Local Restaurants Offer Discounts Through Foursquare

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Restaurants offer all kinds of discounts and promotions in an effort to get new customers to fill up their seats. But for consumers, it can be tough to remember which restaurant has a deal when you are looking for a cheap lunch.

Now, a relatively new social networking site is making that a lot easier. It’s called Foursquare. Like Twitter and Facebook you share information with your friends. But instead of posting what you are doing, you post where you are. Foursquare uses GPS technology to show you everything that is around you, like shops, restaurants and public transportation to name a few.

Tom O’Keefe is pretty savvy when it comes to social networking. He’s the man behind Boston Tweet, a Twitter-based guide on everything that’s going on in Boston. He showed us what happened when he checked in outside the Boloco burrito restaurant along Boston Common. An orange “special” tag popped up on his phone under the Boloco entry. Click on the tag and you’ll see the restaurant gives away free burritos every Monday to the ‘Mayor’, or person who checks in most often at that location.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.

Steve Garfield and a friend scored an even better deal at the Turner Fisheries restaurant a few blocks away. Anyone who checks in on Foursquare gets 20% off all of their food. “I can get discounts just by doing what I normally do. That’s pretty cool,” Garfield said. It’s great deal for Steve and his friend and for the restaurant. “It’s a great way to hook people back into Turners,” explained general manager Michael DeCanio. “To remind them that Turners is here and still serving some of the best seafood in New England,” he added.

Sitting inside Turners, you’ll also notice another special pop up right across the street. The Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel offers a two for one special on lunch at the Oak Bar. We got a huge lobster role and a chateaubriand sandwich for just $12.

According to O’Keefe, Foursquare is a good deal for everyone. Consumers save money and the restaurants get an easy marketing tool to boost their business. “To get people who are in your neighborhood into your store (or restaurant), right when you have them,” he said.

So the next time you are hungry in Boston check in on foursquare, check in on Foursquare. You t get a great deal on a burrito or a relaxing lunch at one of Boston’s finest hotels.

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