Move over OpenTable, Seated is the best restaurant reservation app for dining out, providing incredible rewards for simply taking a picture of your food receipt. If you like eating out (and who doesn’t) and want to get paid for it, here’s our Seated app review including a sign-up bonus!
FEBRUARY 2020 SPECIAL
Sign-up for Seated this month and get a $15 bonus on top of what you will earn with code JOHN1445 – that’s 3x more than normal!
What is the Seated app?
Seated is a restaurant reservation app, available on both Android and Apple, that allows you to make reservations at over 3,000 restaurants across 15 major U.S. cities, including Boston, New York City, and and Chicago. Once you dine out, use the app to take a picture of the receipt, and you’ll get paid back up to 40% of the bill (before taxes and tips) in the form of Seated dollars.
Note: Seated is temporarily available only in Boston, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. Other cities (Los Angeles, Miami, Washington D.C., Seattle, Houston, Denver, Austin, and Providence) will be back soon.
Seated dollars can be exchanged on a 1:1 basis with its many partner brands, meaning for example, if you have $50 in Seated dollars, you can redeem them for a $50 Amazon gift card.
Recently, Seated has greatly expanded their partner list with many valuable places to redeem your rewards. Here are the current Seated partners as of January 2020:
- Barry’s (Boston only)
- ClassPass (New York City only)
- Delta Airlines
- Land’s End
- Reading Partners
- Today’s Tix
Recently, Lyft have been removed as a redemption partner.
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How does the Seated app work?
Once you download the app (using our link and adding in promo code JOHN1445 during sign-up will give you an extra $15 bonus), all you need is to provide your mobile number to create an account.
No personal details or credit cards required. Everything works in the background. Even the restaurants you’re making a reservation at doesn’t know you’re using the app to book a table.
Here’s the step-by-step guide to help you get started:
1. Browse the restaurants available in your city
At the top of the Seated app, select the city that you want to dine out in. From there, choose how many will be in your group and the day and time you want to go. It will list all the restaurants available based on your selections.
You can also filter the restaurant list based on your preferences; you can browse the restaurants alphabetically, how close the restaurants are to you, which ones are paying the highest rewards, or what places are the most popular. Seated also integrates Yelp reviews and includes the menu for the establishment to help you out.
Still have trouble deciding? There’s an “Explore” button on the bottom of the app that allows you to zone in on a specific neighborhood of a city. In Boston for instance, it lists all the major boroughs:
- Back Bay/Beacon
- East Boston
- Financial District
- North End
- South End
Additionally, Seated allows you to look for a specific type of cuisine (French or Sushi) and the kind of ambiance you’re vibing for (casual brunch or romantic date night).
2. Make a reservation, eat & drink, and take a picture of your restaurant receipt
Once you find the place you want to go, click on the restaurant for more information and to reserve a table. Here, I’m looking to book a sushi lunch for tomorrow.
Ninja Tip: Some restaurants don’t require an advance reservation. Often, there’s a “walk-in” option or you’re able to book 10-15 minutes before you go!
After you reserve a table, Seated will confirm the date and time along with the rewards you’re getting. I’m getting 26% back for this particular booking (the extra $5 you see here are from additional promotion codes you can add on after you’ve signed up):
When you finish and the dining bill comes, open up the Seated app again and go to your reservation. It will ask you to take a picture of your restaurant receipt. Go ahead and use your phone camera to take one and submit it. This is your evidence that you dined out at the restaurant you said you would and how much you’ve spent there.
From here, it typically takes less than an hour (but it could take up to a day) for Seated to verify the amount you spent and put the rewards in your account. They’ll notify you on your phone once they do and credit your Seated account with the earned rewards.
3. Earn rewards for dining out or grabbing drinks
Your Seated rewards stay in your account and don’t expire, so you can redeem them immediately or wait to use it with future reservations in order to get a bigger reward.
Ninja Tip: You can get paid from your entire group’s bill. Grab the receipt next time you have an office outing or a birthday party!
What rewards should you get?
I’m an obsessed Amazon customer – almost all my online purchases except for clothing are through them, so I pretty much used all my rewards to get Amazon gift cards. In my short time using the app, I have redeemed for almost $500 worth of FREE Amazon credit!
Seated Referral Program
Seated has a great referral system to encourage you to refer family and friends!
When Seated first launch the app in 2017, it had a “just okay” referral incentive where you would get $10 for every person you referred and that person would receive $5 on their first dining reservation.
Over the last two years, it has really up the rewards. Your account could get one of the following offers:
- You’ll get $20 per referral and they get $5
- You’ll get $30 per referral and they get $15
- You’ll get $35 per referral and they get $5
The best version for both the referrer and referee is the middle one. The person who is referring gets the second best reward while the person being referred gets 3x the standard sign up bonus.
Seated users usually get this version once they’ve had the app for a while. Luckily, my new user referral code JOHN1445 is exactly that offer.
Seated Partner Program
Seated created a new referral program in June of 2019, where not only do you and the person you refer get extra money, but you also have a chance to become a Seated Partner.
As a Seated Partner, the company will pay you an additional 5% of what they earn on all of your future referee’s reservations!
To unlock this status, you need to refer 5 friends to download the Seated app and use it once. This is for anyone you refer going forward, so unfortunately, anyone you referred before June will not count towards this program.
Seated Reviews on App Store and Google Play Store
First, let me say the Seated app itself works flawlessly – both on Apple and Android phones. Apple’s App Store has stellar reviews of Seated, with iPhone users giving the app 4.7 out of 5.0 stars on average. On the other hand, the reviews on Google Play Store is a middling 2.7 stars.
The main reason why Seated has a number of bad reviews on Google is because of the lack of clarity in the app description. People downloaded Seated thinking there would be restaurants available near them, but for right now, it’s only available in these select cities:
- New York City
- Los Angeles
- Washington D.C.
Although Apple mentions the limited amount of cities, Google doesn’t for its Android users. The bad reviews for this confusion is understandable, if somewhat misguided. Seated can easily fix this by editing the app description so it’s puzzling why they haven’t done so yet.
With that being said, the Seated team is trying to add new cities and restaurants as fast as possible. It’s a start-up company so it can’t expand as quickly as it would like, but they are working hard in making the app available in more cities.
Is there anything else I should know about Seated?
Seated is a game changer because there’s never been something that rewards users so well.
The only thing going against it is that its footprint is relatively small. You need to live near a major metropolitan city to find participating restaurants, but they are expanding. We reached out to Seated regarding this and they said 2 to 3 new restaurants are added every day.
Once that happens, the Seated app will be the only reservation tool you’ll need. Why? Because the rest of the competition doesn’t even come close.
Here’s a comparison between Seated and other popular reservation apps and what they typically pay out to users for a $100 meal:
|Reservation App||Rewards||# of Restaurants|
|Seated||$20 to $40||3,000|
It’s not even close.
The Bottom Line
Seated is hands down, the best app for dining out. The rewards are gigantic compared to its competitors. For that and the other reasons I talked about in this Seated app review, I’m giving the app 9.3 ninja stars out of 10!
Try Seated and get a $15 bonus on your first reservation (use code JOHN1445 during sign-up for the bonus)
I’ve also made a post with other Seated promotion codes you can add in addition to the sign-up JOHN1445 first user bonus above. Be sure to check that often as we update the bonus codes as they come in.
Of course, this wouldn’t be The Money Ninja if this was it. My favorite thing about Seated is that is allows you to stack Seated rewards with other dining reward programs. Stay tuned to learn how I use Seated in combination with other programs to get great deals when dining out!
If you want more reviews like this Seated app review, please let us know!