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convincing you favorite restaurants to join iDine

convincing you favorite restaurants to join iDine

Old Sep 11, 06, 11:27 am
  #1  
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convincing you favorite restaurants to join iDine

Has anyone had any success convincing their favorite places to join this program? What is required from the restaurant's perspective (couldn't find details on the website) and what is in it for them?
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Old Sep 11, 06, 2:12 pm
  #2  
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No - I've never had this conversation with a restaurant/bar owner.

Others here know the detailed mechanics of the program better than I, but basically it's a form of a loan program for the restaurants. iDine fronts them some money and then takes a cut of the proceeds when iDiners show up and eat.

Over time, it seems that if a restaurant is successful enough to thrive on its own, it gets out of iDine. I get the sense that the terms are attractive to a restaurant starting up in bad need of cash, but unattractive enough that they want to get out as soon as they can. If iDine is paying me back 10-20% of the bill, I'm guessing that they are taking about 1/2 of the bill as their cut.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 10:35 am
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I saw a thread here or on the UA forum about a guy that says he successfully persuaded "Bistro Zinc" in Chicago to join the Idine program. He said he dined there regularly and for months he sent letters to Idine, asking them to recruit the restaurant, and to Bistro Zinc, asking them to join the program.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 11:30 am
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I have no idea if it helped or not, but one iDine resto I enjoyed patronizing went bankrupt and closed suddenly. Many months later, a new restaurant opened there and I wrote iDine about it, suggesting they might be a likely candidate to approach for membership (new neighborhood pub, restaurant and grill, starting with no customer base, occupying former iDine location.) A couple of months later, it became an iDine restaurant (and pub,) and it has again become one of my favored dine spots.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped
Over time, it seems that if a restaurant is successful enough to thrive on its own, it gets out of iDine. I get the sense that the terms are attractive to a restaurant starting up in bad need of cash, but unattractive enough that they want to get out as soon as they can. If iDine is paying me back 10-20% of the bill, I'm guessing that they are taking about 1/2 of the bill as their cut.
Strange -- seems to be that some of the places I've seen listed in NYC are actually quite well established. Do the restaurants get access to information/profiles of their customers as well through this? I would have thought that my information is now doing the rounds among various merchants as a quid-pro-quo for the miles I am getting. Or am I wrong?
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Old Sep 12, 06, 7:14 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by salut0
Strange -- seems to be that some of the places I've seen listed in NYC are actually quite well established. Do the restaurants get access to information/profiles of their customers as well through this? I would have thought that my information is now doing the rounds among various merchants as a quid-pro-quo for the miles I am getting. Or am I wrong?
Even "well-established" restaurants sometimes need to borrow money. @:-)

Idine is by no means limited to restaurants that are just starting out. I don't know why anyone would think that it is!

The quid pro quo (at least one of them) is that the restaurants get your business as a result of being on iDine's lists.
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Old Sep 12, 06, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by KathyWdrf
Even "well-established" restaurants sometimes need to borrow money. @:-)

Idine is by no means limited to restaurants that are just starting out. I don't know why anyone would think that it is!

The quid pro quo (at least one of them) is that the restaurants get your business as a result of being on iDine's lists.
I most definitely agree. These are some of the restaurants I've seen in iDine: Roadhouse Grill, The Melting Pot, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, etc.
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Old Sep 13, 06, 6:11 am
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50% cut sounds like a lot to me. sit down table cloth restaurants usually operate with less than a 10% net margin. I do realise that the 10 points per dollar nets out to 20 cents or so.

Some of the restaurants in the DC area have been iDine members for a very long time(over 5 years, maybe 10). I don't see how they could survive giving up 50% of gross over a long period of time.
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Old Sep 13, 06, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by slawecki
50% cut sounds like a lot to me. sit down table cloth restaurants usually operate with less than a 10% net margin. I do realise that the 10 points per dollar nets out to 20 cents or so.

Some of the restaurants in the DC area have been iDine members for a very long time(over 5 years, maybe 10). I don't see how they could survive giving up 50% of gross over a long period of time.
If I understand correctly...
- the restaurants take a bunch of money upfront, and have to repay it in time
- the restaurants don't pay 50% of gross payments from ALL clients, just the ones who pay with an iDine-registered card.
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Old Sep 14, 06, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by VIP
If I understand correctly...
- the restaurants take a bunch of money upfront, and have to repay it in time
- the restaurants don't pay 50% of gross payments from ALL clients, just the ones who pay with an iDine-registered card.
And since it is a loan repayment, calculating how it cuts into the margin on a dinner check makes no sense. After all, loans have to be repaid.
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Old Sep 14, 06, 3:38 pm
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The question for the restaurant becomes, does the cost of the loan make sense? That's the issue in the class action mentioned in another thread: is iDine effectively loaning money at an illegal rate of interest?
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Old Sep 16, 06, 8:27 am
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No Loan Necessary

I beleive Idine also has a plan for the resturants where no loan is involved, they just get the advertising benifit (additional customers), and pay a lower, much more reasonable rate to Idine.

This is more likely the case for the resturants who have been around a long time. The places that take the loan, pay it off, and leave quickly.
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