New Groupon Restaurant Reservations Save Up to 40% Without Vouchers or Pre-Purchase

As Groupon struggles to find a new business model — they’ve learned there are no barriers to entry in marketing discounts, and that there’s limited appetite of businesses to pay to offer deep discounts to mooches (read: us) — one thing they’ve apparently hit on is restaurant reservations. (HT: S.)

Groupon’s new service is Reserve.

They offer reservations up to 30 days out, with limited availability at selected upscale restaurants in the following locations:

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • Long Island
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York City
  • North Jersey
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco
  • Washington DC
  • Westchester

There’s no vouchers or pre-purchase, just make a reservation and save up to 40% (though most savings in the 20% or 25% traunch).

While it’s not as deep a restaurant pool as Opentable will offer, I’d definitely check here before making a booking to see if there’s a savings opportunity.

The nice thing as well is there don’t appear to be material restrictions, and the savings should be automatic — so while the discounts aren’t as huge as with, say, Restaurant.com gift certificates purchased at an 80% discount, it’s much simpler and more straightforward.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. This is a pretty cool idea. They’re taking a page from the playbook of electric utilities. This program is aimed at flattening the demand curve and monetizing the off-peak hours. Utilities do it through peak demand tariffs and efficiency incentives; looks like groupon is trying it through a similar incentive program taking the form of off-peak discounts.

  2. “……there’s limited appetite of businesses to pay to offer deep discounts to mooches (read: us)….”.

    Maybe Groupon should start a bank.

  3. I believe this is the same interface as http://www.savored.com. In my experience, a number participating retaurants also are idine restaurants. I’ve successfully double dipped savored/reserve at 3 restaurants in DC.

  4. With a market cap of nearly $7B, I’m not sure I’d say Groupon is struggling per se. It’s basically as profitable as Amazon which means to say not at all.

  5. i’ve been using this for the last several months in northern Jersey and NYC, whilst true the number of offerings is much more limited, they have some good restaurants, and the 25-30% is well worth it, all you need to do is show them your booking reference number on your phone if you use the ap or email

  6. Wow. I am constantly amazed by the ability of Groupon’s sales team to talk naive restaurant owners out of 50-100% of their margin.

  7. I never heard of savored, but I always figured that a restaurant groupon with no restrictions wouldn’t be sustainable.

    I used to take my wife out on Saturday nights with heavy discounts and never figured out what the restaurant got out of it. It worked for me, because I was looking to get out and spend money anyway. I just got to do it anyway.

    But Gary always talks about influencing spend at the margins when it comes to FF programs. The same is true here. I *need* a discount if you want me to spend money during the week. It’s money I’m not going to spend unless you make it worth my while.

  8. I’ve used this for about the last six month in the bay area. Works well, easy to do, bills have always been correct. Only issue is, I think there is usually like 1-2 tables or reservations for most of the restaurants I have gone too. Often, once I make a reservation – then there are no others. Also, don’t get used to finding a favorite and seeing it stay on the list of available restaurants. I think it is definitely a loss leader type of marketing they are doing.

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