NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Thanks to the daily deal site, LivingSocial, a Washington was all you needed to buy lunch in Washington, D.C. today.
LivingSocial officially launched its “Instant Deals” service for Washington, D.C. members today, and it did so with a bang: Members could buy lunches worth up to $20 for only a buck at various restaurants around the city.
Unlike most of the site’s deals, which last a day or more, these are only live for a very limited time – in this case, only during lunch hours. As such, almost all of the lunchtime deals for today are already expired or sold out (participating restaurants presumably put a limit on how many coupons could be sold so that they didn’t go broke giving out $1 lunches).
The new “Instant Deals” are designed to work with the LivingSocial mobile application. Users can log in and find out which Instant Deals are live nearby. And the company is touting the use of such deals for businesses, noting that it can be a great way to get customers in the door during off-peak hours.
For now the Instant Deals are only available in D.C., though LivingSocial says “plans are already in the works” to bring the deals to other cities. Still, D.C. residents probably shouldn’t get used to buying lunch for a dollar – these deals are probably unsustainable for most restaurants, and we’re assuming that LivingSocial was just pulling out all the stops to gin up publicity for its new service. Indeed, the deals scheduled for later in the day are more reasonable – $5 for $10 worth of food at Pizza Tempo starting at 4 p.m., for instance, or $10 for $20 worth of food and drink at Bar Pilar starting at 5 p.m. It will be interesting to see what sort of Instant Deals LivingSocial will offer in D.C. and other cities in the future, and whether they’ll catch on with consumers.