2010, The Year of the Overcrowded Coupon Market


While every media outlet from coast to coast continues to list what was great about the food and drink scenes this past year--the trends, the disappointments--no one has yet mentioned the proliferation of coupon sites. Every day another daily deal pops up in our inbox, whether we signed up for the service or not, offering discounts on lunches, wines and two-for-one entrees. Will it ever stop?

Groupon, of course, leads the pack, and BlackBoard Eats and LivingSocial have gathered steam. But the copycats keep coming: Gilt City, Village Vines, Yowza!!, and now OpenTable and Yelp offer deals. And while the debate continues over whether these discounts are good for consumers or businesses, still more sites launch. We're not saying we don't love a deal, but when a $375 bottle of vodka is offered for $300 at Crown Bar, a "deal" the newly launched Bevvy.com sent us today, it just doesn't seem useful. After all, who even goes to Crown Bar anymore?

Yowza!! Launches Digital Coupons [Grub Street]
Groupon Killers? OpenTable Launches Spotlight, Yelp Offers Daily Deals [GSNY]
Dining Discounts Make Some Restaurateurs Sick [Crains]