Today nez, a London, U.K.-based app that helps users find food and drink deals, announced that it had raised £2 million (~$2.54 million) in funding from investors including Martin Robinson, the chairman of Burger King U.K. (tip via tech.eu). This brings the company’s total amount of funding to £3 million (~$3.8 million)
Founded in 2016, nez is an app that features real-time deals to local restaurants, bars and cafes that are no more than a 15 minute walk away from the users’ current location. Specifically, it targets busy office workers who want to spice up their daily lunch routine beyond the same old ham-and-cheese sandwich.
On its website, nez describes itself as “the chalkboard for the digital age.” But while a sidewalk chalkboard proclaiming discount burritos can only draw in people who happen to stroll by, nez can actively push out deals out to all nearby app users and attract more restaurant footfall.
It also offers a companion app for foodservice partners (separate from nez’s consumer-facing one) to help them track purchases and get customer feedback, and has a service called nez perks, which lets employers give workers virtual “credits” which translate into discounts at local bars and restaurants. Users also earn points whenever they redeem a nez deal, which can accrue to help them get bigger discounts at their favorite spots.
Recently there has also been a new crop of companies trying to connect office workers with cheaper, better lunch options. Mealpal offers discounted lunch subscription options for pickup at local restaurants. Peach is similar, but lets users get their discounted lunch options delivered to the office. Perhaps most akin to nez, Feedback and Gebni let restaurants offer dynamic menu pricing (though only the latter has delivery).
Nez is smart to target the office lunch crowd. It’s easy to fall into a rut with picking up the same old chicken salad day after day from the place around the corner once noon hits. By offering a discovery aspect, nez can satisfy diners’ hunger for new lunch options nearby and also help food establishments — especially smaller, under-the-radar ones — attract new customers and incentivize them to keep coming back. One challenge is that nez doesn’t seem to offer any sort of delivery, so they’re counting on workers taking the time to get up and pick up their lunch, which might eliminate some busier or lazier diners.
According to tech.eu, nex claims to have 150,000 users who have redeemed 385,000 food and drink deals through the service. It currently works in eight London neighborhoods.