Startup FoodFan takes on the "daily deal"

New York City startup FoodFan is vying to make the "daily deal" an everyday occurrence with a new discount membership for dining, entertainment, and travel.

FoodFan is using a members only business model for discounts

New York City startup FoodFan is vying to make the "daily deal" an everyday occurrence with a new discount membership for dining, entertainment, and travel.

FoodFan is the brainchild of Groupon alumnus Carlo Cisco. The company will launch a new subscription called Select as soon as the end of this month. The service expands FoodFan, which presently offers its members discounts from between 15-30% at about 80 local restaurants, into the aforementioned verticals. This is an evolution of the "daily deal" business model that eschews one-time only discounts.

Daily Deal services have typically been open to everyone. Sites such as Google Offers or Groupon entice users to visit local businesses by giving discounts for specific dates. This week I could receive 61$ off a spa massage in SoHo or 43% off mac-n-cheese and beer on Groupon if I chose to buy a voucher before time ran out or they were sold out. FoodFan doesn't use vouchers, blackout dates, or limited times offers.

"This is a more targeted form of daily deals. We appeal to higher quality, customers spend more, and are more likely to come back," Cisco said. "People are sick of being bombarded with e-mails and paying in advance [of what they are getting]."

Of course this is nothing new. Student Advantage requires college students to pay a fee for a discount card that's good for food, clothes, dining, and travel on Amtrak. It has been in business for years (I was a member).

FoodFan Select will cost US$7.99 per month. Participating vendors include its partnering restaurants, and the company is working to close deals with Avis, Hertz and hotels for travel; AMC, Regal theaters and cocktail lounges (Sky Room Times Square is one) for entertainment; and possibly some international targets.

The company was financed with a $250,000 "family and friends" angel round and is generating revenues, Cisco said. FoodFan Select is currently in beta and only for dining.

(Image credit: FoodFan/ David Worthington)

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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