If you’ve spent any time shopping, eating or drinking in Leicester over the last year you’ll surely have seen information about LoyalFree and their money saving app. Working with a mix of independents, larger chains, retailers, restaurants and more you can find loyalty schemes, offers and themed trails all in the palm of your hand.
Created here in Leicester by Jason Nesbitt and Sophie Hainsworth, they’ve gone on to roll out the app to 13 other towns and cities in the UK, winning a bundle of entrepreneur and tech awards along the way. We caught up with CEO and Co-Founder, Sophie Hainsworth, to find out more in this week’s BID Spotlight.
LoyalFree is an app offering loads of local deals, but what sets you apart other voucher based apps?
LoyalFree is an all inclusive app, meaning not only can you find independents and national brands on there but you can find offers from all types of businesses – for example food, drink, health & beauty and even services such as estate agents.
It also has a lot of additional offerings outside of the deals – you can find events, tourism information, parking details and now interactive trails to discover everything from gluten free cafes to dog friendly pubs.
Finally, LoyalFree is UK wide so you can enjoy it in Leicester but also in an additional 13 towns and cities.
Tell us some of the benefits of downloading the app?
The easiest, most appealing one: to save money! We have over 100 deals in Leicester, with new ones added all the time.
But crucially the app allows you to find information about the City beyond the deals.
As a start-up you began life in Leicester and have now expanded to 14 towns and cities. How does Leicester compare to the other places you work within?
Leicester is our home City so will always be a special place for us. We’ve seen a huge amount of improvements in the City and it’s amazing to be able to promote it to locals and visitors. For us, the start up community in Leicester was an amazing platform to start our business, surrounded by other entrepreneurs willing to share ideas.
We’re fortunate because Leicester is a great place to start a business. The low cost of living is a large factor, coupled with the transport links by road and rail making the whole country easily accessible. There is also a great community of business founders supporting each other, networking and coming together in innovative co working spaces which we use regularly.
What are some of the most appealing offers on the app in Leicester?
We have lots of great exclusives on the app, not available anywhere else. For example, 15% off food at Chutney Ivy, 10% off at Set and 20% off the bill at 1573.
Not only this, but our users can collect their loyalty stamps through the app at great coffee spots such as St Martins and even bars such as Tonne.
As a team you’ve won a large number of awards in the tech start-up world, which one has meant the most to you?
Winning 2 categories at the Retail Systems Awards in 2018 was a real stand out moment for us because it was national recognition of our work. We were up against finalists such as Cafe Nero, John Lewis and New Look so were very proud to be recognised amongst these household names.
On a local level we recently took home the Digital Innovation award at the FSB East Midlands finals which was a great moment as we are huge fans of the work the FSB are doing to support small businesses.
What’s your favourite thing about running LoyalFree?
We love being able to create our own world through the freedom of managing ourselves. It’s also amazing being able to have such a positive impact on the high street in struggling times and do our part to support digitalising places.
You’ve worked closely with BID Leicester in the roll out of the app, what difference has this made?
Working in partnership with the BID has allowed us to partner with a company who have similar goals to us in terms of supporting trade to the local businesses in Leicester. By working together we are able to reach a much larger audience of locals and visitors to the City and have the most up to date information about what’s on and new.
So finally, for anyone out there who hasn’t already got LoyalFree downloaded, tell them in 10 words why they need to?
To save money, experience the City and support the community.
LoyalFree is available to download via the AppStore and GooglePlay.
When downloading before 30 September you can also enter to win a £100 Highcross gift card through the app.
Our BID Spotlight features are brought to you in collaboration with BID Leicester.