Restaurant.com, a popular search engine and gift certificate seller for thousands of restaurants across the United States, two weeks ago decided to dip its toes into the group-buying / daily deal waters. The company offered consumers 90 percent off the site’s already discounted restaurant gift certificates, pricing $25 certificates as low as $1.
Restaurant.com later extended the offer to include another full day, giving consumers the opportunity to take advantage of the discounts for a total of 48 hours. It also set the activation threshold to ‘one’, which means everyone could benefit from the offer regardless of how many consumers purchased discounted gift cards.
Looks like it was a big hit: the company today said it has sold 1.5 million gift certificates in those two days.
Restaurant.com says the sale has the potential to fill nearly 1.5 million tables in restaurants across the US, and drive $105 million of incremental revenue nationwide. The numbers are based on the total number of certificates purchased through the promotion at denominations ranging from $10 to $100.
Purchases made through Restaurant.com’s daily deal are divided up among more than 15,000 restaurants nationwide offering a total of 35,000 gift certificate options (with no expiration dates).
Needless to say, you’re well-advised to read the redemption rules to make sure you can use the certificate in your favorite restaurants. You can only use one certificate per visit, and it rarely includes alcohol, tax and tips. Nevertheless, worth a look for a chance to save on your next tab.
I’ve also read multiple times that it’s best to decline when the site asks you to take a survey – the fine print apparently allows them to enroll you in a monthly program.
Restaurant.com, founded in 1999, says its customers have saved more than $500 million through the gift certificate program. If the company manages to repeat this particular super promotion trick a lot more in the future, the stand a good chance at growing that number significantly.