(Photo credit: www.rentvine.com )
Guest post from Ryan Adams
We Grouponers are a different breed. Savvy, eclectic, and eyes wide open for a good deal. And we have power. The power to reduce a restaurant bill to mere pennies.
So how do we act as good citizens of this power? Alas, a small minority of Grouponers are acting irresponsibly; they’re defacing our brand around town. Sometimes you can see the damage in small ways.
Last week GrouponGirl and I were dining over Groupon-powered date night at a local wine bistro. When we presented our paper print-out that night I sensed a hint of emotion from the server. I’ll take care of that. She attempted a smile, shoulders slouching slightly. Was our server disappointed?
I enjoyed my cabernet sauvignon and German sausage without giving it another thought. GrouponGirl sipped her water (no alcohol with the new baby on the way) and took a few bites into her artisan pizza as we discussed politics, the kids, and our next Groupon exploit. Dinner was wonderful, excellent service.
Are you ready for the check? We were. The server pulled it from her pouch, and gingerly placed it on the table. I reached for my AmEx and peaked at the total. Hmm…was the wine charged twice? I passed the bill to GrouponGirl. It wasn’t the wine, an 18% gratuity had been added. A strange policy to enact on a party of two. Having spent our college years on the other side of the table, we understood the meaning: restaurant staff had been previously burned by Grouponers tipping on discount, not the total.
I was annoyed. Not at the restaurant, but the unnamed Grouponers who forced their hand into mandatory gratuity. We added extra to the tip that night to compensate. It was probably not enough to change their policy, but perhaps our server would be less disappointed the next time she serves up a Groupon discount.
It was a good reminder, we are all responsible for our collective brand. We can be welcomed as early adopters, generous and enjoyed by our local establishments. Or, we can be endured as self-entitled cheapskates, a necessary evil of a modern promotional campaign. The way we Groupon affects how we’re perceived. It’s up to us. Let’s not let the misguided minority steal our reputation.
I’m curious, has your Groupon experience ever been tainted by the sins of Grouponers past?
EDIT 1: Interesting, Groupon has published Four Rules of Groupon Etiquette. Number 1 deals with restaurant tips.
Ryan’s Bio: My wife, GrouponGirl, scores the deals that improve our lifestyle and gives us interesting things to do together. Her work has shaped our family into valuing shared experiences over consumer products. We’d rather have a heart full of lasting memories then a garage packed with junk. She’s the daily deal pro, I’m just along for the ride.