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Matias Marquez

Buy a ‘tab’ for Christmas

December 15, 2009

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Stuck for a last-minute gift idea this Christmas? Third-year SFU Business student Matias Marquez has a suggestion: pick up the tab for your loved ones at a local restaurant.

He and business partner Ross St. George, a BCIT student, have created Buyatab.com, a website that takes the fuss out of treating people to a meal.

The site allows you to search by location or restaurant name, choose your restaurant and calculate the size of your gift "tab".

You then enter the name and e-mail address of your recipient, choose a theme (Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthday, Mother's Day, etc.) and press "send."

The recipient prints the gift "card" and presents it at the restaurant where it's accepted as equivalent to cash.

Marquez and St. George researched the concept and discovered there was nothing similar for restaurants. “There are a few other websites where you can go online and buy a coupon, but you may not want to send your mom a coupon for her birthday,” Marquez says.

So far, the 34 participating restaurants include Monk McQueens, The Lift and Wild Rice in Vancouver, as well as restaurants in Whistler and White Rock. Marquez says they’re adding restaurants daily.

Future plans include expanding the site's reach across Canada and getting major chains such as The Keg, Milestones and Earls signed up. "We're not billionaires yet,” says Marquez, “but we're selling it, and it looks like the idea is working."

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R

I don't see the difference between the "tab" and a gift card.

Marfiel Otterfott

I agree with the last comment. If you are going to pick up the "tab" you may as well be there. Otherwise you may as well just buy your "special someone" a gift certificate.

Gerry

I guess you do not get it...it's called convenience and also, great for a last minute gift if you cannot get to someone in time and if the distance is great...it's the recipient who prints it off, right? I think its a great idea!!!

Bill

This is a fantastic idea! Advertising for the restaurant and the ability to sell giftcards without dealing with the hassle. Great service and geat idea!

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