Food App Expanding to Scranton

SCRANTON -- A self-described trendy, dynamic app is making its debut in Scranton on Friday.

The app is designed to help bring traffic to local restaurants, and it's expanding in our area.

The Spotluck app will make its debut in Lackawanna County on Friday and in Luzerne County in March. It will provide diners with discounts at a variety of establishments in the area.

Spotluck is spinning its way to the Electric City. With one spin of a virtual roulette wheel, you can receive discounts of up to 35 percent at a variety of local restaurants.

"The benefits of the app are being able to pull a diner into a spot like Backyard Ale House that wasn't going to come here before they spun. Based on the weather, the time, and the day, we're trying to pull a diner in using the smallest incentive possible to get them to fill this table," said Mario Bevilacqua, a Spotluck Scranton partner. "What happens on the app, is they spin the wheel and what it's going to do is show you a list on this wheel of all local restaurants, getting you to think about local, getting you to think about the mom-and-pop shops and it's going to land on one that's absolutely random and it's going to give you a smart incentive to pull that dinner into that restaurant for that day. One spin a day, one hot spot."

Spotluck is in a number of large cities, including New York and Philadelphia. It currently has 14,000 downloads in Williamsport. The app only supports locally owned restaurants to start, about a dozen of them.

This was all an easy sell for local businesses in Scranton.

"A lot of people think Posh, 'Oh, it's fancy. Oh, it might be expensive,' but it's not. So this is really a way for us to attract new customers, also a younger demographic of people who are on their smartphones and want to get a deal," said Posh co-owner Joshua Mast.

"It puts people in the seats. It gives people discounts when they do get here. On days like today when it's snowing, we might have some empty seats. People don't really want to come out, but they open the Spotluck app and they use it. They get discounts, and it makes them want to come out," said Backyard Ale House bartender Jeff Keating.

You can officially use the app in Scranton on Friday. Spotluck will also have a launch party on Friday at Backyard Ale House with free drinks going to those who download the app.

The app is available for Apple and Android devices.

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