We ran a 52% off a dozen cupcakes, with selected flavors. The Groupon sold well. We were given a tool to put in the redemption codes (you can even scan the forms when they come in to pick up the cakes/cupcakes with your phone) and most cases, it went really well and we sold a lot of cupcakes! Best off, we got a lot of people who said they were glad they found us and will be back! about 3% of the customers brought more cupcakes than the dozen or two dozen and we had a few who applied their cake value to a larger cake. Since we had limited flavors that we baked on a daily basis anyway, it didn't put any huge strand on our production.
So if you have the space, and resources, I recommend it. Just a few words of caution:
Groupon itself doesn't seem very organized considering how popular they are. I had to send the contract back three times to rewrite it, because they screwed up on thing. (Read the contract VERY carefully) They still screwed up the wording of the fine print, but did fix it after the first day. They paid me the extra it cost me to produce some cake flavors that were not offered, like carrot cake because of the wording problem. They changed the date on me twice. My account manager was so bad, they had to assign me a new one. There is a little bit of work on your end and its important your employees know how to redeem coupons. I do suspect maybe groupon is growing TOO fast?
The most amazing thing to me that I learned though, has nothing to do with Groupon, or making cakes or cupcakes. Even after 9 years in business, people in general just never cease to amaze me. Here is a little deal that cost about the same as a meal at mcdonalds. People treated it like they paid hundreds of dollars for their groupon! Even though the fine print was very clear, they would beg, plead, even yell at us that they want a different flavor. I had one customer standing in my lobby crying because she wanted 3 dozen and we only offered 2 dozen. (and didnt want to pay the money for another dozen from our case) We ended up giving her a free 1 dozen because she was making such a scene. We had people calling asking us how to pay for the deal, if we will stay open late for them , do colored buttercream (and not pay extra for it) Put the cupcakes in different type of boxes, instead of a dozen box, put 4 in one box, 6 in another, 2 in another, things like that. Asked us to decorate the cake with fondant (and not pay extra) Trying to redeem the same code more than once was very common. Trying to redeem a present they bought for someone else was common. (they were limit one per customer) People were rude, greedy and well, just plan mean. I don't know if it is part of the economy or just cheap people buy groupop? We had some really great people come in and get cupcakes, but these others really tired us out!!! So if you do a groupon, be prepared for the strangest requests!! One person wanted them DELIVERED!!!