LivingSocial Launches “Restaurants Plus” in Washington

A new kind of daily deal from the DC-based company.

LivingSocial brings their Restaurant Plus promo to Washington. Photograph via Flickr user Danny Lee.

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.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.