A new site launched called Snag Lunch — quite honestly, I think it’ll be short-lived. This isn’t really done well/automated — but I think the idea has potential.
If I were launching something similar, I’d start with a database of restaurants — get them all listed in the site. I’d then setup a VXML app that can auto-dial those restaurants — telling them about the service, that it’s free to use/signup and allows them to communicate daily specials to their customers (and prospective new customers!). Additionally, let them do an audio-message of their specials.
And then I’d launch another website to do the same thing for bars / happy hours / drink specials; dinner / restaurant specials.
Monetization: Eventually you start doing advertising [of beer or beverage or food companies; since everyone visiting your website is interested in consuming food or beverages] — and allow for restaurants to pay in order to be featured in these emails that go out to consumers. Become a huge directory of lunch/drink/dinner specials. Become highly updated.
Social Networking / Personalization: Every bar could have their own profile, an embed widget so people could promote a bar — and promote that they will be at a specific bar. This portion sound familiar to another idea of mine? Somewhat become the MySpace for the restaurant/bar world — a person might have ’15 restaurants’ that are their favorites, and that person might get one email each day with any updates to those restaurants’ specials / menu.
Allow evites to setup happy hours with others. Give the ability to not use your evite system, but rather setup the evite, let user send it to themself, and then they can forward it to all their peeps via their own email program (with all their contacts in it already).
As a user, I’d want to know the last time the specials were updated for a particular bar — to ensure they are still good.
If the restaurant would like to use the service, ask them via this automated call how often they’d like to update their specials — daily or weekly basis? Call them every week, or ask to call them each morning for their daily specials — and ask if there’s a better number to call. If the owner/manager didn’t answer the call, tell them we’ll call back in 10 minutes — or when would be a better time [to speak to owner/manager]?
Do you like this idea? Would you do something differently? How would you proceed in marketing this? How would you gain adoption from restaurants/bars and users? Any additional features you’d add? Would you use this? Start some discussion by commenting!