Regarding Groupon's "math"
In response to the surprising amount of attention generated by our closing and my claim of what caused it, Groupon has been all over the internet asserting the math doesn't support my contention that it was my decision to engage with Groupon that financially broke our backs.
Their argument consists of two parts:
- only 18 percent of the Groupon coupons sold were redeemed (i.e., we're talking a negligible amount of money) and,
- they have already paid us two thirds of even that amount.
In the first place, 18 percent of the number of coupons sold represents nearly $2,600.00 worth of waffles. Now, remember, Groupon has already collected something like $7,150 from people, at least half of which is ours.*
Even though we'd already laid out most of the money for the $2,600.00 worth of waffles we'd served to Grouponistas by the middle of June when we received our first check from them, the check was for only $1,063.03.
And then we had to wait for the rest of our money. Now, $2,600.00 may be chump change to a corporation that earned $1.6 billion last year, but to a new business trying to survive on a shoestring, it's a lot.
In the second place, Groupon's claim that they've already paid us two thirds of our money is misleading. We only received the second check from Groupon (also for $1,063.03) this past Saturday, more than a week after we were forced to close our doors. On the day we were forced to close our doors for good, Groupon had only paid us a little over a thousand dollars, even though they'd collected more than seven times that amount two months earlier.
In short, straightforwardness, if not math skills, are as lacking at Groupon as expeditiousness.
*I tried to get the exact figures from the Back Alley Waffles account on the Groupon site, but, oddly, my login information suddenly doesn't seem to work. So, the figures cited, while close to accurate, are from memory and so not exact.