Combating Groupon-type Deals Sucking $280M from Independent Restaurants

The Gramercy Tavern

Gramercy Tavern selected 2nd best restaurant in the United States by a panel of 176 food critics for The Daily Meal

In 2011, Americans ate out 60.6 billion times. That’s down from 62.7 billion in 2008 and flat compared to 2010. Of the 2.1 billion visits lost, 2 billion would have been to independent establishments.

This lost of visitors was compounded by daily deal providers sucking value away from local merchants. In 2011, revenue for daily deal providers like Groupon grew 138% but visits to independent restaurants were down 4%. According to Bill Bice of Coverboom this works out to $280M lost by independent restaurant owners.

“The number one way small businesses can compete with chains is by nurturing the relationships they have with the customer,” says Joe Erickson, editor of, an online resource and networking tool for independent restaurateurs. “Collect their names, birthdays, anniversaries, and their specific likes, and use that [information] to start a direct mail campaign.” Continue reading


Does Your Business Get Women?

A Shopping Machine

• Most small business owners don’t get women yet two women in a store is a shopping machine.

Did you know?

At home, the majority of women (90 percent) still control the family’s purse strings, from stocking up on household items to having the final say on home and car purchases and health care.

Read more:

Consider the following:

  • Most small business owners don’t get women yet two women in a store is a shopping machine.
  • There’s a very strong consumer bias for well-run local businesses. Look at the popularity of farmers markets. But it has to have an energy, freshness and evangelical joy to it.
  • Don’t neglect cleanliness. Hygiene is very important, especially to women.
  • Most women will U-turn and leave an aisle if it’s so narrow that another shopper gives them a “butt-brush.”
  • New windows and reorganization on the floor is necessary to create a sense of evolution that brings excitement to the space.
  • Engage all five senses. Shoppers are conscious of what they see, taste, smell, touch and hear. Sense marketing is an inexpensive way to impact the customer experience.
  • 85% of people have used the Internet to search for local businesses, yet only 3 percent of small business total advertising dollars flowed online, compared to as much as 16 percent for big companies.

Would you like to attract more women shopper? Consider sponsoring The ZinC HoPLo Lab:

The ZinC HoPLo Lab looks to address this situation by teaching girls skills. They will start by learning the basics of computer science and programming in this unique course taught by David Evans and Terrance Jackson. In this course they will build a working search engine. Google is the most well-known and popular search engine.

This course is a blended model of on-line instruction and in-person instruction. Students progress through the content of the course, on-line, with David. But students also meet weekly with other students and Terrance to work additional problems, share with and help each other, and have their questions answered directly.

For more information on the on-line content, click here and watch the video.

Continue reading