Google is launching its own coupon service called Google Offers with discounts at stores and restaurants. But will it be able to stand out in the game, which already includes Groupon, Livingsocial, Gilt City, VillageVines, and BlackboardEats?
Per Mashable, Google Offers users will receive a daily email offering a discount of the day, and once enough people subscribe to the deal, it will become valid. Seems like a good deal, but for the restaurant-goer will it be that different than all the other discount sites?
An overview of the main restaurant deal sites:
BlackboardEats used to be free, but just recently began charging users $1 per passcode, which can be used to secure deals at various New York City restaurants. Of the bunch, Blackboard Eats has the most well-known restaurants.
VillageVines‘ members reserve reservations at restaurants via the site for $10, but receive a 30 percent discount on the final bill. Meaning this site works best when there’s big spending involved.
Gilt City focuses on luxe and offers discounts at ritzy places or special restaurant events (recent coupons were for the Four Seasons and the Dario Cecchini Dinner at Del Posto). So if you’ve got money to burn, this might be the site for you.
Groupon doesn’t ensure the deal unless enough people sign up for it, which means that if it’s a lesser-known or less desirable restaurant, the chance of the deal going through isn’t as good. That said, Groupon’s restaurant list looks beyond the usual Manhattan suspects.
It will be interesting to see how Google Offers plays out, given that most niche markets have already been filled in the restaurantsphere. Yet history has shown that anything Google seeks to take over (Web searching, email, etc.), it achieves, so get ready for another morning email blast.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 21, 2011