Local food festivals (“Taste of Seattle,” “Taste of Hillcrest,” et al) are a great way to taste samples from many restaurants at one time. Usually, they require a single ticket, with proceeds often going to charity. A more recent phenomenon is the Food Crawl, a progressive dinner where diners go from one restaurant location to another.
A new twist on the food festival and Food Crawl has been developed by Scoop St., a 12-person, year-old deal-a-day site based in New York. Scoop St. is combining elements of “The Food Crawl” with the daily deal. Deal purchasers are essentially invited to buy signature dishes at a succession of neighborhood restaurants for roughly half off.
The debut of Scoop St.’s Food Crawl took place last February as “The Taste of 7th St.,” in the East Village. That event sold 1,000 tickets at $18 each, or 48 percent off the $35 value. That makes the $7, appetizer-sized lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster seem like it only cost $3.50.
During the two-day period in which the 7th St. offer was in effect, 960 were redeemed (apparently, with restaurants preparing a lot of their food to go). The two-day redemption period is considered more compelling for restaurants than the normal six-month redemption period of typical deals.
Most of the tickets brought new prospects to the restaurants. One participating restaurant estimated that more than 75 percent had never been there before.
At this point, Scoop St. has featured multiple Food Crawls in various neighborhoods of New York. The site has also just introduced a “Happy Hour Pass,” a charity product that provides discounted drinks at select bars for an entire month. The site has also experimented with the “Good Beer Seal” touting local alehouses. There is definitely a strong advertising element in the company’s e-mails that is very compelling.
In addition to its deal-a-day and Food Crawl products, the site is also syndicating its deals to major sites (i.e., Yahoo’s just released Daily Deals site) and is powering a Power Deal offer for the “Not for Tourists” publication in New York.