Like most broke, hungry college kids, I am always on the lookout for a food deal. Especially a deal that does not limit my choices once I arrive at the restaurant. About a year and a half ago, founder Marcelo Vieira partnered with Sriram Vishwanath to develop their app, TasteBud, formerly known as Azul. The app gives consumers the freedom to choose exactly what menu item they want to eat at a restaurant, but at a discount.
TasteBud differs from other food apps (like Hooked) in two main ways. First, TasteBud gives customers the freedom of choice. Customers can use their discount for any menu item. Second, TasteBud does not offer a static discount, but rather a varying discount. With a varying discount, the deals are constantly changing as restaurants bid for your business, so you have the chance to grab a great deal at a low price.
The app gives customers 30-50% off the entire menu, but the best discounts happen during off-peak hours and happy hours, as restaurants want to attract customers. For example, Mellow Mushroom might offer customers $10 worth of food for only $6.01, which is 40.9% off your meal, during off-peak hours. But the deal will change depending on how many customers are purchasing the deal. So, when the restaurants get busier, the deal may change to $10 worth of food for $6.79, which is 32.1% off your meal. Either way, still a great deal.
The simple layout of the app allows customers to search for deals three different ways. By distance (the deals are ordered by closest to farthest away from you), by price (the deals are ordered by cheapest to most expensive) and finally, on a map feature.
TasteBud also includes the menu of each restaurant, so customers can browse their options before deciding to buy the deal.
Currently deals are based around the UT campus and downtown Austin, but expanding into other parts of Austin.
On October 29, TasteBud is hosting an event from 4-7:30 p.m. at the CO-OP Food Court with special performance by The Mohini Dance Team. The event will promote the app, and 10% of all proceeds purchased through TasteBud with promo code Food4Charity will go directly towards the Ghisallo Foundation.