New Media has made its largest investment in technology to date with the development of a brand new app for Eat Out, SA’s best guide to SA’s best food. The free app, available now via the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, will provide access to South Africa’s largest directory of restaurants, providing consumers with the ability to search, book and review. It has also developed a bookings platform for restaurants.
The app and bookings system are a collaboration between Naspers and New Media, a division of Media24, a Naspers subsidiary. It was developed by an experienced team of software developers at Naspers, led by Product Specialist Evan Person.
Evan is a 20-year veteran of the software development industry and has held product roles for software start-ups and corporates in South Africa, the US and the UK in the legal, property, online project collaboration and analytics domains. He describes the app’s innovative features: “The app has been developed to find restaurants nearby using geo-location technology. Better yet, users will also be able to book restaurants using Eat Out’s new online booking system. This will fulfil the user journey and is the first of several new features we will be bringing to the food space in South Africa.”
The Eat Out app is as powerful and functional as its international counterparts, with the addition of easily accessible reviews from Eat Out’s nationwide panel of professional critics, restaurant specials, and the website’s directory comprising over 6 000 restaurants. It’s been designed with ease of use in mind, with the ability to find restaurants close to you or to search for specific restaurants or suburbs. Additional features include the ability to bookmark restaurants, view a vast number of menus, view nearby specials, and share reservation details with dining companions and get directions from your location to the restaurant.
The team created the bespoke restaurant bookings platform by actively engaging with restaurants to identify their needs. There are two modes available for restaurants: Lite and Pro. Lite allows restaurants to take bookings on request and can be used in conjunction with any other booking system. Pro makes instant bookings possible via the Eat Out app. It enables restaurants to streamline all reservations, set up sittings, configure tables, and send notifications to members of staff. Pro also gives restaurants access to a free bookings widget to use on their own website.
Aileen Lamb, Managing Director of New Media, explains why developing the app was a game-changer for the 20-year-old brand: “As the biggest restaurant listings site in the country, this was an opportunity to guide our audience along every step of the eating out process. It is a tool that South Africa needed and, as a leading brand in the restaurant industry, Eat Out had to fill this gap. By putting the ability to make bookings straight into our users’ hands, we hope to make this process smoother and less stressful than ever before. The bookings platform was equally important to us in order to fully close the loop. Whether you’re an award-winning fine dining establishment, a chain of family-friendly restaurants or a country-style kitchen, the Eat Out app will help you reach more diners and organise your bookings in a way that helps you. In this way we’re effortlessly connecting restaurants with diners, so the relationship may flourish.”
Edited by Daniëlle Kruger
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