Idea 049 - Cheap meals if you follow directions

3 minute read

This post is part of the 100 project ideas project. #The100DayProject. I am looking for feedback. Comment below or DM me via social media Instagram, Twitter.

One Line Pitch

Betting against consumers on human nature


This idea relies on the following facts about humanity

  • Everyone love a deal
  • People are overconfident in themselves
  • Getting critical mass on any service, restaurant, or product is hard without a network effect
  • No one reads the fine print
  • Expense claims are annoying
  • People are not good at sticking to something for a long period of time

I am going to use a restaurant for this example but this could work with any service where people need to leave their house to use. I am using example numbers, instead of $15 it could be $30, and 10x restaurants could be 30, etc…

For the consumer we make this deal

  • Go to these 10 restaurants in 12 days. (The Challenge)
  • You choose what you want to buy from the restaurant. Must be at least $15 before tax, and must be dined in.
  • Keep the recite.
  • Within 24 hours of visiting the restaurant
    • Write an honest public review of the restaurant with a few criteria, 200 words long and mentions these things. You don’t need to be positive (Honest), you can’t mention that you are writing this interview for our service (so the - review doesn’t get removed).
    • Submit the expense claim using our online software in the format that we dictate.

After all 10 reviews are submitted with the expense claims, the consumer gets $15 reimbursed for each meal. ($150 total). They can eat for very little money and get to experience many different restaurants around the city.

We pitch it to the consumers that they are being paid for honest reviews.

For the restaurant

  • It costs them $15 for each review.
  • They get new people into their restaurant, who will probably pay more than $15
  • These people write honest reviews that could create a buzz about their restaurant. (Maybe)
  • They can see an audit trail of the recites to the reviews to ensure that people that they paid for actually showed up. (No fake reviews)
  • The quantity of reviews at their restaurant increases substantially. (I don’t go to restaurants with only 50 reviews)

As the service

  • We charge the restaurants the same amount we would pay out to the consumers. $15
  • We only review the submissions at the end of the challenge. Don’t give the consumers any feedback until the end.
  • We don’t pay consumers who
    • Don’t complete all 10 restaurant reviews within a timeline. If they only review 5 restaurants of the 10, they don’t get paid anything.
    • Didn’t follow the criteria for the review. At least 200 words long, Mention these things, submit within 24 hours of the date on the receipt.
    • Didn’t submit the receipt within 24 hours.
  • We gamble that less than 50% of people will complete the challenge as required. We keep the difference.

We make money because people are bad at following directions, reading the small print, and keeping up with daily challenges.

We have incentive to make our system more draconian over time. Make it harder for these people to complete the challenge. We are betting against the consumers.

We can tell them what our deal is. Explane all the rules in an single document that we send to them when they start. We don’t lie. They have to accept our terms.

Maybe we make the restaurants on different sides of the city, or select restaurants that are very busy and you need to make reservations weeks in advance. Or have a restaurant in the group that only has expensive meals +$50 so they can’t keep it economically. Or require a selphy infront of the restaurants sign. We get to try and think of ways to make it harder and harder each time.


  • Review bombs - People get cheated out of the money, and they go back and change their review to a negative one.

Prior art

  • Almost any rewards program relies on people not using their rewards.
  • Groupon
  • Mail in rebates


Any restaurant that wants to get people in the door and create a buzz around their products or services. Any consumer that wants a deal.

Leave a comment