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Lessons From Dollar Lunch Day

Whether Living Social's "Dollar Lunch" promotion last Friday was a success depends on who you ask. Some people got lunch at a great restaurant for practically nothing. Others found themselves stuck in insanely long lines, waiting an hour or more for their food to get brought out from the kitchen, or getting turned away all together. Dollar Lunch day went about exactly as anyone could have predicted.

(from oncetherewasagirl on Flickr)

A co-worker and I purchased one of the instant vouchers to a restaurant across the street from our office. We knew it was a gamble, but figured it was worth a dollar. When we walked in the door, the host asked if we had a reservation. We didn't. He responded, "sorry, I can't accommodate you." We left, walked a block down the street, past lines stretching down the sidewalk, and ate at Chipotle instead.

It's not entirely clear who subsidized this promotion. There's talk that Living Social helped foot the bill, but whether they covered the entire cost to the participating restaurants isn't clear.

Who came out the biggest winner from Dollar Lunch Day? I'd say it's probably the restaurants that didn't participate the promotion, like the Chipotle where I ate. These places cashed in on the spillover from those who went out for lunch, but their either couldn't redeem their deal, or didn't have the patience to wait it out. DC's food trucks probably didn't have a bad day either.

And the biggest losers? I'd venture to guess it's the servers and the waitstaff who had to deal with mobs of people, many of whom (from what I read) had no idea how to tip in a situation like this one. Nobody likes working harder than ever and getting paid less for it.


Michael said…
Who doesn't know how to tip in situations like this?

My momma taught me to tip on the full menu price 'cause it's not the server's fault you have a coupon.

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