Over the past year, the online coupon space has been expanding at a rapid pace. In addition to sites like Groupon and Scoop St., larger companies are drilling down into the local arena of online discounts. Like Gilt Groupe. After experiencing runaway success offering luxury items at discounts online, Gilt is moving into the local space with its new Gilt City sites.
One upstart local deal site is Blackboard Eats, which right now focuses on offering specials at established and well-respected restaurants in New York and LA.
Blackboard Eats launched in September of last year and has over 50,000 subscribers to its newsletter. The company has some proven success as well. For example, they sent $100,000 of business to Susanne Tracht's well-loved Los Angeles restaurant Jar last month.
Unlike most coupon sites, Blackboard Eats has a focus on editorial heft. The company is staffed with writers from publications like Gourmet, Daily Candy, Zagat and Food and Wine and features deals at high-end restaurants that don't normally associate themselves with discounts at all.
I caught up with founder Maggie Nemser to find out how Blackboard Eats plans to differentiate itself in the online coupon space, and to get some advice on where to eat in New York.