Someone may have thought this one up already but I’ve seen nothing about it in the press. I was inspired by similarly themed pricing models for first, skiing lift tickets (posted about Liftopia and how to never pay full price for lift tickets again), and then today, on this new movie theater discounted ticket startup started making the rounds Dealflicks on CNBC. Have you ever gone to a movie and the theater has like 6 people in it and wondered how that’s even cost-effective? I think about stuff like this all the time – variable pricing models. If it’s opening night for a hot new movie, shouldn’t it stand to reason that a ticket costs more than a so-so movie 1 month after launch where you’re the only one in the theater? Hence, movie tickets SHOULD be discounted at a certain point to entice people to overcome that threshold where it does or doesn’t make sense to go and drop a load of money to see something on the big screen. Well, that’s what that startup does. (unfortunately at the moment, they have virtually no theaters signed up – closest one to me was over 50 miles away, but I assume this will catch on since the model seems to make sense). I was also lamenting the crappy warm weather and skiing conditions where ski resorts charge full price when 18 of 22 trails are closed because there’s nothing but mud and grass. Are they kidding? They should charge less to get more people to show up due to the discount; surely, nobody even went that weekend! And if they did, they were really desperate. I would sooner drive the 2 hours further (which we did) to get a decent skiing experience rather than paying full price for crap. Hence, that liftopia business I linked to earlier. So here’s my idea:
Discounted Dining Experience
I hate lines. I hate waiting. It sounds terrible to admit, but during recessions, I do enjoy going out more because fewer people are out spending money and I can actually go out on a weekend and get a table without waiting. Not everyone takes reservations and for those that do, hot restaurants book up days in advance. Want a table? 9:45PM is the only slot. No thanks. So, what about variable pricing (basically offering discounts) to various local restaurants on weeknights? If restaurants simply charged a bit more as their “standard pricing”, they’d probably still be full or not regardless on Friday and Saturday nights, but then they could deeply discount via online discounts through a similar service during the week. All you’d have to do is mimic the same business model – set up a US-based portal, line up tons of restaurants for some sort of automated/real-time discounting database, agree on your transaction fee and get the word out there for diners. It’s kind of like a real-time Groupon without all the hassles. Discounts more along the lines of 10-20% off would greatly increase the volume of both willing participant restaurants and customers. I’d bite!
Given my involvement in way too many projects already (a real job, blogging, freelancing, my partnership in a CAD Outsourcing Business, Real Estate) along with being a parent to 3 young kids, I’m spent. No matter how great an idea comes around, I can’t do any more. So, I’m handing it off to some lucky reader to run with it. All I ask is when you sell out in a few years for a cool hundred million bucks, you give me some free vouchers!
What Are Your Thoughts On This Business Model?
Could It Work? Scalable? Could It Be Profitable?