The Flave team at Avenue Kitchen & Bar in Hampden on Aug. 6. (Courtesy photo)

As a technologist, Jal Irani seeks ways to put his skills to work in support of local businesses. One of those was making websites for bars and restaurants. As the Towson University computer science professor built up a number of clients through the side work, he started noticing a pattern.

“They all wanted loyalty or rewards [programs] to go along with their apps,” he said, “So I thought, why not make one big one that encompasses all of the restaurants in Baltimore?”

Irani teamed with cofounder Derek Battle to build, and the result is Flave, an app that’s designed to provide incentives for eating at local restaurants. By taking a photo of their eats, users can earn “Flave Cash” that line them up for potential deals or to win a gift card. It can also be donated back to restaurants. And with those photos and other tools, Flave offers a way to browse local spots based on preferences.


Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.