Why pay full price?

10 Apr 12 03:03PM EST
Post by Matthew Steen  Matthew Steen Google Plus
I keep seeing lots of hype about low confidence in Australia; low confidence in the retail sector; low confidence in finance. Despite being one of the few economies in the world that made it through the GFC with barely scraped knees, we seem worried about what’s going to happen.

Whether it’s caused by the European debt crisis long arm of influence or the continuing throes of the USA's troubles, we’re less likely to go all out on our spending. We’re saving more and spending less. Retail sectors can blame online sales, finance can blame Europe, but the fact is that we prefer to spend less these days. So why pay full price on eating out?

Contemplating this the other day, I came across a way to get discounts in some pretty good restaurants. There are lots of group buying activities still available today, but this one was a little different. For one, it’s not a group buying effort. Full Society is a way to get 20-30% off your total bill. Yes, this includes alcohol.

Once I signed up to the website for free, the deal is that you pay Full Society $10 or $20 (credit card only) when you book one of their partner restaurants through the Full Society website. In return, they've organised with the restaurant to get you a 20-30% discount on your final bill. It doesn't matter how much you've bought, you get the discount off the final bill. There are no specialised menus like some group buying deals; it’s the same fare as the full-paying patrons next to you.

I tried it out at a good local restaurant and it was fairly seamless - we did have some limitations in booking in that we could only do dinner at a 6:30pm or 7:30pm sitting. However there are no coupons to hand over, discounts are applied at the meals’ end and you can see what you've saved as it's itemised. Not having to pay full price appeals to me, and given the mark-up at many restaurants, especially around alcohol, I'm glad to see this idea implemented.

For example, if a meal costs $150 and the discount is 25%, you end up paying $112.75. Including the $10 you spent up front: $122.75. You've saved just over $27.

How does it work? Full Society has partnered with a small number of restaurants (19 at last viewing) they term “premium”. Most restaurants have excess capacity. This is space they want to fill - no restaurant wants to be empty, or even half empty. In return for filling this space, the restaurant guarantees the discount to the Full Society patron. You can still cancel or move your date within two hours of the booked event.

At the moment Full Society is only available in Sydney, however they do have plans for expanding.

Have you tried out a discount like this before? Was it a seamless experience? Would you prefer it over other experiences you've had?

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