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How 'Gaming' the System Helped This Business Get Thousands More Customers

By: Lydia Belanger - ENTREPRENEUR STAFF

After Scott Parker partnered with Spotluck to lure diners to his four restaurants during slow times, his establishments saw an uptick in customer visits.

The fix

Spotluck sets itself apart from other discount startups because it employs dynamic pricing. Its premise is that eating at a restaurant on a sunny Friday evening shouldn’t cost the same as eating there on a rainy Tuesday at 2 p.m. when foot traffic is low to nonexistent. Its software offers discounts that fluctuate based on day, time, weather and restaurant occupancy.

“It’s almost like a Hotels.com of restaurants,” Parker says. “People can really bargain shop and they can feel like they’re getting a good deal, it works well for the business and everyone’s happy.”

The results

Parker says that in the last two years since he first implemented Spotluck at his restaurants, he has seen nearly 2,500 Spotluck users come through.

“For us, those are real numbers,” Parker says. “That’s not like one or two people used the app and then came in. “That’s not only a great way to generate revenue, but a great way to get a bunch of fresh faces in the restaurant that might hopefully come back as a customer another time.”

Read more here


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A Brief Guide to the Newer Reservation Apps

By STEPHANIE STROM

Spotluck

Like Nowait, the Spotluck app isn’t interested in hot restaurants. Its goal is to fill seats in local places using an algorithm that incorporates the day of the week, time and weather, among other things, to calculate what kind of discount it would take to motivate a diner to eat out.

COST Free.

WORTH NOTING You spin a virtual wheel (only one spin allowed each day) that randomly selects a restaurant and attaches a discount of up to 30 percent for a meal there. If you want to eat elsewhere, you may select one of the other restaurants shown and get a smaller discount there. A recent spin on a Monday in Midtown Manhattan came up with a 25 percent discount at the Croton Reservoir Tavern, but also offered 10 percent off at Boccone and 20 other places in the area.

Read more here


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