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IDEA #27 – Lunch/Dinner/Bar Specials – Updated Daily

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!

  • rulepark

    I think 1 website will do to combine the bars and the restaurants. Organize a meetup for the social network, spark a date or two within the members.

    The most important thing of all for such a website is the latest update of the menu and relevant infos. I would not want to visit a restaurant whose menu turn out to be a dish served almost 3 months ago. Make coupons to attract the user. Do some promotions. Always organize a party by one of the bars. Parties will be sponsored by others. That will really get it going as we have a date matching features on the go! Cupid is in the bar…

  • Chris

    There’s already a million websites out there that offer information about restaurants and bars, how are these guys going to stick out? Seems like they’re jumping into an already diluted area.

  • Mitch

    But all those millions of Sites are pretty shit, made badly (design, usability!, …) and haven’t got a good community. It might work if you got some really good software.

    Start in your hometown and get all good Bars together, than to the next bigger city where a friend of yours is living and so on.
    Must have features are at least weekly updates, good connections to the restaurants/bars and maybe some “discounts” to members.
    I got drunk last night would be the easter egg.

  • Grant Bowskill

    What would be really cool is if there were a mobile version of this site that provided a mobile widget, similar to MyBlogLog which showed the people that are in that resturant/bar with you at that point in time.

    It could possibly be automated by geodata from the phone or by manually telling the website “I will be at Bar X between 9 and 11pm”. Obiously you could choose whether this data is private, public or friends only.

    There are alot of privacy and stalking issues, but if everyone who used it were nice people, it’d be great. Pity its not an ideal world!

  • Kevin

    Key differentiator here could be simplicity. I can envision a desktop widget that simply shows a picture of a tempting meal and a price. There would be one button – “I Want It”. When you sign up for an account you can store your credit card/PayPal on file along with your delivery address, so with one click you could get your food delivered right to your office/home/dorm. Would be perfect for those times when you’re right in the middle of a marathon coding session or at a meeting and don’t want to have to have to take a break for food.