Living in Chicago, it's difficult going a day without hearing a conversation about Groupon. They are also the talk of the country after recently rejecting an offer from Google. When it comes to their daily deals, there's a lot of evidence that they can drive traffic to a restaurant. No system is perfect and this one-time shot deal is no different. Some restaurants have experienced a sharp increase in traffic to a degree that service suffered.
But there's no question Groupon is here to say and there's word that they will soon let restaurants claim their venue and be able to handle their own deals. Here's a bit from National Restaurant News
Merchants that claim their store, which Groupon says only takes a couple minutes, will have their deals promoted via e-mail, Twitter and Facebook. There's no upfront fee, and business will receive 70 percent of each promoted Groupon sold, and 90 percent of each non-promoted Groupon.
What I've been wondering is how can restaurants turn these Groupon Gurus into occasional diners, regulars, or even brand advocates? Even though Groupon might become more social, here's a clear example of the importance of your social media strategy, consistency, and presence. It's not always the case, but I'd argue Groupon Gurus are often more social media saavy.
Think about ways you can engage them from the moment they show you that coupon. Maybe instruct your servers to solicit their Twitter name (or e-mail address) to enter a drawing or simply to thank them for coming. Implementing a Groupon deal will bring in scores of people...the last thing you want is for them to come in, take advantage of the great deal, then never again think about your restaurant. And of course, the given - always be at the top of your game when it comes to food and customer service. Well all know the power of the first impression : )
Have you run a Groupon deal before? How did you reach out to these Groupon Gurus? Share your ideas!