Groupon finds itself in a rather difficult spot nowadays, as the daily deal business for which the company was known for long, proved to be a tough one, as the companies associated with it like Groupon and LivingSocial struggled with slowing user growth and increasing marketing costs. With this in mind, Groupon shifted its focus away from daily deals. It began doubling down on promotions that don’t expire and edging into mobile payments. On Monday, Groupon moves a step further away from daily deals by launching restaurant reservations. Restaurants tables at more than 500 upscale restaurants around 10 cities around the US, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, can now be reserved, at a discount of up to 40% off. This feature is a part of Groupon Reserve and it focuses on promotions for luxury dining, activities and goods.
Groupon had acquired a New York startup, last September, Savored.com, which partnered with more than 1,000 upscale restaurants to give consumers a significant discount on their final bill, as long as they make the reservation online and that too, in advance. Benjamin McKean, founder of Savored and GM of Groupon Reserve, told the media that they were migrating the Savored product and inventory onto the Groupon website to make it live as its own distinct channel. He said that the vast majority of the restaurants Savored worked with will now be part of Groupon Reserve, launched in 2011. Its a move to drive significantly more traffic to restaurants on Groupon’s platform.
Groupon CEO Eric Lefkofsky added onto McKean’s emphasis that the new feature will help Groupon transition from daily deals to the broader market of online deals. According to McKean, Savored will be phased out over time, now that its inventory is being integrated into Groupon. Lefkofsky says, the consumers can use their website or mobile app to discover great businesses at remarkable prices.