Author’s Blurb: Those of us who work in the office and don’t bring packed food from home know this problem all too well: what the heck should we eat for lunch? Being in Taipan ourselves, we’re usually spoilt for choice and find it tough to make a decision on lunch. When we can’t make up our minds, we default to what’s familiar and easy, but even then it can get boring.
Leasy App (Leasy) wants you to do away with that indecisiveness once and for all.
Developed by Ming Yan, who did everything for the app from programming to video editing and content writing, this app solves small but oh-so-common issues.
Firstly, the questions of “Where to eat?” and “What to eat?”, and secondly, the labour of splitting the bill.
Simplifying Choices To Save Time
How does it tell me where to eat, you ask? Well, Leasy acts as a food randomiser, sourcing its list of F&B places from Foursquare’s database.
This lets users choose from a wide range of food options no matter where they are in the world.
I’d say it’s better suited for adventurous or experimental eaters as the recommendations you’ll get are completely random and not based on reviews or ratings.
Ming Yan also said, “We could have offered more detailed filters to choose from such as Japanese, mamak, or Italian food. However, we deliberately keep the filters as general as we can.”
Having checked out the app myself, it definitely forces you to make a decision without much room for doubt. It’s designed to look like a lottery game almost, with 3 options to randomise your food: wheel, slot, or boxes.
Select your method of choice, and you’ll end up with 3 F&B outlets to pick from, based on the settings you chose (distance and type of food).
The app then blocks you from trying your luck again for 1 hour, so if you’re really unhappy with your options, you can either try again on a friend’s phone or just ignore the app and figure out what to eat on your own.
In a way, I appreciate the restrictions placed on the user, as in moments of indecisiveness, blocking yourself from overthinking your choices is the best way to just go and get some food.
Easy Debt Assignment
While the food randomiser portion of the app is easy to use, the bill splitting feature is a little trickier. It’s not exactly easy on the eyes, and you’ll need to just play it by trial and error until you get the hang of it.
One thing that I’ll say is pretty cool is the fact that you can take a clear picture of a receipt and the app will automatically analyse the numbers it sees and highlight them for you.
This means that if you’ve got a pretty long bill to split between multiple people, you can simply select each individual and click on the amount they need to pay (highlighted on the image itself), and their debt has been assigned.
You can also input any service charge or tax amount once everyone has been assigned their base debt amount, and their owed amounts will be recalculated automatically.
What I found unfortunate and slightly irritating was the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a way to clear anything that has been typed into the bill splitting function.
So, it’s best that you are confident in who owes you how much before typing it in, otherwise you’ll be wasting your time creating new bill records over and over again.
If Ming Yan makes it more beginner-friendly to use, it’s definitely a value added function to Leasy.
Bill Splitting Is Just The Start
In terms of monetisation, Ming Yan said that while F&B merchants love Leasy because it levels the playing field for everyone, they can still have the option to pay a small fee to get their promotions in the system.
“For monetisation of other features, we will focus on solving users’ problems and use cases first. We hope that we can help to shape their financial discipline and resilience while finding ways to sustain financially,” he added.
In fact, Ming Yan’s long-term goal for Leasy is for it to help people manage their personal finances seamlessly.
He personally kept track of every single one of his expenses with a spreadsheet for 6 years before he gave up, but others were amazed because they’d give up after 6 days.
Through this he realised that it wasn’t a problem with the technology, but with human behaviour.
To solve this, he wants to develop a feature for Leasy that’ll help people track each of their expenses without much effort.
“Bill splitting is just one of them. We will extend the feature further so that users can get their money back without the awkwardness of asking for it,” he said.
With the rising popularity of food deliveries, you’d think Leasy, a food randomiser app for dine-in purposes, would be negatively impacted, but Ming Yan sees another opportunity there.
“When the market for food deliveries has matured, people may consider randomising their options. That’s when we will consider delivering this feature in our app,” he concluded.
Not all stores offer delivery services, but perhaps in the near future, we’ll be able to filter those that do and randomise our options on Leasy.
Bottom Line: I’ll admit that I like to play it safe with what I eat and where, so even though I tried using Leasy’s randomiser several times, I never liked the options presented to me. Their unfamiliarity either scared me, or I simply wasn’t in the mood to eat at those places. Perhaps on a day when I’m more daring, I’ll try it out again, as it’s still exciting to see what gets presented to me.
- You can read about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Leasy