Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published September 16th 2017
Amazing but it's true and you can save heaps
From Liven Twitter account-https://twitter.com/LivenAustralia
This is definitely the beginning of my happy-ever-after love affair with this app.
I rocked up to Il Gambero one of Carlton's famous Italian restaurants on a busy Friday night to try it out. I ordered the Bistecca Alla Gambero which is eye fillet steak topped with a seafood, garlic, white wine and napoli sauce and a couple of glasses of an excellent Smith & Hooper Merlot and a dessert I had better not admit to.
Bistecca Alla Gambero which is eye fillet steak topped with a seafood, garlic, white wine and napoli sauce
I would not usually have opted for such an extravagant meal and probably settled for less expensive options such as pizza and pasta, but as I knew I was getting a huge chunk shaved off the bill, I decided to lash out.
I was a little apprehensive as this was my first time using the app, but it was super easy. The lovely waiter at the cash register showed me how. Basically, click on the restaurant you are eating at and then follow the prompts.
A peppermint and chocolate dessert that somebody ate on the night
As you have payment details on the app payment is quick and easy.
At the end, the 25% comes off the bill and this amount pops us which is digital cash. As an example, I got $16.50 back.
This Liven Cash can then be used to pay for your meal next time you eat out. And the more you eat out, the more you earn as with 20% to $25% off every time the amount just keeps topped up enabling you eat out more cheaply every time you eat out and use the app.
Or you have an opportunity on your screen to donate a portion of the entire amount to charity such as the Salvation Army, the RSPCA, the Royal Children's Hospital and Oz Harvest. These donations are also tax deductible and you receive an online receipt.
Here is a short YouTube segment that shows you how easy the app is to use.
Millenials can now get that house deposit together.
Similarities and differences to the Entertainment Book.
There are some similarities with the well-known Entertainment Book although there is no physical book and this smartphone platform is streamlined and sleek. Everything is done on your phone. There is no hefty upfront fee for you the consumer to run the free version of the app and charities are still receiving plenty of donations.
But I won't be able to use it in my suburb.
I was really surprised at how wide the net for this app is. There are a lot of inner-city suburbs such as Carlton, Hawthorn and St Kilda but I noticed there are plenty of options for more outlying suburbs such as Hampton, Moonee Ponds, Wantirna South, Ascot Vale, Preston and Ringwood. There are over 500 venues on offer.
But it won't be to places I normally eat out at
I am out in the burbs and to my delight my favourite Thai restaurant was in there and my favourite coffee and brunch haunt in Box Hill which is Platform 3 as well as a few new local eateries I have meant to get around to trying. Now I'll make sure I do. You might want to have a look around and see what is near you. There are new venues being added every week which keeps the app fresh and interesting.
But I don't eat out
To my surprise Liven is not just about food. There are options for example for hairdressers, 20% off a favourite place of mine the Peninsula Hot Springs, sporting clubs, exercise classes and even massages. A big one for a lot of people will be Secure Parking as if you use the app you can get $6 parking on weekends but and on evenings as well.
But how easy is it to find these places?
One of the features of the app is that it shows you the places closest to you. It doesn't matter if you are home or out. This is really handy if you are perhaps going to an event such as a movie or show and you quickly want to find out where to eat cheaply but nicely beforehand. The app allows you to turn on directions to then find your way to your selection and there is even a link taking you through to Uber if you need a ride.
But you probably can't use Liven on a weekend?
No such punitive measures thankfully. Some dates are out such as the expected Christmas Day but generally you can use these deals when it suits you. My meal was on a busy Friday night when the restaurant was almost full.
Liven gives you an incentive to be the one to pay the bill
As one bright spark pointed out if you use the app to pay the bill in a group of four you could be the one in your group raking in all the future free meals. Take a look at this link.
Yes, you do get to eat out at top restaurants with Liven
Here is a link to 17 of Melbourne's top restaurants where you can eat out using the Liven app.
I was out recently and heard a group of American tourists complaining about how expensive it is to eat out and drink in Australia. Even as locals, we know this is true. If tourists have this app they will easily be able to save on eating out in many touristy areas such as Melbourne's Carlton, the CBD, and Docklands.
What are the vendors getting out of this?
I was scratching my head about this one for a moment. What they get is foot traffic so people choose their establishment over the hundred of others they are in competition with. They also save a lot on processing bills as the app is so quick to use. It is also a ways to give back to the community with considerable money streaming towards charity. Garry Simonian, owner of Platinum Restaurant Group, and his Operations and Marketing Manager Fallon Gomesz speak about the benefits of listing on Liven on this YouTube video.
Learning about new places through special incentives
I've had a number of special incentives come through to me since I joined Liven. These have offered $10 to $20 off bills at some great new places. You simply put the code they send you into the app (this is easy to do even for a Luddite such as myself) and then you get that extra amount off your bill. But get this. You also still get the 20% to 25% off your bill on top of that. These cash backs are going to be a great incentive to broaden your horizons on the places you eat out at.
You could just download the Liven app and get started, but it is worth knowing that you get an additional $10 credit to use on the app if you use someone's promo code. If you don't know anyone else with the app then my referral code is UOF5A .