We went to SPQR bc Nick was in the mood for lasagna and when he typed that into foursquare the machines suggested he eat there along with the fact that Foursquare displayed a Groupon Local deal that offered $20 worth of food for $15. Nick purchased the deal from his phone and we sat down to have our meal.
The food was good but the service sucked (the waiters were asked multiple times to bring water, bread, cheese to our table and never did)
When we were ready to pay for our meal, Nick reminded the waiter about the groupon. The waiter told us he cant accept it because it was on Nick’s phone. At some point the manager came out and explained to us that he cant accept the groupon mobile deal because we dont have a print out and he needs the print out to staple to his receipt to reimburse himself. He was not interested in writing down our confirmation code and even offered to go on record with his statement, as you can see in the video above.
Nick’s going to file a complaint with Groupon but we still arent sure why they gave us a hard time. We have two theories:
My theory is that they are old school and process all their accounting by hand and dont want to be bothered with the hassle of lost notes or something.
The second theory posited by Charles is that the manager knows that when faced with confrontation the customer will always back down and pay their bill. This way he can say he doesnt accept the Groupon and he gets paid twice via the customer and via Groupon.
Either way whatever really went down, we are definitely never going to eat there again.
We are going to file a complaint with Groupon + Foursquare to have the deal removed and the restaurant notified.
Now we understand why the Yelp reviews are so low
Wow, this is terrible. Studies have shown that Yelp ratings drop once merchants begin using Groupon, and this is a first-hand example of exactly why that is.
Since Postling is for merchants, let’s try and understand from the manager side of things. Here are some of the challenges merchants face:
- The person creating the Groupon is often not the person who has to accept and process the offers from patrons. Any kind of miscommunication with front-of-the-house staff can lead to poor customer experiences.
- Technology platforms change faster than businesses can adapt. In this case, the manager Michael spoke to clearly had a “process” that he was stubbornly sticking to (“I need a paper copy”). His process couldn’t yet cope with the migration from paper redemption to mobile redemption.
- Groupon offers create a wave of new business (that’s the point) but often times businesses can’t handle the flood. This also seems to be the case for Michael… too many busy tables means not enough waiters to go around for water, bread, etc.
No customer should receive an experience like Michael did, and any merchant who launches a Groupon campaign should do so with eyes wide open and smart plans in place to handle this new shift in business.