I’ve previously written about The Entertainer app when it first launched in South Africa back in 2014. I used it for that period, and in 2015. Then I had some issues with the app and didn’t get a reply from the support team so I abandoned it. 

Fast forward to 2018 and things are a little different now; and it’s the reason I’ve made it app of the week because there are some changes since then.

In a nutshell, it’s an app that you purchase for your location – Johannesburg & Pretoria; Durban; Cape Town; etc that gives you access to 2-for-1 deals. According to their website, there are over 1 000 outlets listed in the 2018 Gauteng version, offering more than R1.7m in savings. That’s obviously the total, nobody is going to spend anything close to that. But who doesn’t like eating out, and who doesn’t like saving? 

Here’s what I like, three years later:

> The app has been revamped and looks much better now. It has a modern feel, and kind of looks like a social network, with tabs at the bottom like notifications, favourites, profile, and products.

> The app is the only way to access it now, you can no longer buy the voucher booklet. Makes complete sense, I’m all for going digital and also, merchants are added throughout the year, and the hard copy quickly becomes out dated. Personally, I’ve had several vouchers expire cos I didn’t know where I put them and never remembered to carry it with me. 

> You no longer need a 4 digit PIN code when redeeming vouchers. This for me is the single best thing to happen to the app. I don’t know why it felt like I couldn’t remember my code every time I needed to redeem something, and then it took a few tries. Also, I eventually forgot my password for the app and couldn’t access it ‘cos I couldn’t could reset it due to a fail on Entertainer’s part. Maybe this is fixed now, too.

> The app is more than just restaurants, it includes spas, salons, hotels, sight-seeing, fashion, etc although I’m mainly using it for eating out. Categories include Food & Drink; Beauty & Fitness; Attractions & Leisure; Fashion & Retail; Everyday Services and Hotels Worldwide. Regarding hotels, there are lot of countries in the Middle East in there, as well as Asia. Works on buy one night, get one night free premise, just like the app itself. Lots of South African options in there too, if you’re looking for a getaway.

> There’s a new Smile feature where you earn virtual currency each time you redeem vouchers, which then allows you to buy back vouchers you’ve already redeemed. Handy if you visit your favourite restaurant in the first few weeks/months and use all three vouchers sooner rather than later. Already thinking about the Lindt Explosion I had at The Raj and how I need to keep going back for it!

> The Smiles features goes beyond that, there’s a bit of a gamification aspect to it. You can earn more Smiles if you share your savings on social media, invite friends, earn when they sign up and redeem, and it’s tied to earning badges and moving up a rank, which if I’m honest, don’t know a lot about, yet! There’s a also a leaderboard amongst your friends if you’re competitive like that. 

> The Notifications tab has useful information like news and updates, so be sure to check it in case there are offers you can use. There are also articles in there… currently I’m seeing “Entertainer 2018 Secrets”. 

> Your Profile tab looks like most social networks now, and it shows your savings breakdown, and how much you saved so far. It also displays your badges and rank. You can also view your Smiles balance here. You can go into your Savings breakdown and see exactly what you saved and where.

> Lastly, my favourite part: the actual restaurant listings that appear on the app that you have at least 3 vouchers to use at. Some of the places I’ve favourited are spots I’ve been to and will definitely return to: So Yum, Glendas, Protea Hotel Fire & Ice, Nonna’s Italian, Sumting Fresh, 86 Public, Adega, Saravana Bhavan, The Good Luck Club, Wolves, Little Addis, etc. There are loads more to choose from, and I haven’t even touched on the spas.

The app can be purchased directly from The Entertainer website: www.theentertainerme.com for R495 (Gauteng 2018), but at the time of writing this post on Tuesday, 23 January, it is listed for R295 on special.