Making restaurant reservations via phone is something I try to avoid. I can’t tell you how many times people misspell my name (seriously, who would name their child String?), make errors notating the reservation, answer the phone with “jiang huayu, keyi ma?” (translation: “can you speak Mandarin?”), or don’t even answer the phone at all. With Quandoo, a restaurant booking app and web portal, I can make a reservation online or through their app at any time and I am even rewarded points for each booking I make and attend. These points can be redeemed for cash.
Making reservations through Quandoo is free and convenient for users, and comes with additional benefits. Users can easily find restaurants that are nearby, filter their search by price, and read restaurant reviews and recommendations. The company makes money by charging fees to restaurants for their use of the booking system. For many restaurants, who had been using the phone-call-write-in-a-book method, Quandoo‘s booking system is an improvement.
How Quandoo Works
Here’s how the points work
Each reservation you make earns 100 points, which is equal to $1.50. But for just creating an account, Quandoo will give you 400 points (equivalent to $6). You also get points for submitting a review (25 points). When you accumulate 1000 points, you can redeem it for $15 (which goes directly into your bank account). The points are reflected in your account up to 72 hours after you attend your reservation.
|400pts||creating an account|
|100pts||making a reservation|
|25pts||writing a review|
Here’s a free $15 promo code (or 1000pts) that you can use to make your first booking:
(expires 31 Jan 2017)
If you’re reading this past the expiry date, you can use my affiliate code to get 750pts instead:
(no expiration date)
How does Quandoo know you attended your reservation?
Ok, this is where I think there are gaps in their process. They, in actuality, don’t really know and can’t really confirm whether you’ve attended or not. Even though you can (with your phone) “check in” to the restaurant (geo-tag your location, and by doing so, receive 1 point), it is up to the restaurant to confirm on their side whether you showed up or not. This is a back-end process that the restaurant does which you have no control over.
In using their system, I’ve encountered some other situations which I hope Quandoo will address in the near future.
1. You only get points if you book through the Quandoo app or Quandoo website. If you book using the Quandoo widget (directly from a restaurant website), even though there’s a place where you could enter a voucher code for additional points, you will not get any points. You can only get points if you book directly through the Quandoo app/website, and not with the Quandoo widget (pictured below). This is not made clear to the user.
2. Just because you booked a table, there’s no real guarantee that the restaurant indeed has a table available. I once booked a table using a promo code, but later that day, the restaurant called me and told me that they are fully booked and asked me to cancel the Quandoo booking. I not only lost the promo code points, but could no longer use that promo code for future bookings (once a promo code is used, regardless of cancellations, that code is no longer valid).
3. Redeeming points for cash is not as intuitive as I thought it would be. Once you get ≥1000 points, here are the steps to redeem your $15.
- Click the “Redeem now” button at any restaurant listed in Quandoo. This makes it seem like the $15 must be applied only to the selected restaurant, but this isn’t the case.
- An email with the subject line “Your Restaurant Voucher for [restaurant which you chose in step 1]” will be sent to you. This email contains two embedded links (which some email clients might disable) represented by two foxes: 1. make a new reservation, 2. enter your details.
- After making a new reservation, click on the “enter your details” link (fox) and it will take you to the loyalty redemption form (pictured below). This form will also ask you for your reservation data & bank details.
- Quandoo marks the loyalty point redemption as successful & loyalty points are deducted from your profile.
- Attend your reservation.
- Quandoo confirms that the reservation was successful. Quandoo makes the payment to the bank details you provided (this can take up to 10 days after your reservation date).
The biggest concern is that restaurants are not incentivised to tell Quandoo you’ve attended your booking; in a way, they are incentivised to do the opposite. Aside from these gaps, I still feel the system and process is far better than the manual phone call and paper method. I’d still use them even if they didn’t reward me with points simply because it’s convenient and I don’t need to feel embarrassed about my less-than-average Mandarin. Remember to use the code HCQUANDOO before 31 Jan 2017 for 1000 points (equivalent to $15) or SPRING475HFD for 750 points when you make your reservation.