Gone are the days when Groupon deals are synonymous with teeth whitening, leg waxes and laser tag: The daily deals giant has unveiled Groupon Reserve, which offers discounts for more high-end restaurants and other experiences. Groupon Reserve launched Monday.
“Groupon Reserve is an important step in our journey to become the leading marketplace for online deals, where consumers can come to Groupon and discover great businesses at unbeatable prices,” Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky said in a statement. “As Groupon has evolved, we’ve seen growing demand from our customers for upscale offers and exclusive experiences. Reserve gives the most prestigious brands a new way to reach our large and desirable audience.”
So how does it work? It operates on a reservation system at a variety of popular restaurants in 10 markets across the country and will help restaurants fill tables that otherwise would go empty. (“Even the best restaurants have some empty tables,” explains Groupon’s site.) Savvy Groupon users will snatch those seats and up to 40 percent off.
Restaurants can push discounts and offers through to Reserve. Keeping in line with the fancier targets, there are no vouchers to bring to the restaurant and awkwardly present: The discounts show up on the bill automatically.
More details are forthcoming.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as IFC’s comedy, film, and TV blogger, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City and an adjunct professor in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media. (He also co-runs a blog behind the DePaul class, DIY Game Dev.) He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.