Featured Merchant: Rocco's Ristorante Italiano

For today’s Featured Merchant we decided to spotlight a partner in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, just outside of Halifax – not many people realize that Nova Scotia has Groupon deals, too! Meet Hannah Gibson, owner and operator of Rocco’s Ristorante Italiano, working hard to serve up a taste of Southern Italy.


After using other traditional forms of marketing, Hannah received a call from Groupon before we had even begun to offer deals in the Halifax area. Hannah was intrigued by our promise to bring her new customers and expand Rocco’s visibility. Click through to read Hannah’s full story.

Writes Hannah:

As a business owner in a small town, I’m very involved in every aspect of marketing and everything else that happens with Rocco’s. I had heard about Groupon before they started to sell deals for different things to do in the Halifax area. I thought it seemed like just another discount marketing venue.  I quickly found out that Groupon is something very different.

 A Groupon sales representative called me and I was immediately impressed with the homework he had done on the business landscape in our area as well as his knowledge of Rocco’s. The young and active subscriber base that Groupon boasted and the incredible amount of subscribers that had signed up even before offering a single deal were really compelling to me.

After agreeing to a feature deal structure that made sense for our menu and what we wanted to do, we were ready for the first Rocco’s deal. The deal ran only days after Groupon Halifax was launched.

 The response was incredible. The day of the feature was very exciting, not only for me, but also for my employees who were prepared for the new rush of customers.  We had a ton of phone calls and traffic to our Facebook page and website.

 After the success of our first deal, selling more than 150 Groupons, we felt even more prepared for our follow-up feature a few months later.  Knowing that we would receive heavy website traffic, we spruced up our site and also beefed up employees on our schedule to handle higher volume more efficiently.

 The results to date from our Groupon deals have been phenomenal.  The overspend (amount spent on top of the price of the Groupon) has been significant and really helps in offsetting the discount we offer.  Feedback from customers has been very positive and constructive.  

 Retention rates in the restaurant industry are always hard to gauge, but I definitely recognize a lot of repeat business from the feature.  Also, people often mention that they have or will come back since finding us through Groupon.  

 Upselling is a must and it’s definitely up to the staff to follow through, so preparing my employees has been one of most important things I’ve done. Groupon worked with me to find a good price point where the in-store upsell was possible – the rest was up to me.

 If I could give advice to other businesses that are thinking about using Groupon as a marketing tool, it would be to know your clientele. If Groupon’s subscribers are your type of customers (and they probably are) you may want to try Groupon.  Groupon will also help you develop the best deal for you and your customer base, but as a business owner it’s up to you to come to the table with that knowledge. Know your business and only offer what makes sense and what you can follow through on in the allotted expiry period.  Make sure you can deliver the product to the level that you have advertised.  And, good luck!