On a number of threads, I've read of my fellow hounds' disappointment with one of their old favorite restaurants combined with their notes that they are doubly sad because they had already stocked up on Groupons for that same establishment.
Does it ever occur to others that the incredibly good Groupon deals are incredibly bad for these restaurants? Maybe the reason the food and service are a touch off is that the owners are struggling? Can good restaurants survive when regular customers--who were previously very happy to pay full price--splurge on buying multiple Groupons? Are "Groupon Hounds" eroding the very spots they claim to cherish?
OK, the restauranteurs are capitalists, and nobody forced them to offer such good deals. But of course their goal was to attract new customers with steep discounts, they didn't plan on reduced revenue from current customers.
As hounds who revere fine food and those who dedicate their lives to bringing it to others, perhaps we should expect a little bit more of ourselves. Take advantage of Groupon when the discount will spur a visit to a new place. But when you know it's gonna be great, show the chef some love. Step up and pay full fare. It's the only way these guys will survive.
peter, this topic is a very complicated one and i am no expert here. But I would suggest that 'assumptions' are usually not the best way to come to conclusions about an issue. I have read a few articles about the Groupon topic, both on CH and in various other media. I also have heard various restnt chefs and owners offer their own take on Groupon. I hope MCSlim will chime in; he often has overviews of issues like this that can offer a broad way of looking at them, and some new thoughts.
Interesting first post. I' m sure you will generate some discussion on this one. I get your point, but in this economy it's difficult to pass up a good deal. I'm guilty of purchasing a number of gift certificates when they were further discounted on a half price deal site. How do you pass up $50 certificates on sale for $12.50!!!!! I used each and every one and now that they are gone I still frequent the place because I like it. Did the offer bring in new customers, I hope so, but why should I lose out.
Maybe we are lazy or just more spontaneous than our "Groupon hound" friends.
They usually start out with a coupon for an interesting place they really want to go to and then quickly digress into getting coupons for places that are less attractive but "great deals."
It seems that the tail starts wagging the dog.
I have long held the belief that the Groupon business model preys upon panicky retailers that are in a death spiral, and today's market activity seems to confirm it - Groupon stock is now under $6. It was a great short sale after its IPO last December.