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Should I Market My Restaurant on Groupon?

If you haven’t heard of Groupon, it is an online subscription service that provides coupons for exclusive deals, usually to restaurants, in the area. These are only available once a certain number of customers have purchased the deal. Because the discount rates are often half price or even lower, it is easy to wonder if these deals are worth it when it comes to marketing your restaurant on Groupon.

Related: Top 5 Ways to Increase Restaurant Traffic During the Work Week

Is Groupon Worth It for Restaurant Marketing?

To know if Groupon is worth it, it’s a good idea to understand how Groupon works. Your restaurant may benefit from Groupon because of the free advertising it gets using the service. Groupon has a huge user base that the coupon is available to.

You sign up, agreeing to a set number of coupons, and then Groupon will take it from there, including the writing and distribution of the advertising copy. You must agree to giving a sizeable discount on meals or service. When the company was new, this was a fifty percent discount. Groupon will then sell these and issue them with expiration dates for the customers to use at your location.

Related: 6 Creative Restaurant Promotions that Win Over Customers

Groupon will then split the earnings with the restaurant, 50/50. An important part to remember is that if your minimum sales aren’t met, the deal won’t go through. Like any advertising campaign, there are some advantages and disadvantages.


  • Using Groupon can guarantee your restaurant a certain amount of sales.
  • Customers respond well to the deals.
  • It is easy to use.
  • You can promote foods that are moving slow or menu items that aren’t highly featured.


  • The people that get a deal don’t want to come back and pay the standard price.
  • It can also be frustrating to find Groupon customers taking up seats when your restaurant would be packed anyway.
  • Wait staff may be irritated either because they are worried tips will be small due to discounted meal prices.

Related: 15 Ideas to Get New Customers in Your Restaurant

How to Have Success in Marketing Your Restaurant on Groupon

One key to your success with Groupon is to keep it limited to special occasions. You can do this by either using the service infrequently with larger minimum coupons to be sold or more regularly with a smaller number of coupons needed to sell. This will help limit the potential for your regular customers to only wait for a chance to enjoy a meal with their Groupon.

Finally, you get access to the emails of those getting your Groupon, so make sure to use these for direct emailing campaigns in the future. Keeping these tips in mind while using the service can help you get the exposure you need most.

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