I work in Times Square. Beyond the tourists, the Elmo/Cookie Monster/Spider Man/Topless Ladies asking for photographs and tips, it's also a bit of a dead zone for delicious easy going lunch options.
There are some gems nearby -- Le Pain Quotidien near Bryant Park, City Kitchen (the Smorgasburg of Midtown/Theater District Eats), and if you're down to take a walk to 11th Avenue, you can always indulge at Gotham West Market.
I typically eat a salad for lunch and will run out to grab something and bring it back to my office.
However, the $8 salad from the place across the street is getting old.
Out of laziness and a desire to walk out of the office with only my cell phone, I looked on LevelUp to see where I could go and pay with my phone. [Much more can be said about "mobile wallets" and loyalty programs and how are phones are changing our behaviors. Another time.]
So, I open the app and see what's around and BAM.
Lenwich (the new Lenny's) is on LevelUp AND they're offering a $7 credit. The salads typically run $8-$10 so I felt like a $1-$3 lunch today was a great deal.
I chose the Kale Joy salad and substituted tuna for chicken and added feta cheese, edamame, and apples (no longer a $10 salad), held my phone to the LevelUp scanner and walked out with my lunch. Moments later I was notified that my credit had been used and I had a receipt in my inbox.
Seamless. (Without the online delivery. Get it? Ha.)
Plus, the salad was delicious and enormous and I will likely go back to Lenwich, even without those extra $7 to spend.
Now I know where to turn when looking for lunch inspiration. And a deal!