Damir Kamber, manager of Baroni Italian in Atlanta, has been on the job for merely three weeks. But he’s quickly discovered what decision-makers for many restaurants are experiencing around the country – a barrage of sales calls from a burgeoning number of daily deals providers like Groupon, LivingSocial, Google Offers, Scoutmob, etc.
“It’s nonstop,” Kamir told ClickZ News. “It’s like a full-time job now. I’ve heard from Groupon and a bunch of other sites that I’ve never heard of.”
Judy Farinha, owner of Portland restaurant Tributes, uses few but strong words to describe the number of calls she’s getting from deals sites.
“Ridiculous,” she said. “It’s overwhelming.”
Farinha said the sales pitches from the numerous sites echo each other. “They all say that you were selected because of the great consumer reviews they read on Yelp or another site,” she said. “They’ll use the word ‘feature.’ They say, ‘We want to feature you exclusively.'”
Tributes ran a 50 percent discount via Scoutmob on July 18. Three days after the deal went live, Farinha said, “We had six come in today. We had one yesterday. We want to try new things and get new customers…We’ve gotten a couple of new faces so far.”
Jerry Costanza, owner of La Bistecca Italian Grille in Plymouth, MI, said he gets a lot of calls from deals sites, too, but doesn’t seem to mind. La Bistecca has run three Groupon offers in the last nine months, he said, each bringing in new patrons.
“I’ve had several [pitches] from those sites,” Costanza said. “But I’m not getting any more calls than I do from other kinds of media.”