Most of you, I am sure by now, have heard of the relatively new company, Groupon. I know that many of you are recent, new guests because of Groupon. This is an incredible success story that is worth noting. 3 years ago this company was little more than an idea. Andrew Mason founded Groupon in 2008. Groupon was born out of a piece of technology and site called The Point. This was developed by Andrew as way of conducting on-line fund raising. A year later Groupon came on the scene.
From a marketing and advertising perspective this is an absolute brilliant business model. When Vincent first approached me with this idea after meeting with the Groupon rep, my first response was, “where is the catch”. Going to advertise Mercy and sell a discount coupon to over 350,000 in the Dallas metroplex and it doesn’t cost me a penny? I was clearly missing something. He was absolutely correct. This was in June of 2010. On our first attempt we sold 1,000 coupons on a Thursday. The very next day, we had an hour wait for dinner and Saturday saw the same result. Our business jumped significantly and remained high throughout the rest of the year. We were able to get reach into the market that, as a small company, we could have never afforded to do through traditional advertising channels. We not only were able to offer our regular guests an opportunity to visit us and get a significant discount but also attract an entire new group of guests, that after 8 years in business, we had not been able to reach.
With this success we had another round with Groupon and are results were twice what they were last year. We fully expect similar results throughout this year. Groupon is a very short 3 years is now in 44 countries and 500 markets around the world and has attained the prestigious status of being THE most profitable company on the planet! In 3 years, what an amazing success story. In a down economy and the world in turmoil it is inspiring to see that creativity and entrepreneurship is alive and doing well. Good for you Groupon. Congratulations. We wish you all the continued success in the world! Mercy is proud to have been an early adopter!