Lunchwalla, the app that helps take the hassle out of deciding where and when to plan a group lunch, movie viewing or other get-together, has added some new features over the past week and weeks prior that should help cement its spot in the realm of collaborative decision making.
The company announced this week that it was unveiling Foursquare integration and something we tend to favor in the LBS market - real-world incentives.
The service already brings together Yelp reviews with OpenTable reservations, menus and coupons, as we noted when we first reviewed it in March. Earlier this month it added movies and events, using Zvents and Tribune Media Services. Now this week, the company has pulled Foursquare into the mix.
Foursquare integrations means that Lunchwalla users will be able to connect their Lunchwalla accounts to their Foursquare accounts, pulling in their Foursquare checkins and importing friends. And after creating an event on Lunchwalla, users can then check in to that event on Foursquare. That check in will not only become part of the Lunchwalla page on that event but will also give users additional "Lunchwalla Points".
The Lunchwalla Points might be our favorite part. While we're not exactly sure what to do with that "Beatnik" we found last month when checking in with Gowalla at a local coffee shop, Lunchwalla Points have that real-world incentive aspect to them that we just can't argue with. Planning an event, inviting other Lunchwalla members, checking in using Foursquare and other actions all earn Lunchwalla Points. What happens with these points? According to Lunchwalla:
Every week, we will be calculating the number of points accumulated by Lunchwalla users during that week. At the end of the week, the 5 highest Lunchwalla Point earners for the week will receive a $25 American Express Gift Card.
Now that's the type of real-world integration we like to see - straight-up money rewards. The service has a list of rules available for its points program on its website.