LivingSocial has fallen a long way since their heyday of event space and big offices, but they’re still throwing out deals. The latest: Restaurants Plus, which launches in Washington today after a September debut in Atlanta. The promo allows diners at participating restaurants to receive up to 30 percent “cashback” from their meals when they pay with a registered credit or debit card.
The free program does away with the concept of pre-purchased vouchers, and seemingly hopes to dispel the stigma of discounts. Instead of advertising a percentage off the check, restaurants “reward” customers by giving a portion of the bill back to diners when they pay with a regular credit/card that’s been registered with LivingSocial. On the business side, restaurants can set times and offers, targeting typically slower periods like weekday lunch to attract deal-seekers. For example, Il Canale advertises 30 percent cashback until 4 pm.
Whether the new tactic will work better than past daily deals is tough to say. Currently 141 Washington restaurants have signed on to the program, ranging from Jumbo Pizza on U Street to Bobby Van’s Steakhouse downtown.