I have written several times about daily deals. Yet even I had thought that one of the good things that happen with Groupons is having a restaurant that you enjoy send out a Groupon so you can enjoy a meal that you would have had anyway for less money. So when one of my local Connecticut favorite restaurants was featured in this morning’s Groupon, the first thing I thought was – maybe they wanted to keep the restaurant staff busier during a slow winter period and by promoting a ‘deal’ they might make less but keep valued staff. Not a bad idea if that were to be the case. Whatever the reason, I was ready to pounce. Then I actually read the deal, navigated to the menu for the restaurant, only to find that the ‘deal’ was not a good deal but a bad one.
Here’s how it was pitched.
Choose from Four Options
- $55 for a three-course gourmet Italian dinner for two, redeemable Sunday–Thursday ($100 total value)
- $65 for a three-course gourmet Italian dinner for two, redeemable any day of the week ($100 total value)
- $115 for a three-course gourmet Italian dinner for four, redeemable Sunday–Thursday ($225 total value)
- $125 for a three-course gourmet Italian dinner for four, redeemable any day of the week ($225 total value)
The dinner for two includes the following:
- One appetizer ($19 value)
- Two main courses ($70 value)
- One dessert ($11 value)
The dinner for four includes the following:
- Two appetizers ($38 value)
- Four main courses ($140 value)
- Two desserts ($22 value)
- One liter of wine ($25 value
Checking the menu on dinner for 2 – one appetizer (there is only one for $19), Two main courses (the most expensive main course is $26 so how can it be a $70 value?), one dessert (there are zero desserts for $11). So if I chose $19 appetizer, Two entrées at $26 ($52), and one dessert $8.50 the total would be $79.50 – not the promoted value of $100. And if you were to order a less expensive appetizer and not the most expensive entrée it’s a money losing proposition.
So who is at fault here? The restaurant for promoting a $100 for $55 or $65 (or $225 for $110 or $125), or Groupon for not checking out the true value of their deals?
How about both of them?