As a frugal fanatic, I’m in love with the digital age. Thanks to countless coupon and daily deal websites, I’m not limited to just the coupons and ads in the newspaper. And now that I’ve got a smartphone, I’m not limited to finding deals to solely when I’m at home. Instead, I can find deals on the go with discount apps like BiteHunter.
BiteHunter is an iPhone daily deal app for foodies. Unlike most deal sites that cover everything discount, BiteHunter sticks to restaurants and dining deals which come from several popular deal sites and apps like Groupon, LivingSocial, and Restaurant.com.
How It Works
BiteHunter follows the model of Daily Deal sites like Groupon, which works with different businesses to create special one-time offers. The site then posts an advertisement for the offer and an expiration date (typically within one day). Users log on, view the different deals, and buy a coupon for any deal they want directly through the deal site. In turn, the site gets a portion of the profits, and the businesses bring in more customers.
But digging through several different deal sites to find discounts on local restaurants is a pain, and that’s where BiteHunter comes in. The app pulls dining-related deals from the major sites and sorts them on the app, so you only have to view one app to find all the available foodie deals and easily save money with restaurant discounts and coupons.
The app’s main screen is divided into categories like “Happy Hour,” “Deals,” and “Gift Certificates.” Clicking any one of these categories takes you to those specific deals. For example, clicking the “Latest Deals and Offers” category gave me a list of the most recent discounts, while clicking the Happy Hour category showed me restaurants offering deals between 5pm and 7pm.
If you’re in the mood for something specific, you can use the search feature at the top of the app. For example, you can search by type of cuisine or the name of a specific restaurant.
Choosing and Purchasing a Deal
After you find a deal, you can click on the synopsis to view a full review of both the coupon or discount, as well as the restaurant itself. From the deal page, you’ll see details about the restaurant including reviews, ratings, and rankings.
If you find something you just have to get, you can order the deal right from iPhone by clicking the “Redeem” button. Once you click Redeem, the app directs you to the deal site that posted the original discount, and you can purchase the deal. Many restaurants don’t even require that you print the order certificate – you can just show them your purchase right from your screen.
- Discounts and Coupons. BiteHunter doesn’t focus solely on discounts or on coupons – instead, you get a wide range of special offers from several of the major daily deal sites. For example, I saw a coupon for buy one, get one free drinks, a $50 gift certificate for half-price, and a $20 discount on a five-star restaurant in my area.
- Gift Certificate Deals. The app also posts gift certificate deals for eateries in your area. It’s a good option for yourself, and is also an easy way to find last-minute gifts for someone else. On average, the gift certificates I viewed saved 20% to 25% off the purchase price, but I saw several for up to 50% off the purchase price.
- Ability to Purchase via Your iPhone. Having a direct link to the deal site saves a ton of time since you can purchase the gift certificate or discount coupon directly. And a few restaurants don’t even require that you print the coupon or deal – just that you show them the receipt on your iPhone.
- Nationwide Coverage. BiteHunter finds deals all across the United States, so you can use the app at home or while you’re traveling.
- Great Deals. BiteHunter’s only goal is provide deals on dining, and they’ve achieved that. I found percentage discounts, “buy one, get one” offers, and special discounts on gift certificates for local restaurants in my area.
- Info from Yelp and Local Eats. Through a partnership, Yelp now provides all the reviews for the restaurants listed on BiteHunter. Additionally, Local Eats now provides rankings and ratings for each spot. Having two well-known sites contribute adds a great deal of credibility to this app.
- Simplified Deal Searching. Since BiteHunter pulls discounts from other popular apps like Groupon and LivingSocial, you’ll spend less time hunting for deals – which is great news when you’re starving and just want to find a coupon.
- Maps. BiteHunter posts their deals on a map so you can see where each spot is located. This is great for when you are traveling and looking for somewhere near your hotel or the airport.
- Photos. The new version of BiteHunter features photos of the storefront or inside the dining area, depending on the restaurant. Having photos to view may make it easier to make a decision.
- Free to Download. BiteHunter is available free through iTunes and on the BiteHunter website.
- Not Compatible With All Smartphones. BiteHunter isn’t available on Android devices (or BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices for that matter). Without an iPhone, you can’t access the app.
- Flawed Design Elements. Unlike some other daily deals apps, BiteHunter may require a lot of tapping and waiting to get through the different deals. And if you purchase a deal, you’re sent to the deal’s main website, which caused some stalling and errors for me.
- Poor Service in Some Areas. I found dozens of deals in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but few deals in the surrounding areas. If you live in a suburb, you may not see many deals on the app.
- Slow Update Rate. Expired deals continue to appear on the app for hours (and in some cases for days) after their expiration. This causes two problems. First, it requires users to scroll through several pages to find current deals. And second, you cannot see if a deal has expired until you click on it to view, which is a waste of time.
BiteHunter is in need of a few improvements, but for a free iPhone app, it’s worth the download. After all, the app’s best features are worth putting up with a few glitches here and there. If you haven’t already, I suggest grabbing the app from the iTunes store and giving it a try.
Have you used BiteHunter? What are some of your favorite features?