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App rewards locals when strangers try new restaurants

Posted at 4:26 PM, Sep 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-05 21:58:08-04

Going out to dinner in San Diego keeps getting more expensive.

But a new app brings locals discounts to a growing number of eateries, even when strangers try them. 

One of those is North Park's Pomegranate Restaurant, which Tony Devyataykin calls a hidden gem. He says it's a great place, but not a lot of people know about it. 

But it may start paying to spread the word about the Russian-Georgian eatery. 

"And if your friends are going there, and actually like it and are using this place, then you'll be getting a three percent referral fee everything they eat there," Devyataykin said. 

The discount would come through the app he just co-launched called Resty. Pomegranate and about 40 other San Diego restaurants are already on board - including Blush Ice Bar in the Gaslamp to Hillcrest's Empire House. The app is free on the iTunes and Google Play store. Most of the restaurants signed up should be live in the next few weeks. 

"The more you share, the more friends are going, the more Resty points you collect in your account, and you can just use them toward a bill anytime you go to the restaurant," Devyataykin said. 

But it's not just from friends. Discounts also trickle back to users when friends who took your restaurant recommendation on the app refer others. A friend of a friend gets you two percent of their bill back. And if that friend of a friend refers someone else, you get one percent of their bill - and same goes for anyone else those people refer.

"It's good for the good restaurants because you don't want to share something you don't like," Devyataykin said. 

If you have a complaint, the app can send a direct message to each restaurant's owner or general manager.