"Early bird specials" in the restaurant industry are nothing new. But the way these specials are being advertised and distributed certainly has taken a twist, if today's New York Times piece on the subject is accurate. According to the Times, restauranteurs are turning to coupon sites such as Groupon and Gilt City to attract early diners, as well as such sites as Savored.com, which offer discounts that vary by time of reservation. Diners pay $10 to make their reservation, and then receive 30% off the final bill. Best of all, they don't have to whip out a coupon in front of their date; the 30% is taken off, automatically.
Apparently, not all of these deals involve dining before the sun sets. According to the Times, restauranteurs are able to send out last minute discounts for nights when a large party pulls out of a prime-time reservation through Savored, as well.
Not all the news is good for consumers, however. Some eateries are using the new technology to charge extra for reservations during peak times (like 8pm on a Saturday).
To read the entire piece, click here.