Restaurants Plus is a credit card-linked cash back program. It was launched with initial success in DC, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, but struggled to keep customers engaged.

Hangry Machine is a fully reimagined experience to keep customers engaged while giving them even more value compared to Restaurants Plus.

This project was designed from scratch and approved for development by LivingSocial stakeholders in the span of two weeks.


Problems with Restaurants Plus

  • passive experience for consumers
    • mobile apps have limited use case
    • too frictionless
    • consumers forgot to use it
  • limited consumer use underwhelmed merchants
    • hard to keep merchants on platform
    • resulted in limited inventory
  • limited inventory gave users even less of a reason to use Restaurants Plus
How do we get them reengaged?


The project name HangryMachine is an homage to LivingSocial's roots. The company was originally called HungryMachine, a name to represent the company's aim to live hungry and to churn out great apps like a well-oiled machine.

With what we learned from Restaurants Plus' initial success, we knew our customers loved the voucherless experience it brought to getting deals (no need to buy a voucher, just swipe your card and get cash back). This was one aspect I wasn't willing to give up for the sake of more touch-points.

So how were we going to get customers to go into the app without locking them into click-to-claim models?
Incentivize them with even more cash back.

Here's the logic:

  1. our customers come to us for deals in order to save money
  2. our customers signed up for Restaurants Plus in order to save money more conveniently
  3. play towards what they value most and incentivize certain behaviors with more savings

Ultimately we designed a win-win-win scenario. Customers are incentivized to spend more money at participating merchants. Merchants gain even more exposure with more data to prove LivingSocial is driving customers to their establishments. LivingSocial brings in more marketing revenue from higher frequency customers.

The new app focuses on bringing consumers back into the digital experience in a way that doesn't introduce more friction, but more delight. Take a look at the features below:

Social Feed

  • serves as a consistent reminder that there’s plenty of money to be earned in cashback
  • friends earning cashback engages consumers much more than just record of their own cashback - friends make it real
  • targeted offers based on user behavior gives more relevant content to help the consumer earn more cashback

Instant Gratification

  • post transaction push notifications bring consumers back into the app, further increasing reengagement
  • bonus incentives keep the consumer active through surprise and delight
  • multiple benefits to incentivizing certain behavioral patterns
    • dine with friends to earn more cashback - merchants receive more business and revenue
    • get rewarded for dining out regularly - increases purchase frequency
    • earn badges based on behavior - encourages them to try new restaurants
    • sharing the experience to earn more cashback - drives new customers to the platform

Discover More

  • restaurant reviews left by friends are shown first
    • consumers trust reviews left by their friends and inspires confidence to dine at the restaurant
  • consumers are more likely to dine at a restaurant that their friends have also dined at
    • showing their friends here drives additional business for the merchant


  • lifetime earnings reinforce the value of the platform
  • member levels give extra cashback based on purchase frequency to encourage continued use
  • earn badges based on behavior
    • encourages consumers to try new restaurants and unlock new badges
    • badge silhouettes give consumers hints as to how to unlock new badges

History & Photos

  • the history tab lets consumers see where they’ve dined before and reminds them of how much cashback they’ve earned on the platform
  • the photos tab also gives consumers a sense of nostalgia and brings them back to their favorite restaurants

Redeem Cashback

  • redeeming cashback is an active experience
    • brings consumers back into the app to redeem cashback
  • additional cashback redemption options give added value to their cashback
    • can be used to redeem local deals
    • option to gift their cashback to a friend
      • brings more customers to the platform