Groupon Now Offering Time-Based Restaurant Deals That Require A Reservation

Part of the hassle Groupon customers traditionally have faced is presenting that printed or mobile deal voucher to redeem it when the time comes. And that time wasn’t always ideal for businesses, either, with owners complaining of floods of customers wielding vouchers and overwhelming them. In an attempt to allay both stressful situations, Groupon’s new foray into the deal world for restaurants that take reservations comes with a time limit, with no voucher presentation involved.

The time-based deal option is starting first with local restaurants that accept reservations, and will spread to other things like salons, exercise classes and businesses that take appointments, Groupon announced today in a press release.

Here’s how it works: Groupon customers make a reservation when they purchase the deal, with a limited set of times that they can book that visit. Once you’ve paid and set your reservation, all you have to do is show up — sans voucher.

This is helpful for restaurants, too — as Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill merrily chirps in the press release. Before time-based deals, restaurants could see an avalanche of customers all trying to redeem their deals, who perhaps aren’t likely to turn into repeat customers.

“They’re making it really easy for us to fill tables during off-peak times, which generates more revenue for the restaurant and gives us more opportunities to attract new customers and turn them into lifelong fans,” Bayless says.

It could also be a boon to those forgetful customers too, who might purchase a deal and then end up never using it before it expires. This way, if you book an appointment or confirm a reservation, you’re probably more likely to go and not waste that money.

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