Groupon Buys Savored, a Competitor That Fed Off Merchants’ Fears About Groupon

Groupon has acquired Savored, a company that was targeting high-end restaurants that liked the idea of filling empty tables, but were terrified of the ramifications of running a Groupon.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but clearly this hints that Groupon is looking to expand its deal range beyond everyday restaurants to more fine dining. Additionally, it will help restaurants manage inventory by filling seats at slow times.

Last year, I wrote about how Savored was a solution to a Groupon going wrong — or when a merchant gets bombarded with unprofitable customers who spend no more than the coupon is worth and have no intention of ever returning.

New York-based, which was formerly called VillageVines, requires members to pay $10 to book a reservation at a restaurant and in return get about 30 percent off their entire bill, including alcohol. With this deal, the restaurant keeps all of the profits. (Update: Savored stopped charging customers for reservations in May.)

During the first six months of 2011, the company reported that it had grown from six employees to 45, and has increased reservations by 335 percent and subscribers by 228 percent. Additionally, participating restaurants were on track to generate more than $25 million in sales in 2011.

Today, Savored says that more than 1,000 restaurants nationwide have used its services. In a release, Dan Roarty, VP of Groupon Now, said: “Savored’s platform nicely complements Groupon’s efforts in yield management, an area we’ve pioneered with Groupon Now. We look forward to working together to achieve a common goal — making dining out even more fun and affordable for consumers while helping restaurateurs manage inventory and grow their businesses.”

Groupon said Savored will continue to serve diners and restaurants at its Web site.

Savored’s co-founder and CEO, Ben McKean, wrote in a blog post: “Together, Groupon and Savored will be able to deliver even more exceptional dining experiences to consumers while continuing to focus on restaurant profitability. The Savored product will remain sophisticated and elegant, enabling diners to make reservations at the very best restaurants and receive discounts of up to 40% seamlessly taken off their bill.”

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