I plan to devote the majority of this column/blog to some of the secondary and tertiary players in the deals market. For all of the adulation that Groupon and Living Social receive by deals savants, it always baffles me that you rarely hear about the smaller players that offer deals just as good and sometimes better (and more local).
One of my favorite sites is Restaurant.com, what I call “the Groupon before there was Groupon."
With a little marketing other than word of mouth and email reminders, I always wonder if they could have been a bigger player, even the dominant player.
After all, versus today’s daily deal sites where there might be one or two deals, hopefully in your area, Restaurant.com offers hundreds of deals, in every area, at a steep discount, available immediately, with no expiration date.
As a brief recap, Restaurant.com currently has about 650 restaurants in the DC-area that offer discounts, the most common being $10 or $15 for a $25 voucher. Some restaurants offer up to five discounts, maybe a $5 for $10 voucher, a $10 for $25 voucher, a $20 for $50 voucher, a $30 for $75 voucher, and a $40 for $100 voucher.
Just buy the voucher and print it up and use it the same day if you like. As an added bonus, Restaurant.com vouchers do not expire.
Here’s the best part. Sign up for their emails and they’ll let you know about their promotions (several times per month) which drastically reduce their voucher costs. When I say drastic, I mean almost nothing. It’s not out of the ordinary for them to run an 80% off promotion, meaning that $25 voucher is now $2.
Really the only tip slash gotcha that I can offer is to make sure you read the fine print as the vouchers typically have a minimum purchase necessary, such as a $35 or $50 minimum to use your $10 for $25 voucher.
Looking for somewhere different? Run a search at Restaurant.com next time and print up a voucher.
Find yourself eating at the same place frequently? See if that place is on Restaurant.com and print up a voucher once a month (that’s another small rule).
As always, please add your two cents in the comments section below if you have any further suggestions or recommendations.
Tim aggregates DC-area deals on a per-city basis daily at www.TIMS.US, featuring daily deals, current promotions, regular promotions, introductory offers, daily specials, discounts, coupons, email club offers, Facebook offers, Twitter offers, Foursquare offers, and more.