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Restaurant Daily Deals: Like Get Skinny Fast Diets?

A show of hands if you are happy swimsuit season is just about over. You're not the only one!As the restaurant daily deal sphere drones on, I can't help but compare them to a "get skinny fast" method that people use to drop a few pounds before hitting the beach. Sure, you can probably shed a pound or two by drinking a strange, green liquid and starving yourself for 72 hours. By the third day, you'll be running toward a bakery fast than Kirstie Alley can say "Jenny Craig".

Quick, starvation diets have zero benefit in the long-term. I'd argue it's the same for restaurants and daily deals. You just don't need to do it. Technology Review has some hard numbers, showing another detriment of using a daily deal: taking a hit on Yelp.The general thought was that a daily deal brings an influx of customers, which if not handled well, can lead to bad customer experience and a poor first impression.

Now, thanks to Technology Review, there is hard data to back it up. Their study scoured over 16,000 deals and 56,000 yelp reviews. Getting your name out to thousands of people in a short amount of time is attractive. So is dropping a few pounds to impress that special someone.

However, it's important to look at the long term and invest in something that will have a lasting, positive impact on your restaurant.

  • Invest in a little extra training for your servers, your front of house people, or your kitchen staff
  • Invest in social media efforts that address customer issues and open up a dialogue; a chance for your to listen to customers
  • Always make your food priority -- if you're presentation or flavors are mediocre, why should people even come?
If you want your restaurant (or body) to be toned, trim, and the talk of the town, invest in the long-term. It will leave an impression that far outweighs any 20 percent discount.
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