Connect with us

Life Hacks

My Boss Put Me In Charge Of Weekly Team Lunches For A Month, Here’s How I Helped Us Save $168 

If you eat as many team lunches as we do, or dine regularly as a group, you might want to read this.


This article is written in collaboration with Chope. All views expressed are the independent opinion of DollarsAndSense.sg

Most people in Singapore know Chope as a reservations app. Fewer people may know that there is also ChopeDeals, which offers great food deals in the form of e-vouchers at over 800 restaurants and eateries around Singapore. Deals on their platform range from Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar, to hotel buffets such as Edge at Pan Pacific Hotel and affordable 1-for-1 bubble tea deals such as Hollin.

Getting The Bang For Our Buck

Here at DollarsAndSense.sg, we take our food decisions (almost) as seriously as our personal finance decisions. Team lunches are a weekly affair that we look forward to, unless we have prior lunch appointments planned. The only criteria we (my boss) had – was to explore new places that we have never been to before.

With more than 800 dining deals for us to choose from, ChopeDeals is a great platform for us to find and shortlist places for our weekly lunches.

With distance being a key criterion, we narrowed down our location options to Tanjong Pagar, Telok Ayer, Outram and Chinatown so that lunch will be within a 10-minute walk from our office. We may have flexible lunch timings but given the hectic schedule everyone has, it’s hard to convince everyone to travel somewhere further.

Here’s how we utilised Chope reservations to beat the crowd, and ChopeDeals to easily save a total of 34% off our bill for team lunches over the past month.

Read Also: The DollarsAndSense Team Reveal Their Financial Goals for 2019

Week 1: Team Lunch @ Chug Chug

For our first purchase on ChopeDeals, we went for one of the deals with the biggest percentage discount available, which was 45% off cash vouchers at Chug Chug. To secure seats for a group of 4, we also made a reservation on Chope a few days prior to our team lunch. Some restaurants require you to make a reservation in order to use the dining voucher, so do take note of individual restaurants’ terms and conditions.

We also managed to save an additional $5.40 when carting out by using the ‘SG54’ discount code that ChopeDeals had over the National Day period. We found out about this code through their Telegram channel, where subscribers get first dibs on exclusive content and discount codes. We ended up paying $49.60 for a $100 cash voucher!

After ordering 4 mains and 2 sides for ourselves, our final bill added up to $110.99, which meant that we had to top up $10.99 after offsetting the total bill with the $100 cash value from the cash voucher purchased.

One thing we like about the ChopeDeals vouchers is that you are able to use it for the final bill, inclusive of GST and service charge (if applicable). So if you have a $100 cash voucher and don’t wish to spend beyond that, you should try to hit a spend of about $85.

 

Cash voucher: Paid $49.60 for a $100 cash voucher.

Final bill: $110.99

Total amount paid: $49.60 + ($110.99-$100) = $60.59

Total savings: $50.40 (45.4% off the bill)

Total amount paid per pax: $15.15 (would have been $27.70 without ChopeDeals)

 

Week 2: Team Lunch @ Moosehead Kitchen & Bar

Our second team lunch was at Moosehead Kitchen & Bar, which offers attractive ChopeDeals vouchers at up to 30% off. Since the off-peak deal was only applicable from Mondays to Thursdays from 1pm to 2pm, we decided to have a late lunch and made a reservation before visiting (voucher’s date and time refers to your reservation or arrival date and time).

To maximise savings, we purchased a $100 cash voucher (for $70) and $50 cash voucher (for $35) on ChopeDeals.

 

Cash voucher: Paid $105 for $150 voucher

Final bill: $154.19

Total amount paid: $105 + ($154.19-$150) = $109.19

Total savings: $45 (29.2% off the bill)

Total amount paid per pax: $27.30 (vs $38.55 without ChopeDeals)

 

Week 3: Team Dinner @ L’Entrecote The Steak & Fries Bistro

While scrolling through the deals on ChopeDeals, we were surprised to find an awesomely popular restaurant at Duxton Hill which serves steak and fries. The best deal (45% off) was applicable for off-peak timing, from between 530pm to 630pm on Fridays.

Being the deal-seekers we are, we made a reservation at 6pm on Friday to save 45% for our team dinner. Our office was nearby, making this off-peak hour very ideal for the team. It was also a nice dinner treat for the team, after having recently won the SGX Orbs award for the best GoTo.com website.

With cash vouchers worth $150 to spend (purchased at $82.50), we ordered not just one portion of their famous steak with fries, but also an XXL portion to share. To top it off, we ordered a board that came with cheeses, foie gras and other preserved meats. A pretty good deal for the price we paid!

 

Cash voucher: Paid $82.50 for $150 cash vouchers

Final bill: $157.25

Total amount paid: $82.50 + ($157.25-$150) = $89.75

Total savings: $67.50 (42.9% off the bill)

Total amount paid per pax: $22.44 (vs $39.30 without ChopeDeals)

 

Week 4: Team Lunch @ Bao Makers

Bao Makers, a restaurant located right behind our office, serves buns with local fillings such as chilli crab and salted egg chicken. Having visited this restaurant once and loving their own “Bao” spin to local flavours, we decided to head back there for our team lunch.

Before going to the restaurant, we did a quick check to see if Bao Makers was on ChopeDeals. To our pleasant surprise, it was! We purchased a $50 cash voucher for $45. While it is only 10% off, we can all agree that saving $5 is still better than paying full price, especially when we already intended to spend anyway.

 

Cash voucher: Paid $45 for a $50 cash voucher

Final bill: $69.44

Total amount paid: $45 + ($69.44-$50) = $64.44

Total savings: $5 (7.2% off the bill)

Total amount paid per pax: $16.11 (vs $17.36 without ChopeDeals)

 

All in all, our total bill without ChopeDeals for these 4 team meals would have been $492. However, by purchasing the cash vouchers on ChopeDeals, we paid just $324, about 34% lesser.

Read Also: 10 Food Discount Apps Every Singaporean Foodie Should Be Using To Save Money

The Downsides

There are some terms and conditions to look out for when using ChopeDeals for your dining plans. For some restaurants, you can’t use ChopeDeals vouchers for set meals, other offers, and on the eve and day of public holidays. Some restaurants also limit the number of vouchers you can use per table. Additionally, there is also a validity period for each voucher (usually 60 to 90 days from the date of purchase).

Hacks For Big Groups Using ChopeDeals

#1 Decide on what to order before purchasing the ChopeDeals vouchers

If you are planning to dine in a big group, one hack to save money is to take a look at the menu and decide on the food you will be ordering, before purchasing the vouchers. By estimating how much you will spend beforehand, you can purchase a sizeable cash voucher that’s just enough for your group.

This way, you will not end up in a situation where you feel inclined to order more than you actually need to.

#2 Make a reservation via the Chope app to earn Chope-Dollars

To get the most out of your dining adventures, download the Chope app and sign in/up to make a reservation on Chope beforehand. You will earn at least 100 Chope-Dollars for every fulfilled reservation, and the Chope-Dollars can be used to exchange for dining and lifestyle rewards such as KrisFlyer miles and dining vouchers under Chope’s loyalty programme, ChopePerks. However, do note that not all restaurants on ChopeDeals are available for reservations on Chope.

Read Also: Dining Promotions: 1-for-1 or 50% Off – Which Is Better?