Okay, I’ve bought the very last “deal” I will ever buy. Tonight, Chris and I went to JBird, a very date appropriate cocktail lounge just a few blocks from our apartment on the Upper East Side. We’ve been here a number of times since they opened in 2012, with each other, with friends, and with visitors from out of town. They are mostly known for their cocktails, which we love and are the main reason we keep going back. This was the first time we ever used a Groupon, which was for two cocktails and five small plates. As soon as we let our server know that we had a Groupon, she immediately told us that there actually was a different menu for the Groupon and proceeded to give us that menu. The dishes were far smaller, and the cocktail list was more limited. At the end, even though we came with a “deal,” I felt completely underwhelmed and annoyed by the entire experience. I’d never been given a “different” menu for using a Groupon or felt cheated food-wise before.
If you are going to be a business that offers a Groupon, you shouldn’t make your diners feel like they are either getting second-class service or a second-class (or limited) menu, or plates that are a fraction of the size they normally are. It cheapens the entire experience and does not encourage diners to come back. Because as a business, don’t you want repeat customers to sustain your business? Everything gets old in New York, and your business will, too, if you treat your customers like this.