There’s a saying that a relationship—whether between friends, family or romantic partners—is just people taking turns to ask each other, “What do you want to eat?”.
And truth be told, I regularly find this a tough decision to make.
It isn’t easier given that apart from coffee shops and hawker centres, eating at any other place in Singapore has the potential to burn a hole in your wallet, when one meal after another stacks up.
This always brings me to a dilemma of wanting to try something new, but being deterred by the damage it’ll do.
So when dining reservation app Chope invited us to try out ChopeDeals, my interest was piqued.
According to Chope, they offer “the biggest collection of F&B dining deals under one app”, with over 700 deals across a range of mid to high-end restaurants.
Their discounts go from 10% off all-day cash vouchers, to 50% off during off-peak hours, and even 1-for-1 buffet deals.
The Singapore-based company shares that they believe a major advantage customers will enjoy is that they can use deals at any time, with no subscription required.
While ChopeDeals was just officially branded in 2019, they’ve been providing discounts to users on top of their booking service since 2015.
“As diners ourselves, we understand that dining experiences go beyond getting a reservation at a great restaurant—people are constantly looking for smarter ways to save when eating out,” they say.
Let’s see how it fares!
Getting Started And Finding Deals
First of all, I was pleased to know that you don’t have to be a member to access Chope Deals.
But since setting up an account was as quick and simple as connecting to my Facebook profile, I went ahead to do it anyway.
Once you’re on the Chope app, you just need to go to the ‘Deals’ tab to start browsing all the available restaurant deals.
As you scroll down, you’ll see that ChopeDeals has curated a few different lists, such as their collection of popular deals at up to 50% off, buffet deals, deals under $20, and guides based on location.
Having their extensive selection of over 700 dining deals sorted into handy guides is pretty neat if you plan to focus on something specific, like buffets only.
Of all the sections I could browse from, I found the location guides to be most helpful.
For example, if I was planning to meet up with a group of friends at Dhoby Ghaut, I could see all the discounts in that area at a quick glance.
However, one slight peeve I had was that some deals only apply to certain timings, but the app doesn’t display this right away.
Because of this, there were a couple of times I was excited to see a large discount being offered by a restaurant I liked, only to click in and find out that the deal wasn’t applicable at the time I planned to visit.
Still, it’s not such a big drawback since ChopeDeals’ smaller discounts of 10% off are available all day, every day of the week!
It’s also worth mentioning that the Chope app notifies you of vouchers that are applicable when you make a reservation, so you won’t miss out on any deals that can save you some cash.
How To Use ChopeDeals Vouchers
Since ChopeDeals offers cash vouchers, this means you’ll have to purchase your voucher first, and then present it to the restaurant to take that amount off your bill.
The vouchers come in fixed values, commonly $50 and $100.
This is how it works:
If you buy a $100 voucher at a 50% discount, you’ll be charged $50 at check-out on the Chope app, while $100 of your total bill (after service charge and GST) is covered when you dine.
Essentially, as long as you hit $100 or more in your bill, you would be saving $50 on that meal.
Once I purchased my first voucher, it was processed in a matter of seconds and showed up under ‘My Vouchers’ in my profile page.
After that, all I needed to do was let the restaurants’ staff scan the QR code to redeem my voucher.
Now, Let’s Eat!
In the three times I used these vouchers from ChopeDeals, redeeming them at the restaurants was always a smooth and simple process.
I noticed some restaurants request that you present the vouchers upon arrival, and while not every place requires this, I’d say it’s a good rule of thumb to give your server a head’s up.
It’s also important to take note of the terms and conditions, as they may differ for each restaurant.
When I used my first voucher dining at Saveur at Purvis Street, our server was kind enough to remind us that it only applies to their a la carte items, saving us the trouble of wasting our voucher if we ordered from the set menu.
French is not a cuisine I frequently indulge in, particularly because it’s known to land in the higher range of prices.
Even for Saveur which prides itself for “serving fine French fare affordably”, my friend and I racked up a bill of $78.86 between two ladies, easily.
This got us two entrées, along with one starter and one dessert to share.
But as we’d purchased a $50 voucher at 50% off (which required us to dine after 8.30pm), we only had to fork out $28.86 that night.
Together with the $25 we spent buying the voucher, this fine French dinner cost us just $53.86 ($25 saved).
Being on the app also got me eager to explore new dining places I haven’t tried.
Friends have always sung praises for Wild Honey, but never without mentioning that it’s rather pricey too.
Chancing upon a voucher at 45% off, I thought it was the best opportunity to visit for a date night.
I can say the food at Wild Honey absolutely lived up to its hype, so much so that my boyfriend got to witness the phenomenon when a girl starts dancing after she’s full up on a really good meal.
Instead of paying $75.33 for two mains and a side of fries, our spending only came up to $52.83 ($22.50 saved).
For the third meal, I decided to ask the team out for dinner after work.
They were immediately enticed—being Korean food lovers—when they heard Bonchon was offering 35% off.
The latest reservation that we could book for this voucher was 7pm, which was pretty convenient for us to pop over in time from work.
Since there were four of us this time, I purchased two vouchers that added up to a value of $80 after checking that the restaurant allowed us to use multiple vouchers in one visit.
Our satisfaction with the delicious Korean spread was made sweeter when we only had to pay $70.40 out of our $98.40 bill ($28 saved).
How Much Did I Save?
After enjoying three meals out, I was pretty impressed to find that I saved a total of $75.50, from what would have otherwise cost $252.59 in full.
As the cost is split among a few of us, that makes it about $30.75 saved per person.
Besides my only gripe with not immediately seeing deal timings when I browse the app, I ultimately got a lot of satisfaction trying different restaurants at decent discounts.
Afterwards, I also found that my three reservations in turn earned me 400 Chope-Dollars, with which I can redeem a $10 dining voucher or other rewards.
Having no commitment to a subscription proved to be my favourite perk while using ChopeDeals, as I had no pressure to hit an amount of spending just so it would be worth it.
This was probably the cherry on top that would keep me using the app post-review, knowing it still makes sense even if I dine out less frequently.
I’d still go back to choosing more pocket-friendly places to eat in Singapore after this, but when the occasional celebration or special treat comes around, there’s no reason to miss out on a good deal!
All in all, if you love dining out or exploring new places, but are conscious about the price you pay, I would say ChopeDeals can be a blessing from time to time.
This article was written in collaboration with ChopeDeals.
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion into our Facebook page.