South African food app Fomo, which connects users with specials at restaurants or events, has obtained 50 000 downloads in the last five months.
Co-founders Ryan Marx and Jax Du Plessis – who previously launched price comparison platforms CompareGuru and MoneyPanda – birthed the idea for the app after a night out. After having gone out for supper and left the restaurant, they saw specials at a different restaurant in the same area and wished they had gone there instead.
“When you search Google for what to do in a specific area, we’re often given generic lists that present us with limited options that are seldom updated,” Marx said.
Fomo uses geolocation to show users specials available at nearby restaurants listed on the app. The app provides users with contact details and operating hours for each listing, while users can book a table in the app, and rate the restaurant and special they tried.
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They can also contact the restaurant to give them feedback, through a direct link provided in the app. There is an in-app feature that integrates with Google Maps for directions to the restaurant or to book an Uber. Restaurateurs can be listed on the app for ZAR499 (US$36) per month and have any two existing specials listed at a time.
“Our service allows them to get business in the door and removes the digital marketing aspect of promoting their service for them. We get to focus on our core competency, which is marketing their specials and they get to focus on theirs – doing what they do best,” Marx said.
The startup plans to expand other African countries in the future.