Deal or No Deal

Everyone I know loves a good deal, including me. I have signed up to every bargain deal website this Emerald Isle has to offer and currently have 5 active sign-ups which I check on a daily basis. From livingsocial.com to dealrush.ie, I love to sample what our fine country has to suggest in the way of activities, products, hotel breaks and of course, restaurants!

I have purchased over 27 deals and counting. Romantic hotel breaks, holiday breaks, Swarovski earrings, high-end make-up, dry cleaning deals, hair treatments, walking tours, massage and aromatherapy beauty treatments, wine and champagne deals… nothing is safe from the wrath of my credit card and my hunt for a new product or experience. But my all time favourite discounted offers are those directed at restaurants. What better way to sample a restaurant without having to spend about €90 per person just on a curiosity of the establishment? Two glasses of wine, two starters, two mains and two teas/coffees for only €35 all in you say??? Sign me up!

Indian, French, Italian, European, Turkish, Spanish, Cuban; I have sampled you all on this wonderful inexpensive arrangement. But I always leave the restaurant asking the same question; would I actually return and pay the full price? The answer, out of all the many meal haunts I have frequented on this low-cost offer is ‘No. I wouldn’t’.

Why is that? I love food. I love going out for a meal with friends. I love being waited on and not worry about the clean up. I love the whole dine-out experience package. So why would I not return to the establishment that allowed me have a fun time and a nice meal at, what is primarily, their expense?

We all know companies, hotels and restaurants put themselves on these deal sites in order to promote their enterprise and entice prospective new clients to sample what they have to offer. They want to ‘wow’ these potential repeat customers in the hope they return and spread positive word of mouth, increasing the traffic to their place of business and in turn, boosting profits. But does this actually work when you are essentially monetarily devaluing your product in the hope that your prospective customer will return and want to throw more money at a creation that had a decreased worth in the first place?

Is this why I and so many other diners have not returned to the restaurants that provided us with this low-cost experience? I am still not sure on the answer, but I do think the discount decreased the restaurant’s worth and so, I don’t want to return and put twice the amount of money on a product that I feel no longer holds a value of significance. Is that bad?

I also think it is because I never wholly enjoy the experience. I always have this impression that when you receive a good deal from an establishment, be it free drinks at a bar or a grossly discounted meal at a restaurant, you feel the proprietors will stiff you in some way to reduce their loss; lower quality of meat and dishes not fully prepared and presented in their original, full valued state. Or the free ‘champagne’ you receive is actually some €4 bargain basement sparkling wine that tastes like concentrated Ribena. And so the ‘wow’ factor the restaurant was hoping to attain with our first encounter ended up being just a ‘meh’ experience with alright food and drink that was only worth the exact reduced rate we paid in the first place. No way am I returning to pay double even if I am under the impression that I will receive the good meat, good service and good presentation that is reserved for the full paying customers. You snooze, you lose restaurant. You should have wowed me when you had your one chance to do it.

So me and my lady pal Suzy, will be utilising another LivingSocial deal on Saturday, this time at an Asian/Japanese restaurant called Yo Thai in Mount Merrion, Co. Dublin www.yothai.ie . I love Japanese food and I especially adore experiencing teppan’yaki. It’s so much fun watching the talented chefs be the entertainers and comedians for our evening!!

For €29 we receive Two Miso Soups, Two Teppan’yaki Mains and Two Teas/Coffees. A bottle or two of wine on top of this and we are sorted. (We don’t mind dusting the cobwebs off our wallets for this liquid gold).  http://www.livingsocial.com/cities/1739/deals/407234-teppanyaki-with-miso-soup-and-hot-drinks-for-two

Will we be wowed enough to return and pay the full whack? It has the teppan’yaki element on its side, however the location is rather in suburbia and it’s a slight distance from any social activities post meal. So we’ll have to see!

Irish Deal Sites:

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