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From daily deals to ‘online deals,’ Groupon pivots to restaurant bookings

Groupon wants to change. Or at the least grow up a bit. Daily deals as a core business strategy is a tough sell, and for companies like Groupon and Woot, increasing marketing costs and slowing user growth make other avenues of revenue more attractive (and imperative for shareholders no less). Groupon’s solution is to pivot away from what it has become a household name for – daily deals – and move towards the broader ‘online deals’ framework.

We’ve already seen Groupon’s furore into mobile payments, but now it is entering restaurant reservations. Specifically, high-end restaurant reservations, reports Mashable. Users signed up to the site can now book tables at over 500 restaurants in ten cities around the USA, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston.

The deal: 40% off.

The service is no doubt the result of Groupon’s acquisition of reservation service Savored, indicating that the New York startup will now slowly phase out its own offerings and be fully integrated into Groupon. Savored’s system was to offer consumers a discounted dining experience at more than 1000 of its partnered restaurants, as long as they booked online. This benefits not only the consumer with a more cost-effective meal, but also the restaurateur because they get a feel for the amount of traffic their restaurant enjoys, and can then manage it better.

The new feature forms part of Groupon Reserve which offers promotions on luxury past times, goods and, of course, dining in specific cities.

“We’re migrating the Savored product and inventory onto the Groupon website and it’s going to live as its own distinct channel,” Benjamin McKean, founder of Savored and GM of Groupon Reserve, told Mashable.

He added that the majority of Savored-partnered restaurants will join Groupon Reserve.

Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky said that this takes Groupon in a new direction:

“Groupon Reserve complements Groupon’s shift from a daily deals company to an online deals marketplace where consumers use our website or mobile app to search and discover great businesses at unbeatable prices.”

Author | Ronan Steyn: Staff Reporter

Ronan Steyn: Staff Reporter
Ronan Steyn has a love for all things technology, with a particular focus on startups, gadgets and games. When not writing the good write, he can be found making films or purveying the latest gadget, game or film. At night he attempts an MA in Screenwriting at UCT. A... More

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