Looking for a convenient way to find offers for food and drinks? Gurmanie.com, a special offers portal focused on the promotion of local restaurants, might just be it. Why Gurmanie.com when there are already so many established special offers websites, and why did we decide to feature this one before the others? First of all, it looked unique, and we didn’t have to purchase anything up front. Great! And once we tried it, it worked like a charm.
To sum up the experience – registration was quite simple and took only a minute. All that was needed was a Czech mobile phone number and a working e-mail address. We then chose from among the offers on the Gurmanie.com portal and had the codes texted to our mobile phones. An SMS arrived almost immediately with details of the offer, the name of the chosen restaurant, and validity of the code (30 days). Straightforward and simple.
There is no penalty for not using the code, so there’s no risk to the user. We went to use the codes the next day without a reservation. When ordering our meals we told the waitress that we were using Gurmanie.com‘s SMS codes. Although she didn’t know what this was at fist, she confirmed with the manager that it was ok. The quantity of food served was very generous and consistent with the description and pictures on Gurmanie.com. I do however, miss having the ability to provide feedback to the restaurant or on the service. Aside from this, everything worked well.
After testing the user experience, we wondered if there was any difference between Gurmanie.com and other discount portals from the perspective of business owners. We had a quick chat with Kaveh Kalantar from Nextkickoff, the company behind this project.
What made you think of kicking off Gurmanie.com?
Well, despite there being already many special offers portals and flash sales websites, we were surprised about some of their commonly used practices towards small businesses, and we kept asking ourselves ‘Why do these companies operate this way? Why do they charge such a big commission, why do they hold the small businesses’ money for several weeks?’ And we could not find a satisfactory answer.
How is Gurmanie.com different then?
We did quite a bit of research and decided to focus on one segment in one geographical area in order to improve it. We chose to focus on food and beverages in and around Prague. Then we wanted to give small businesses something that they could be comfortable with, something to change their perception of special offers portals and in fact see us as their partner and online marketing consultant. Since customers do not have to buy anything in advance, the business owners don’t have their revenue locked away with a third party, but get it directly from customers when they come to redeem the offers. I’d also like to stress that we’re not a discounts portal. Discounts can be among the offers, but it’s up to the restaurants to decide what kind of offers they would like to introduce to their current or potential customers. Discounts are just one of them.
If I were a restaurant owner in Prague, I might jump at this offering right away.
Yes, especially if you were used to a special offers portal before. Those restaurant owners are usually the easier ones. We also encourage them to offer their top menu items to encourage customers to come back. After all, we have the word gourmand (In Czech: gurman) in the title of our site. But I’m surprised how long it takes restaurants to create an offer once they sign up with us. From 53 businesses which have signed up to-date only 17 have active offers!
Why do you think it is so?
It might be that the online market is still an unknown space for many and they, logically, don’t have the resources to work on finalizing an offer. But we’re helping them also in this area and educating them on the benefits of activating the offers.
How can a restaurant join?
They can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to explain in detail how everything works.
Let’s wish Gurmanie good luck. In the meantime, we’re going to give another restaurant a try, perhaps combining it with a food delivery service this time.