Zebra’s Bistro and Wine Bar, Boston
Established, Award-Winning Restaurant Sees 28% Revenue Jump, New Clientele on Groupon
Background: Already ranked as one of the top restaurants in the Boston area, Zebra’s Bistro
and Wine Bar still faced a common challenge most eateries do: attracting new and loyal patrons.
After costly local newspaper and magazine ads yielded minimal results, general manager Craig
Neubecker worked with Groupon to offer a compelling deal to attract new customers, drive
overspend, and increase the restaurant’s online footprint. The two deals that Zebra’s Bistro
offered brought in hundreds of new customers, and on average, Groupon patrons spent 200%
more than the value of the Groupon.
What’s Happened Since: Zebra’s March 2011 revenue was up more than 28% from the previous
year. Neubecker has seen a consistent sales increase in the months following Zebra’s most
recent Groupon, proving both promotions effectively drew in repeat traffic and increased the
restaurant’s local buzz.
GT Dream Cars, New Jersey
Groupon Feature Inspires New Business Model
Background: Owner Christopher Proudlock first came to Groupon hoping to offer his luxury car
fleet for one-day rentals. Groupon’s merchant advisers saw an opportunity that would create an
entirely new business for Proudlock: exotic car racing. With Groupon’s help, GT Dream Cars
rented a local racetrack and offered three-lap rides in a range of exotic and luxury cars, including
Ferraris and Lamborghinis. More than 2,000 people purchased the deal!
What’s happened since: Now, a few months after his first Groupon feature, Proudlock has
successfully offered additional deals for lap races and driving experiences throughout the East
Coast. He has also enjoyed incremental revenue; customers love to buy videos and photos of
themselves racing around the track, and nearly everyone wants to purchase additional laps.
Racetrack vendors have been receptive because they can rent their tracks during off-peak hours
and generate concessions revenue. Proudlock has already received offers to franchise the
business idea and he is in the process of finding land to build his own track.
Saga Hill Cooking School, Minneapolis
Groupon Helps Critically Acclaimed Chef Bounce Back from the Brink of Closing, Open Second
Background: In the middle of a recession, little luxuries such as cooking classes are the first
things to go. Minnesota’s highly regarded Saga Hill Cooking School was no exception, and staff
noticed that business from both regular students and new faces was sharply declining. On the
verge of having to lay off her staff of five, Marianne Miller, owner of Saga Hill Cooking School and
a Le Cordon Bleu–certified chef, turned to Groupon for help. She offered her cooking classes
for a little more than half off … and business immediately turned around when more than 1,000
people bought her first deal.
What’s Happened Since: Instead of having to lay off workers, she hired additional employees
and even opened another cooking school location! She calls Groupon the lifeline she needed,
saying, “Groupon did more for my business in 48 hours than online advertising did in five years.”
Cranberry Café, Philadelphia
Hidden Gem Kicks the Coupon Habit and Leverages Groupon’s Tri-Force
Background: Susan Han felt stuck. Hidden in a day spa, Cranberry Café launched in 2006
and rarely saw new clientele. Advertising options were limited. Han invested in a $700/month
campaign in a local coupon book; the vendor offered no indication of its effectiveness, but like
many business owners, Han believed something was better than nothing. To Han’s relief, she
discovered Groupon Now! deals in July 2011 and eventually experimented with a traditional
Groupon feature to further promote Cranberry Café.,/p>
What’s Happened Since: Both types of Groupon deals have worked tremendously for Han, as
her revenue increased more than 35% in just one quarter, and 90% of Groupon customers have
become repeat clientele. Susan is also one of the first merchants in the country to use Groupon’s
entire three-pronged marketing suite: traditional Groupon feature deals, Groupon Now!, and
Groupon Rewards, a customer retention and loyalty tool.
The Massage & Day Spa, Chicago
Groupon Now! Kicks Off a New Business Launch
Background: It’s tough to open a new business, but launching a massage-therapy practice
during a recession is practically impossible. Owner Neil Barakat was surprised to discover his
business, The Massage & Day Spa, was slow to launch; although he was a massage therapist
himself, he was focusing solely on how to keep his other four employees busy through a drought
of clientele. After a consultation with Groupon, Barakat determined that a Groupon Now! deal
would be best for his business. The results were dramatic: The Massage & Day Spa consistently
sold out the 15 three-minute massage deals offered daily, and Barakat found that Groupon
customers routinely upgraded to a 60-minute massage for an additional fee.
What’s Happened Since: Barakat has a thriving business, a hearty customer base, and has
increased his staff from 4 to 14! Best of all, his daily sales are up 80% since launching his first
Groupon Now! deal.
Picture It On Canvas, San Diego
What Happens When a Business Sells Nearly 98,000 Groupons?
Background: When Bob McKeon, owner of Picture It On Canvas, started working with Groupon
in late 2010, the company consisted of him and a few part-time employees. After working with
Groupon to offer a 16″x20″ custom photo gallery-wrapped canvas with free shipping, Picture It On
Canvas’s sales skyrocketed and he considered running a Groupon deal again.
What’s Happened Since: In 2011, the company sold 97,820 units, ran 411 deals with Groupon,
and added more than 70 employees. McKeon has also moved from his original location to a
10,000-square-foot warehouse, and he anticipates needing a larger headquarters soon. McKeon credits Groupon for his success. “Not only has Groupon made Picture It On Canvas successful,
but I’ve been able to help change the lives of others by employing good people who have been
looking for work.”
John’s Landscaping, San Antonio
A Seasonal Merchant Finds Year-Round Clientele
Background: Like many Groupon clients, John’s Landscaping in San Antonio was looking for
additional exposure, new clients, and a way to get through their slow season. Owner Christopher
Greer turned to Groupon to offer a deal for personalized lawn design and installation of up to 250
square feet for $249, regularly priced at $873. The high price point was unusual for a daily deal,
so Greer prepared for high redemption but set expectations around fewer than 20 units to be
sold. He was thrilled when more than 100 people bought the Groupon and called him to schedule
What’s Happened Since: What Greer didn’t expect were the dozens of people that found him
through Groupon and called to inquire about other services! In addition to the add-on services
that Groupon customers bought, Greer was able to book enough jobs through the colder months
in the Houston area to keep him and his employees busy. In fact, one of the jobs he completed
for someone who found him through Groupon was worth more than $25,000!
Groupon Catapults Business from Startup to Thriving National Company
Background: Chimpsy, a company offering photography-workshop classes, started working with
Groupon at the end of 2010, but it wasn’t until 2011 that the startup really took off. As owner and
founder of a new business with almost no marketing budget, Mark Cafiero saw Groupon as the
perfect way to increase visibility.
What’s Happened Since: Cafiero has completely built his business through Groupon’s
marketing platform, growing from a single market in Denver to now offering photography classes
in 30 markets across the country with plans for additional development. Groupon currently
accounts for the vast majority of his revenue stream, and Cafiero has added nearly 40 employees
to help support his growth.
Linde Lane Tea Room, Dixon, California
Groupon Makes an Unconventional Service the Hottest Deal in Town
Background: Located in the small town of Dixon, outside of Sacramento, Linde Lane Tea Room
is ranked as one of the top five tearooms in all of California. However, the tearoom was looking to
expand its customer base and attract folks that may not think of an afternoon tea when looking for
something to do. Groupon was just the right brew.
What’s Happened Since: After running its first deal with Groupon in April 2011, Linde Lane
saw its website traffic increase by 2,500%, waitresses received better-than-average tips, and
after seeing the deal online, one local news station asked to broadcast its morning show at the
tearoom the morning of the royal wedding! Linde Lane continues to enjoy a steady stream of new and existing clientele—not an easy feat for a niche business.