Here’s the scoop: We’ve moved downtown to a shiny new high-rise on State Street this summer, and while the space is amazing, we are still settling into our new environment. The two biggest challenges we’ve faced, hands down, are parking and navigating the Boston food scene. Parking is a brand spanking new challenge for us (coming from a cush parking garage in Dorchester) because space is very limited in the exploding downtown Boston area. And eating, well, there are countless lunch spots, but managing lines and weeding through menus is tough! There are too many amazing places to choose from.
The buzz around the office is often about the new apps we’ve recently discovered, many of which have helped to ease the transition and take full advantage of what the Financial District has to offer. Here are our favorites, followed by some staff picks.
MealPal: This app is the latest craze to hit the city of Boston. It allows users to pay a fixed price for lunch and includes meals from popular downtown restaurants. Hundreds of local dining spots participate, and users can save boatloads of money and time on lunch by subscribing to a meal plan. The more lunches you sign-up for, the more you save. All you have to do is log on and choose your lunch between 5pm the day before until 9:30am that morning from a pre-fixed menu. MealPal is certainly helping us justify trying new restaurants every day.
Seated: Each time you make a reservation with this app, you get rewarded with a $15 gift card from either Amazon, Uber, or Starbucks. What’s the catch? We were thinking the same thing. The point of the app is to encourage patrons to visit during a restaurant’s slower times, and you have to bring at least one friend and order food (not just drinks). That said, it’s a pretty sweet deal getting money back from eating out.
Validated: Featured on Shark Tank, this genius app drives business to shops and restaurants by offering to pay for your transportation. Each time you shop and dine at a Validated business, you earn credits to pay for car share, parking, public transit, etc. Parking in a city can rack up some unexpected charges, but Validated helps to foot the bill.
More personal favorites from the BGM Experiential team…
Ben, intern, tech nerd – Ben’s favorite app is Soli. It’s a shopping rewards app still in beta testing. Every time you get a point, it retires 2 pounds of CO2 from the The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap and trade program and gives you 1-5% cashback on your purchases. The app was concepted at Boston University, making this favorite a local initiative.
Kendall, account manager, on-the-go-mom – Kendall uses Park Whiz to search for daily parking deals in the city. Just type in your destination and the app will locate nearby garages with availability. Pre-pay to make for a quick drop off — you just show them proof of purchase from your phone. The real bonus? It’s valet!
Kaitlyn, intern, budget conscious – As a college student, paying $30 for a spin class is unrealistic. Last year she discovered the Nike + Run Club app which not only tracks your runs (pace, location, distance), it gives you personalized coaching and the ability to compare your runs to friends and fellow runners within the app’s network.
Sara, marketing director, foodie – Food trucks are steadily gaining popularity as a convenient lunch option. The idea behind them is genius! Lunch comes to you (literally) on wheels. The only problem with constantly mobile restaurants is keeping tabs on them, but this website, called Feed Me Boston, is the best solution we’ve found. It allows users to locate trucks all around the city, and you can even filter them by meal time and location.
I would say the BGMexp team is ad-app-ting pretty well to State Street life, thanks to all these awesome apps. Check them out and let us know what you think. We’re saving time, money, and eating pretty awesome lunches. Happy App-ing!