Groupon can be a best friend or an unwanted guest from a restaurant management expert standpoint when it is not used correctly. Somewhat like the Entertainment Books of old that the customer could use at whatever restaurant provided the coupons, Groupon is not always going to get you return guests. Like it or not, some customers will only patronize those restaurants who offer a Groupon. Once the promo is over, they move on to another eatery. Loyalty in this case does not apply. Still and used correctly, Groupon can be another marketing tool to fill seats that otherwise go unused. According to this article in Forbes, keep this reality in mind when formulating your restaurant business plan around discounts: “Two-thirds of business owners who said they were happy with the performance of their Groupons admitted that 70% of the customers who came in with the discounts never returned.” “Groupon discounts really aren’t that different from other types of big markdowns that a business might use to attract new customers (stimulate trial) and energize their existing customer base (activate latent demand). I’ve worked with some of the most successful discounters in the country, and they all like to say that there’s a right way and a wrong way to discount.” Still, following these four rules according to this restaurant management expert can make Groupon a welcome addition. Also, check out these other restaurant marketing ideas to add to your promotional plans. Is your restaurant, bar or food and beverage establishment currently using discount coupons, such as Groupon, to attract new customers? What percentage of repeat clientele are you experiencing from a restaurant management expert perspective and will you continue using it in the future?