LUX-James-Courtney-and-Siobain-Horne-at-UBIC

Startup profile: LUX Rewards app for fine dining

Crowdfunding, collaboration and cuisine, meet the startup who is cooking up a storm in the South West app market
15th August 2016

The South West’s food scene is thriving with more high-quality restaurants appearing every day. One startup has recognised this opportunity and created an app to match the growing needs of the industry to the growing appetites of the foodies in and around Bristol and Bath.

LUX Rewards helps restaurants get more customers through their doors, rewards you for your loyalty to your favourite restaurants, and curates options for browsing for those of us who are indecisive diners, and you can do it all on one app.

“Think of us as the ‘air miles’ of the fine dining market”

 

James Courtney at the Innovation centreTechSPARK caught up with LUX’s founder James Courtney, who tells us, “Think of us as the ‘air miles’ of the fine dining market. We connect business and affluent diners with high-quality, local and often independent restaurants. Diners can earn a range of premium rewards including race track days, spa days, and more.”

You can see a full video of how it all works, below:

Recipe for success

There have been some notable successes along the startup journey for James, including a once-in-a-lifetime trip to visit key players in tech sectors in America given by University of Bath Innovation Centre (UBIC) and successfully crowdfunding the startup to the tune of £80,000 as part of Crowd10 – a programme that helps entrepreneurs get funding. (Applications are open for the next cohort, find out more here.)

LUX is both a member of the no.1 global university business incubator UBIC and business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures Entrepreneurial Spark, which James says have offered him, “Great collaborative environments and access to mentors.”

James Courtney and Rocketmakers teamJames tells us that being located in the South West has helped him turn his concept into a reality: “The local tech community have been great supporters of LUX. We work with Bath-based software developers, Rocketmakers (pictured right), and they have backed us from the outset. We also have a range of mentors and advisors that have helped us point LUX in the right direction.”

“My advice for someone looking to become an entrepreneur is to get involved in the local startup/tech community”

 

James adds, “My advice for someone looking to become an entrepreneur is to get involved in the local startup/tech community. Go along to networking events, ask people to meet you for coffee or maybe even volunteer/work for one. SW Founders was a good mixer and YENA is good for young entrepreneurs.”

Appetite for apps

It’s this kind of collaboration and involvement that has helped LUX overcome the potential challenges of launching an app. James says, “LUX has a two (if not a three or four!) sided market. This means that we have had to ‘hack’ one side of the market in order to provide value to the other. We overcame this by signing up restaurants in advance of customers. We also found a supplier of the rewards, so that we didn’t have to procure them.

LUX app“The rewards for users include collecting points to purchase luxury experiences, make charity donations, or even offering staff perks for your business. Now that LUX has received our first round of funding, we are now set on proving our concept across Bristol and Bath. Then expansion to London and the other major UK cities. We are planning for a sale of >£10m within 3-5 years.”

You can download the free app from the App Store. If you want to get in touch with James to sign up your restaurant or anything else you can email at [email protected]. Alternatively, keep up to date with their news by following them on Twitter @Lux_Rewards.