The city of Southlake has partnered with Open Rewards to provide an incentive to shop and dine in town.

During the Jan. 16 meeting, Daniel Cortez, Southlake's director of Economic Development and Tourism, announced the city will join nearly a dozen others in the country to offer an app to benefit customers.

People who link a debit/credit card or PayPal will receive 5% cash back for purchases on select businesses throughout Southlake. The program launched Jan. 22, and 182 users have signed up as of 2 p.m. Jan. 26, according to Cortez.

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Cortez said the city has been working on the incentive for nearly 18 months. He said the city has seen a dip in sales tax following the holiday season into the spring in recent years. This program was created to help counter that, he said.

The program was funded in the fiscal year 2023-24 budget, and the money comes from hotel occupancy taxes, Cortez said.

Major takeaways

Cortez said 319 local business are participating in this program. The city will work on distributing flyers and will create advertisements for the program to place on restaurant tables throughout town, he said. Bludot Technologies helped the city create a database, and that was used to help get the businesses set up for this reward program.

He provided an example that a person could go to Moxies Southlake Restaurant and spend $100, scan the receipt in the app and get 5% cash back.

“It’s very simple,” he said. “This program is for anyone that comes into Southlake, regardless if they are a resident or not. Anytime time they dine, shop or spend on entertainment services here in Southlake, they will get 5% cash back.”

There are more than 130 dining options, according to the Southlake Open Rewards page. The full list is provided in the app. Some of the participating restaurants are Postino WineCafe, Anamia's Tex-Mex, Kirby's Steakhouse, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Chuy's, Starbucks and Crumbl Cookies.

What they’re saying

Cortez said the program is tailored to not limit the amount of cash back earned by consumers. He said some communities limit the cash back per transaction at $10 or $15.

“I didn’t feel that was really necessary if you are trying to promote consumerism,” Cortez said. “I figure the world is your oyster. So spend as much as you want to spend here in Southlake. I think, ultimately, at the end of the day that’s a good things for businesses, and it’s a good thing for Southlake.”

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include additional information.