Upscale restaurants, at more down-to-earth prices
The sheer number of city dining options can make it difficult to choose a place to eat. But a free e-mail newsletter, launched last week, may help.Blackboardeats.com offers exclusive deals at well-regarded local spots.
“We only feature the best — from dives to high-end restaurants,” said founder Maggie Nemser, who was formerly a food editor at Yahoo! Unlike discount food sites such as restaurant.com and groupon.com, there are no prerequisites (such as a certain amount necessary to spend, or a minimum number of subscribers needed for a deal). Restaurants are chosen and reviewed by a panel of food writers, headed up by the site’s New York editor, William Sertl, former Gourmet travel editor. Subscribers receive an e-mail every Tuesday and Thursday with the deals. They have one day to get a proprietary passcode, but a whole month to redeem the deal at the restaurant. Nemser plans to do special Blackboard Eats happy hours, special menu items and discounts.
And she said restaurants, even the most high-profile amongst them, have been eager to be included. “I don’t think restaurants think deals are uncool, they just want them to be within an outlet they feel comfortable with. They feel really safe, because they’re in good company,” she said.
While she wouldn’t divulge subscriber numbers, the response has been so positice, that other food sites have reportedly already begun talks to do similar services.