The Groupon Experience

20 Jan

What was thought to be a wine tasting experience, quickly turned into a Groupon experience.   Everyday I receive emails from this deal of the day website about their offers.  Well a few weeks ago I purchased one for a wine tasting with appetizers for two (4 glasses of wine each, appetizers and two take home bottles).  What a picture it had, a full glass of wine and assortment of cheeses around it.  The first hint that this would not be as sweet as it sounded was when calling for reservations. I was quickly told after referring to Groupon that I must come at 5pm, contrasting with what was written on the offer by 7pm. (After a little back and fourth we agreed on 6:30pm). It was not only this but the tone of voice that really gave away the fact Groupon customers weren’t so welcomed. Like the response you get when a salesman offers you a great deal and makes you excited but than immediately tells you about the hidden costs, that dramatic drop in your tone of voice…”oh, ok well I’m not interested.”

We arrived to the restaurant, a little, low lighted Italian place with candles and cheap looking deco. Immediately we are seated in the front and given the “4 glasses of wine each” as promised, they were tastings rather (about a few small sips). I should have read into this more, the title said tasting but the fine print said glasses. These were a pinot grigio, chardonnay, malbec and pinot noir, with a small dish of appetizers in between us. The night went well though, at least we had the equivalent of one glass of wine and some things to pick at while conversing, with the exception of the music selection, Celine Dion and some other really cheesy music. Coming out, I will say that they really tried to hard, over the top, to make it a nice place, kind of like a nouveau riche house.

We lingered soaking up the wine and cheesiness until feeling it was time to get our two free bottles to take home. Retrieving our coats and wine, I asked the manager if he wished he hadn’t signed on with Groupon.  Apparently most Groupon customers don’t tip very well and it doesn’t help businesses as much as predicted. Wow, the response was blatantly lying through the teeth with a smile, “No, we like our Groupon customers.” It did not take a lie detector to decipher that statement.  So we left and without a word walked right into “Big Daddy’s” burger joint next door as it was on both our minds and just laughed that we had just made this subconsciousness switch in atmosphere .  So much for the refined night we had been expecting…

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