LivingSocial launching exclusive food events

Oct 17, 2011 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Online deals site LivingSocial is launching an invitation-only service aimed at food fans, offering experiences such as a visit to an environmentally sustainable farm or a meal served in a restaurant's kitchen.

LivingSocial Gourmet's events will be more expensive - and less common - than the food-related deals currently available on LivingSocial, where you might pay $20 to get a voucher good for $40 worth of at a local pizzeria.

Instead, the deals will be with fine-dining restaurants and other businesses in the and will range from around $100 to $200 per person, LivingSocial Gourmet's general manager Alli Phillips said. The service will also offer group packages, she said.

"These are a higher price point because they're unique and exclusive and appeal to folks that are willing to pay for something unique and interesting," Phillips said.

The service will initially be available to 100,000 LivingSocial members in the company's hometown of Washington, D.C., which Phillips said was chosen for its food scene and the company's existing relationships with local restaurateurs. LivingSocial hopes to offer it by the end of the year in 10 major cities, including San Francisco, New York and Chicago. The company has more than 35 million active members in the U.S. and 47 million around the world.

LivingSocial Gourmet's first event will be a tasting menu with wine pairings and cheese at Washington restaurant CityZen. It will cost $250 per guest including tax and tip. A deal for groups with essentially the same menu will cost $1,000 for a table of four.

Other events in the works include a trip to a Washington-area sustainable farm for a tour and food tasting. Also planned is a visit to a restaurant's cheese caves to learn how cheese is made and how to pair it with food.

The service could be attractive to higher-end restaurants that have so far been unwilling to work with deals sites including LivingSocial and its larger , Groupon, for fear of diluting their brands. Indeed, it will be the first time CityZen is working with LivingSocial.

Jarad Slipp, CityZen's restaurant director, said the company wanted to try something new, but didn't want to devalue the CityZen brand by offering discounts. Still, the price of the meal his restaurant is offering through LivingSocial Gourmet "certainly works out to the guest's advantage," he said.

Explore further: Lions Gate partners with online outfit RocketJump

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

LivingSocial buys South Korean deals site

Aug 02, 2011

Daily deals company LivingSocial announced on Tuesday that it is buying TicketMonster, the largest online bargains site in South Korea, in a bid to expand its presence in Asia.

Amazon invests $175M in Groupon competitor

Dec 03, 2010

(AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it invested $175 million in social coupon service LivingSocial - the latest sign that the online retailer is delving into promising new methods of e-commerce.

Amazon brings new local deals site to more cities

Aug 25, 2011

(AP) -- Amazon.com Inc. is expanding its new local deals site to New York and other parts of the country, hoping discount-happy consumers will flock to its offerings as they have embraced market leader Groupon.

Recommended for you

Instagram photo-sharing service goes down

Apr 12, 2014

Popular photo-sharing site Instagram was not working Saturday, as frustrated users quickly turned to social network Twitter and other web sites to share their complaints.

Authors Guild asks US court to rule against Google

Apr 11, 2014

The Authors Guild says that Google Inc. is stealing business from retailers and has asked a New York federal appeals court to find that the Internet giant is violating copyright laws with its massive book digitization project.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tech giants look to skies to spread Internet

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions.

Patent talk: Google sharpens contact lens vision

(Phys.org) —A report from Patent Bolt brings us one step closer to what Google may have in mind in developing smart contact lenses. According to the discussion Google is interested in the concept of contact ...

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that the biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...