Singaporeans have something of an obsession with food… And we don’t like to pay full price for it. With apps like Chope, Burpple and Entertainer that offer discounts and deals at mid- to high-end restaurants, cheap and good food in Singapore is no longer limited to hawker fare.
If you’re a foodie on a budget, here are 5 food discount apps and platforms to check out.
5 Food discount apps in Singapore
1. Chope Singapore – free to use, buy dining vouchers when you need them
You probably know Chope as more of an online seat reservation site, which it is. But that’s not all.
In addition to literally helping you to “chope seat” online, Chope also sells dining vouchers. These are called ChopeDeals, and they are split into 3 categories:
|ChopeDeals||What it is|
|Off-peak deals||Up to 50% off, but only at selected, off-peak timings|
|Buffet deals||1-for-1 deals and discounts up to 59% off|
|Set deals||Set meal deals with savings of up to 81% off|
The restaurant booking service is completely free, so you don’t have to pay a cent to use the platform.
ChopeDeals also works on an e-voucher basis, so you don’t need to pay a subscription fee to enjoy the deals. You can purchase it whenever you need it.
Should you use Chope?
I personally love online restaurant reservations because 1) it is immediate, 2) I get a confirmation email for my booking, and 3) I don’t have to make actual phone calls and deal with busy waiters who can’t care less about my dinner plans.
That alone is enough to get me to download Chope. The ChopeDeals are a bonus, and it helps that you don’t need to pay anything to enjoy the discounts.
Just search for your preferred restaurant and if they have a discount voucher, buy it – no commitment whatsoever.
Here are some notable ChopeDeals:
- 50% off Wild Honey on weekdays 4pm to 8pm OR weekends 5pm to 8pm
- 50% off Dancing Crab for reservations at 11.30am, 1.30pm, 5.30pm & 8.30pm (daily)
- 30% off Irodori Japanese Restaurant for reservations at 11.30am to 2.30pm (daily)
One thing to note though – you don’t really buy a 50% voucher per se. You actually purchase $X credits at half the price. For most restaurants it’s reasonable (like $50 credits for $25), but for the more fancy ones, it could be $100 credits for $50.
2. Burpple & Burpple Beyond – 1-for-1 dining deals, subscription from $4 monthly
Burpple is a content site with food recommendations, restaurant reviews and the likes. What’s useful is that you can filter and browse their huge resource of food guides by category or neighbourhood.
The food reviews usually include not just commentary on the taste, but the prices as well. The community of “Burpplers” are very dedicated and I found that the reviews are often very informative and helpful… That much is free.
Then there’s Burpple Beyond – the subscription service for food discount deals. Basically you pay a monthly or annual fee for access to 1-for-1 dining vouchers. There are over 400 restaurants on board.
|Burpple Beyond subscription||Subscription fee||What you get|
|Off-peak (monthly)||$4 /month||Discounts and deal valid only during off-peak hours, which varies depending on the restaurant|
|All day (monthly)||$9.90 /month||Discounts and deal valid all day; you are billed monthly|
|All day (annual)||$69 ($5.75 /month)||Discounts and deal valid all day; you are billed annually|
Should you use Burpple?
I think it’s pretty useful to have a foodie app that incorporates both dining deals as well as food reviews from other diners.
The annual membership is almost 24% cheaper than the Entertainer app ($85 / year), but it also has a lot fewer partner merchants (400+ vs 1,500+). That said, Burpple gives you 4 vouchers per merchant, while Entertainer only gives you 3… Conclusion? In many ways, the two kind of balance themselves out.
If you’re torn between the two, pause to reflect on the type of restaurants you like first. There’s no point in having 43869165 vouchers if you don’t patronise the restaurant in the first place. Based on a quick browse through the two, I’d say Entertainer has more mid- to high-end options, whereas Burpple Beyond has more affordable deals.
If you’re afraid you won’t be able to utilise all the vouchers, both Burpple and Entertainer allow you to share your membership with your friends.
3. The Entertainer app – 1-for-1 dining and/or drinks, from $45 yearly
The Entertainer is by far the most well-known and popular 1-for-1 dining subscription. There are 2 types of memberships – one for dining and one for drinks (Cheers). Unlike Chope and Burpple, however, there’s no free, value-added content like food reviews and guides.
Here’s how much it costs:
|The Entertainer subscriptions||Price|
|Singapore 2019||$85 (UP $145); includes deals in Singapore & Johor Bahru|
|Cheers Singapore 2019||$45 (UP $95)|
That’s the retail price, but if you sign up with promo code MONEYSMART2019, you score a neat 10% off the dining subscription. It will also include the free JB add-on. (Valid until June 2019.)
Although the main focus is of course, food, the subscription also throws in some deals for travel, beauty & fitness and recreational activities.
If that’s still too much for you and you die-die don’t want to pay, then you can check out the HSBC Entertainer deal.
Is HSBC Entertainer the same as The Entertainer?
Nope, sorry. There are fewer deals with limited merchants – only 100+ HSBC deals as compared to 2,600+ on the full subscription – but it is also free (for main HSBC credit cardholders), so don’t complain lah.
Should you get The Entertainer?
As with Burpple, that depends on whether The Entertainer’s partner merchants are restaurants you’d normally patronise. If the answer is yes, the go for it – you’ll definitely get more value than you pay for. Dine at two high-end restaurants, and your savings would’ve covered your annual subscription fee.
One of the most popular partners is Fat Cow, which is an atas Japanese restaurant. The 1-for-1 discounts are on mains, which cost between $48 to $58++.
If you don’t… then you may feel pressured to splurge on expensive restaurants and potentially end up spending more.
4. Eatigo – off-peak dining at up to 50% off
Eatigo doesn’t do 1-for-1 deals – instead, they have a rather unique discount mechanic. They offer 10% to 50% discounts for dining during off-peak periods. The more “unsuitable” it is for a meal, the cheaper it is.
That benefits diners who don’t really mind having lunch at 3pm or dinner at 8.30pm, and helps restaurants fill up their seats. What you do is you head to their website or download their app, make a reservation at your preferred timing, and ta-dah!
Eatigo is free to use, and like Chope and Fave, you don’t need to pay to be entitled to Eatigo discounts. According to their site, Eatigo has over 4,000 partners in the region (Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, India, the Philippines, & Indonesia).
Should you use Eatigo?
If you hate crowds and prefer to dine when it’s quiet, you should give it a shot. The discounts get better as the time slots get “weirder”, but even if you choose relatively “normal” timings like 1pm for lunch and 6.30pm for dinner, you’ll probably be able to score at least 10% somewhere.
A lot of Eatigo’s partners are big chains that are available at malls, making it quite convenient and useful. I personally have the app and use it when I need to satiate my hotpot cravings for cheap at Suki-Ya.
5. Fave Singapore – cheap dining discount vouchers
Also known as My Fave, Fave is the former Groupon. It works pretty much the same way it used to: you buy discounted vouchers online and redeem them in-store. Like ChopeDeals and Eatigo, Fave is free to use.
Fave has offers not just for dining, but beauty, massage, fitness and more too. For some reason, I find their beauty deals more attractive – they have manicure deals at ~$20! – and before this article had never browsed their F&B offerings. (Shrugs)
But as it seems, their catalogue of dining vouchers is quite impressive too. Compared to all the platforms above, Fave has the cheapest deals and partners. Case in point: when I searched, there was a $4.90 deal for Dunkin’ Donuts (2 donuts + 1 coffee; UP $8.60).
Should you use Fave?
Since it’s free, I don’t see any harm in downloading the app or checking out the website – even if it is just to poke around out of curiosity. If you see a restaurant you want to try, just click purchase and you’ll get the e-voucher on the spot.
Fave also has an e-payment method called FavePay. It’s not a mobile wallet so you don’t need to top up and store value; you simply link it to your credit card. This can be quite useful for earning cash rebates in the online transaction department because it is charged to Fave, not the dining establishment.
For example, if you’ve maxed out your rebate quota for dining, but have “space” to earn for online shopping, you will benefit from it.
Conclusion – which dining app should you download?
It largely depends on your needs, but to help you decide, here are the main selling points of each app:
Chope – Buy vouchers when you need, no commitment needed. Also a seat reservation platform.
Burpple – Affordable subscription, but has limited and mostly mid-range restaurants.
The Entertainer – Pricier subscription, but features more high end restaurants for better value.
Eatigo – Best for off-peak dining; for those who don’t mind eating at “weird” timings.
Fave – No commitment needed either, offers the cheapest deals & can earn you bonus cashback with your credit card.
Which is your favourite dining app for discounts? Tell us in the comments below!