WW has an article on the frustrations and problems of contracting with Groupon. It got me thinking. How to do it better?
For starters, I’d use a different middleman. Groupon reaches an audience that self selects for cheap eats. Why not reach out to alternative local communities- for instance blog readers? There are all kinds of local interest blogs like Blue Oregon, Portland Transport, Bog Blog, etc. Why not reach out to them?
Offer a theme night, with customers claiming “the Blog” sent them getting an x% discount. The blog gets a reasonable kickback for promotion and generating traffic, the restaurant gets control over how much and when a discount is offered so disruption to existing clients is minimal, and blog fans get to show their support for their favorite bloggers while also getting a discounted meal and (depending on the venue) an opportunity to socialize with fellow fans. If a particular audience proves a poor fit then they’re gone after one night and you never see them again. If an audience fits in and does well then invite them back once in a while What’s not to like?.