Ten years ago at the blog



[If I'd been more diligent, I would have looked up the menu of one of the restaurants. These prices are ten years out date, but assuming they haven't gone down...]


 

FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011

Salmon/Fung cage match -- Did Salmon use a representative example?

Felix Salmon is one of the sharpest business and finance bloggers out there but I've never quite shared his enthusiasm for the Groupon business model. Disagreeing with Salmon on business matters makes me a little nervous, so I feel a bit better to have Kaiser Fung on my side.

Fung (who shares my high opinion of Salmon's acumen) has a good take-down of Salmon's analysis. You should probably read the whole thing but there's one particular aspect that strikes me as requiring additional attention.

Here's Fung:

Let's start with [Salmon's] neighborhood restaurant example:

At Giorgio's, for instance, diners paid $15 for their Groupon -- which gave them $30 of food. But dinner for two at Giorgio's, with some kind of alcohol, can easily run to $100 or more. So even after knocking $22.50 off the bill (remember that Giorgio's kept $7.50 of the proceeds of Groupon), the restaurant would often still make money.

This is a bit complicated. We can trace how the cash flows. For Groupon, diners pay them $15, and they keep half of that, $7.50. For the diners, they paid Groupon $15 (now worth $30 spending), and so they pay Giorgio's $70; in other words, they paid $85 out of pocket (Read more...)