How to make money dining at NYC's best restaurants and bars

By: Sarah Funk

If you’ve watched my other NYC videos or live in the city you know this is an expensive place to live. In fact, 1 in every 21 people here are millionaires! Today I’m going to show you how you can actually make money while dining in the city, seriously - I’m not kidding. The secret is an app called Seated.

When I first heard about this app I thought it was too good to be true but then I tried it and was shocked that it actually worked! Using it you get money from dining or drinking out. It helps support local restaurants or bars by filling their seats, and has over 750 of NYC’s top restaurants and bars available to book. Essentially you make a reservation through the app, take a photo of your receipt when you’re done, and then get anywhere from 20% to up to 50% back in rewards at your favorite stores, like Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, and many more. It is real money! I couldn’t believe it! 

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To test the app’s effectivness I went to three different restaurants and bars to see how it would impact my wallet. The first stop of one-Michelin star restaurant, Agern

Agern

Cuisine Type: Danish (Nordic)

Location: Inside Grand Central in Manhattan

Price: $$$$

Agern is a season-driven restaurant led by acclaimed Icelandic Chef Gunnar Gíslason, focusing on locally-sourced ingredients exposed to time-honored techniques and flavors rooted in Nordic Cuisine. This is a great place for a business lunch with clients or a romantic date night. I’ve been here before when I used to work for Disney and was out on a client lunch. It is excellent.

My bill here ended up being $145 and I got $38 back! I think Seated is ideal for upscale dining because it is where you can get back the most amount of reward money. Imagine all of those expensive business meal tabs and getting 20-46% back as actual money you can use? That is a reality with Seated! And the best part is that since you book through the app, your guests don’t even need to know you are using it. You simply dine as a normal guest. The whole process is seamless. 

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden

Cuisine: Czech

Location: 2919 24th Ave, Astoria, NY 11102

Price: $$

The Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden is a Czech style beer garden in the heart of Astoria, Queens. In the late 1800’s many Czech and Slovaks emigrated from Austria-Hungary, and made their way to America. Many found a home in Astoria, Queens. In 1892, the Bohemian Citizens’ Benevolent Society was formed, named after the medieval Kingdom of Bohemia. I recommend getting the Pilsner Urquell beer and the Fried Muenster “ Smazak”.

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One of the ways I saved tons of money through Seated, was by using it during happy hour with friends or late night bar tabs. If you book through Seated, and put the tab on your card (of course have your friends reimburse you for their drinks) then you will get 20% - 40% back in rewards. It is amazing!

Cheryl’s Global Soul

Cuisine: Soul food

Location: 236 Underhill Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Price: $$

As New Yorkers, we can’t live without our weekend brunches. Cheryl’s Global Soul is a great option for a farm-to-table brunch spot. I recommend their pancakes. They are fluffy and delicious!

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Seated has a helpful feature called “Seated Scoop” that has filters on where to brunch, restaurant week, super-surged Mondays (where you can get extra rewards), and more. There are so many options though because Seated is available at 600+ bars/restaurants in NYC alone but also in Boston, Philly, Atlanta, and Chicago. 

If you’re visiting or living in NYC on a budget check out my budget NYC playlist for even more tips.


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