Today the New York Times teases that we may never have to pay full-price for a meal again, due to the huge proliferation of new dining discount sites. The paper readies L.A. for the coming of VillageVines, where you pay a ten-dollar reservation fee upfront for a discount at the end of your meal. But which sites are launching in L.A. this week and how do they stack up?
Before V.V. has a chance to compete for our email addresses, today sees the L.A. launch of White Pages' DealPop, promising discounts of 50% and higher on local restaurants. DealPop's first offer is for $15 worth of baked goods at Seventeenth Street Bakery for only $7, followed by an offer of $5 Umami burgers (they're normally $11).
Sounds like a pretty good start, if diners aren't already too busy organizing their BlackBoard Eats offers to sign up. In any case, it's more direct than OpenTable Spotlight, which also launches this week in L.A. but keeps the name of the discounted restaurant secret at first. Strange, no? Oh well, the company tells us the first discount is at both locations of Fraiche, if that saves you any time spent searching.
We'll have to see if Zagat does any better as they launch their deals program this month, promising that the discounts become greater as restaurant get more sign-ups. In any case, who can argue with a trend that saves us on eating out?