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Restaurants are just as guilty. It's not just the servers, what about the cooks and managers? It is driven by publicly traded companies and the need to beat the quarterly sales forecast.
Inspirational. This business is so like restaurants, simple at a glance but real success is hard to attain.
When someone tells me, "It's only..." in a negotiation I reply, "You're right...you pay it." Great quotes: "Take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves." "You can't take percentages to the bank."
Hey Rick, I don't disagree with anything and I love your blog for ALL business thoughts. Just noting it is not silver bullet and is (should) not to replace PPC, it is a different vehicle. One of us will sell a domain for $100,000 next month and one of us will serve 100,000 restaurant customers :-) It takes at least a week or two to get in listed with Groupon, which shows their back-log. If you have too much perishable food, learn how to order. (no pigeon... excuses in restaurants either) I see a real upside for the Group buying companies with small businesses who sell a service like yoga, advice and even some light home repair. Service for all business costs time, but the cost of a goods like eggs or steak is removed, which is huge. @ Leonard Britt Group buying companies have been great for Adsense and affiliate income. I have restaurant directories too. They have made the public un-afraid to hand over an email address if there is a chance to save. Focus on pay-per-lead email sign ups instead of sale percentage share. CrowdSavings and LivingSocial have great programs for this. On one site my affiliate sign up doubled my Adsense income the first month. I believe that people are signing up for more than one program, hoping that one great deal comes in the morning email. So smaller companies with email affiliate programs provide real opportunity. Groupon's 110 million subscribers are 110MM less leads for you. Percentage share means your success is tied to the offering and if your subscriber lead buys it. Look at Rick, he bought one thing in a year.
As a restaurateur who sold 4,500 Groupons and a part time web developer I can tell you Groupon has it's place, but I would never replace my Google efforts with it. For one thing, nobody goes to the well twice. Your breakfast joint cannot give up 75% of a dining experience month in and month out and if they do they will train their clientele to only come in on the cheap. (Essentially the opposite of how you sell domains.) So where does he spend his $1,000 next month? PPC is the ONLY way to beat the SEO efforts of Yelp, OpenTable, etc. PPC introduces the brand to active, local restaurant searchers. Would I use Groupon one time at my next opening? Absolutely, and then I would run a local PPC campaign for life. Here is a recent NYTimes article on the Groupon debate: http://x.co/nytimes2