Dear Groupon: Does coconut shrimp (or whatever) with sweet and sour sauce really qualify as Thai food, even by loose American standards?
Is this what people eat in Bangkok with their watermelon martinis and all-you-can-eat buffets?
"Groups of up to 20 get to experience the dietary life of a Williamsburg bohemian." — Actual Groupon language.
Hat tip to First We Feast for bringing this to our attention.
Here’s another sad example of Groupon using stock photos to make every business look the same.
So if you’re a masseuse, think long and hard about whether Groupon will really help differentiate you from the competition. Quite the contrary, the daily deal company will make you indistinguishable from the competition. The only distinguishing factor the customer can really see in this email ad is the cost: $39-$59. You’re no longer a business with your own story to tell. You’re now just a number in a range, giving away a portion of your sales to the corporate behemoth that put you in that range. Good luck with that guys.
Dear Groupon: I appreciate you trying to get folks to my hometown of Long Beach, which was devastated by Superstorm Sandy. But maybe if you did a little fact checking, or heck, if you just looked at any photos of Long Beach, instead of pumping out deals at a mile a minute, you’d have realized that our boardwalk was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy. I realize this is a restaurant deal, and you know what, it’s actually a pretty good deal (50% off sturgeon caviar!!). But to advertise a boardwalk that isn’t there, that’s unfair for the tourists and insulting to the locals. Not cool guys.
Bad Deal Rule #132: If you can’t afford to fact check your deals, you shouldn’t be offering any deals.
Hey Groupon, who’s in charge over there? Oh, you fired your CEO. I forgot.
The Reuters report comes a day after Groupon emailed Hurricane-stricken New Yorkers without lights (including the author of this post) a deal for Dans le Noir, a pitch-black dining experience. The Bad Deal responded that New Yorkers didn’t need any more darkness. Groupon is making the right move here by postponing the deals.
DEAR GROUPON: Listen, we’re all for supporting New York’s restaurant economy a day after Hurricane Sandy struck. But maybe this wasn’t the best morning to send out an email advertising Dans Le Noir, a Midtown eatery that serves dinner in complete darkness? With massive power outages throughout the region (including my apartment), suffice it to say we’ve had enough darkness in NYC.
Oh, and here’s a review of Dans le Noir from Eater. It ain’t pretty.
The problem with Groupon is that it makes your very distinctive restaurant look indistinguishable from any other. You could interchange any of these photos and it really wouldn’t make any difference to the buyer.
These aren’t photos of restaurants. Restaurants aren’t just about food. They’re about people, neighborhoods and relationships, none of which are visible here. Here, we only see food. Generic food. There’s steak. Salmon. Shrimp. Lamb. Oysters. More steak. More shrimp. What we have here looks like a wedding buffet catalog for any catering hall in the country.
Is that what you want for your restaurant? Didn’t think so.
There are many paths to financial literacy and economic success.
Amateur day trading, the Off Track Betting of the financial community, typically isn’t one of them. So we’re suspicious of these Groupon discounts for courses at a for-profit day-trading academy.
Here’s our advice: If you want to get into finance, don’t do it by buying a Groupon. Take some courses in accounting, money & banking, economics, corporate finance and capital markets at your local community college.
Though we’re curious if this Groupon-advertised academy has a section of Groupon’s stock price, which is now $5.28, down from a high of $26.11 last November. Just saying.
Pop-Quiz. Would you rather:
- Spend $350 on a Momofuku Bo Ssam pork shoulder to go, which feeds ten people and might include, say, ten pork buns, crack pie, fingerling potatoes and an order of apple kimchi with maple labne and jowl bacon?
- Spend $500 on a ten-person Krasula Pierogi Party from UrbanDaddy, where a guy and a girl come to your house to cook dumplings and soup? Actually, after 20% tip this will cost you $600 (or you can do $250 for five people).
The CORRECT answer is option NUMBER ONE.
Groupon offers discounts by selling prepaid, non-refundable deals.
Savored offers discounts though its free reservations service, which entices diners to book tables in the off-hours in exchange for savings of up to 40% off. No prepayment is necessary. Savored, as we’ve written in the past, is a GOOD DEAL. Savored is the anti-Groupon.
And today, Savored was purchased by Groupon. Alas.
The Chicago-based daily deal company said Savored will “will continue to serve diners and restaurants at http://www.savored.com.” That’s a good thing. Of course, if any restaurants or diners encounter any “changes” in their Savored experience after the acquisition, we’d love to hear from you.
Gilt City is selling an $80 brunch deal to Brasserie Pushkin, an overpriced Russian restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. The four-course meal for two is purportedly being offered at a whopping 48% discount.
Now let us ask this: Do you need four-courses for brunch? Probably not. Do you usually spend $80 on brunch? Definitely not. Do you want to eat brunch in Midtown? Of course not. Do you want to be locked into ordering this much food at a Russian restaurant awarded a FAIR rating (one star) by Bloomberg & The Bad Deal’s Ryan Sutton? You sure as heck don’t.
Now here’s what’s worse. The $80 price point isn’t technically accurate. You’ll pay not a dime less than $111.20, because, to quote Gilt City, “tax and 20% gratuity on the retail price of $156 ($31.20 gratuity) will be charged upon redemption.”
Gilt City deserves credit for being transparent about that added charge, but that doesn’t really clarify why a brunch for two is listed at $80 when the starting price of this deal is really $111.20. Yup, this one’s a BAD DEAL. Ain’t no two ways about it.