Jonathan Allen is a Cal Poly graduate and San Luis Obispo resident of 14 years.
Over those years, he’s spent a lot of his time getting to know the restaurants in the area, but he said he always felt that something was missing.
“I've always been looking for deals around town, but there was no single app that could host these deals or even if I did end up finding a deal, it was a one-time use and I thought, why not just build it?" Allen explained.
That’s exactly what he did, building SLOeats from the ground up alongside his friend, Alex Kavanaugh.
“I thought, man, if I could help keep businesses in business, that would be great, so I started with working with a lot of the mom-and-pop shops," Allen said. “I came in and said, 'Hey, I'm not going to charge you anything. Let's put more money back into the local economy and instead charge the customer $9 a month.'"
After spending an entire year working on it, Allen launched the discount app just five months ago.
“It's going really well considering I’ve only been on the app for like three weeks," said Hoagies owner Nick Stieb.
Since launching, Allen said there are now 29 restaurants and 2,500 app users.
“His idea with the buy one, get one free, and it's free for me to promote it. I even have people that come in and ask if we're doing some type of special and I’m like well, we do if you sign up for the SLOeats app. So it's kind of like we're working together to promote each other," Stieb said.
The app is designed to provide promotions and discounts for dine-in or take-out only.
The idea is to bring the community together.
“It's just to get people in the door. I want people to understand that we have really good food here. We have good burgers," Stieb added.
“Just trying to help build more exposure to the town as well. It's not just about saving the money, which it's a lot of money you're saving, but it's also being able to say, 'I didn't even know that place existed,'" Allen said.
In the future, Allen said he hopes to expand the app to other cities across the Central Coast.
From May 1 through October 1 the app is free to download and use. After that, the app is $9 to use.