I have been excited by a new daily deal site with a restaurant focus called DailyGobble.com. This service is only in New York and San Francisco at this moment, but I love the concept. It allows restaurants to cordon off discounts based on specific times of day or days of the week that they know traffic will be down.
So for example, you might find an offer of 15% off at a particular Italian restaurant from 3-6 p.m, or 20% off an Indian eatery from 5-7 p.m. This is similar to what I see Steak ‘n Shake do when they offer a Happy Hour on shakes from 2-4 in the afternoon in an effort to drive customer traffic.
I love the idea of using discounting as way to spread customer traffic out. It’s also similar to what they do in California with some of their toll roads. The price of the tolls is set by time of day and level of congestion.
Ideas like this allow the marketplace to function more efficiently. Will DailyGobble be successful? I have no idea. There’s a huge percent of these daily deal sites that will go into oblivion. Facebook was recently panned by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for the lame as lame can be deals in their new daily deal service.
The problem is everybody is trying to chase Groupon. But so far, the most innovative I’ve seen is ScoutMob.com, available in a dozen or so cities and coming soon to 7 more. They have a different business model where you don’t lay money out upfront. You only get the savings when you take advantage of one of the ScoutMob offers.