian fiasco and how to protect our credit. I’m not willing to throw it overboard……

  7. Josh and MM: Signup through Facebook is required, but you can choose not to share your friend list and birthday with the Seated app when you sign up.

    I’d appreciate your using my referral code: GARRY1.

    Thanks, Gary!

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