Written by: Dean Hua

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One of my favorite Ethiopian restaurants, Addis Ababa in Silver spring, issued a Groupon here.  With one more day to go, they will most likely sell 1,000 Groupons that can be redeemed at their restaurant.

I hate to say this but I don’t think they understand how hard they will get hit with the initial wave of Groupon redemption. In fact, I’m not even sure if they are properly staffed to handle it. If they are not staffed properly, they can suffer the same fate that another restaurant was faced with in the past; an avalanche of bad reviews that will bring down their yelp reviews, angry customers who will spread the word of the bad service, and loss of potential customers all the while operating at a loss for this Groupon cycle.

There are far better solutions than Groupon folks.

I am going to come back in a month and see how their Yelp review fares. Currently they have 47 reviews with an average of 4.5 stars.

Given that they’ve committed to this campaign, here are a few tips to handle the initial wave;

  • Ensure that your staff is aware of the Groupon campaign
  • Be properly staffed for the next 2 months especially during weekends.
  • Find ways to funnel the initial customers into repeat business by using other online marketing tools. Develop an email marketing newsletter for them to sign up to, consider mobile text messaging service that lets customers know of a new special you have, and convert these customers into new fans of your Facebook page. Each new fan will receive a coupon or deal for liking the page.



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