Top 5 Foodie Apps

You can use your smartphone for almost anything now, including finding your next meal. Jo Stewart discovers five tasty apps.

Whether you’re a fan of French fancies or are seeking out healthy meal options, you need look no further than your phone. From snapping up last-minute restaurant deals to earning rewards towards your next meal, these five new apps should be your go-to when dining in Melbourne.

1 Royal Stacks

Remember getting into trouble for playing with your food when you were young? Now that you’re a grown-up, you can play with burgers to your heart’s content thanks to an app created by hit Melbourne burger joint, Royal Stacks. Giving users a chance to skip the queue by ordering via their smartphone, the app also features a popular game that rewards players with in-store credit. “I didn’t want to do an app for the sake of an app,” says Royal Stacks founder Dani Zeini. “I wanted to offer a fun way of giving our customers rewards and for people to interact with our brand in more ways than just eating our food.” Inspired by positive customer feedback, Dani is working on adding more games to the app, which harnesses augmented reality technology to reach customers on a different level. While the burger stacking game is fun to play, the in-store rewards like free fries and meal upgrades are a tasty bonus. Offering more than the typical restaurant app functions is the key to the app’s success. “The game is a little different and goes beyond the usual. We wanted to go that extra mile,” explains Dani. Warning: the Stacks game is as addictive as the burgers.

2 EatClub

Everyone knows about apps for last-minute hotel deals, but what about restaurants? Co-founded by British chef Marco Pierre White, EatClub connects diners with restaurants that have spare tables and hot deals to share. Simply scan the app for restaurant deals, choose a deal, and flash your digital voucher at the restaurant. Melbourne partners include favourites like Taxi Kitchen and Rice Queen.

3 Liven

This nifty app offers genuine savings that can be put towards your next meal. Just download the app, link your credit card to the account and start earning digital currency when you dine at Liven restaurant partners. Then you can put your digital currency towards your next meal or donate a cut to a charity like OzHarvest. With Gelato Messina, Biggie Smalls and Gramercy Social all signed up, Liven is a smart way to be rewarded for eating at some of Melbourne’s hottest eateries.

4 MealPal

Deciding what to eat for lunch day-in, day-out is a common conundrum. Simplifying the dilemma, MealPal allows you to lock in and prepay a set amount of lunches for the month. There are plenty of options to choose from, including Mr Burger, Spudbar, Mamak and 5 & Dime Bagels.

5 28 by Sam Wood

Dubbed “the personal trainer in your pocket”, this app covers everything from fitness to food. If your good intentions to choose healthy options at dinnertime tend to fall by the wayside, this easy-to-use app’s meal plans – accessible when you join the 28 by Sam Wood online program – empower you to stay on track. Need clean-eating meal inspiration? A 3,000-strong recipe database means you’ll never be left scratching your head in the supermarket aisle again.

Jo Stewart ( @jostewartwriter) has travelled the world writing on subjects as diverse as pop culture and community issues. Her latest book I Can Get Paid For That? is available now.