Gilt City Customers 2nd Class Citizens

January 16th, 2011 by Jay Levy View Comments

This weekend I tried out two of the recent Gilt City deals, Bar Basque and Aspen Social Club. Both deals turned out to be absolute failures for the merchants as none of us would return to the establishments. The shame of it is that if the restaurants would have been a bit smarter about how they serviced the new customers they were trying to win over we probably would have went back to both places and the offering would have been a success to the merchants.

Bar Basque
Great spot in Chelsea with an interesting concept, new chefs every few months. They went wrong with a few things:

  • They put all the Gilt City customers in the semi-outdoor auxiliary room, which was cold and loud
  • The Gilt City room was understaffed and causing atrocious service. We had the tasting menu and items came out of order and were skipped totally. We ordered wine (outside of the deal) and it took 20 minutes to arrive.
  • The wait stuff was clueless to how the deal worked

Aspen Social Club
We had the 10 apps and 10 cocktail deal, the big mistake here was that they was the put a $12 cap on the cocktails included in the deal, only issue here was that there were very few cocktails available under $12. They did allow you to do cocktails over $12 but it would count as two. They did redeem themselves partially as the food was decent. Also, the wait staff was clueless to how the deals worked.

Retailers are using Gilt City to attract new customers and Gilt is doing a good job at that, but restaurants are treating them as 2nd class citizens, which is counter-intuitive to what the should be doing if they want the Gilt deals to pay off in the long term.

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About Jay Levy

Jay Levy

Jay Levy is a co-founder and principal of Zelkova Ventures. Jay focuses most of his time in working with the current portfolio company and looking at new investments in the software-as-a-service, internet media and green tech space. More »

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