Here's the latest in backlash from restaurants working with deal sites: Back Alley Waffles has closed after three months in Blagden Alley and is trying to take Groupon down in a fiery blaze of discounted glory, declaring on their website that the shutter is due to the deal site's "bloodthirsty business practices." Prince of Petworth first discovered a sign on the restaurant's door blaming Groupon for rendering the $8 price on waffles unsustainable — and, in small print:
Grouponistas, sorry, but I'd rather have my hand slammed in a door than honor your Groupon coupons. You'll have to seek refunds from your new insect overlords. If you act quickly, you should get your money back by Christmas. 2015.
Yowza. The City Paper has a lengthy explanation of just what it is about Groupon that has Back Alley Waffles so upset — namely, that Groupon pays participating businesses in installments that the waffle-makers claim roll in way too slowly: "That means the business has to lay out all the money (in our case food and labor) up front to service this expensive campaign, but it takes roughly a month for Groupon to send the (deeply discounted) payment for the waffles those customers ate. And even then its only half or less of what is owed."
Anyway, if you'd still like some waffles from a restaurant based in an alley, the official website notes Back Alley Waffles is now offering them for a mere $450 a pop — by appointment only, obviously.
Back Alley Waffles [Photo: Rima K./Yelp]