Groupon Now! Deals Available On foursquare

Groupon Now!, our real-time deal platform, continues to launch across the country – we’re up to 25 markets! – and we’ve heard from lots of you that Now! is your favorite new way to cure boredom. Thanks again for updating your app and giving the service a try. Our product innovations are largely sparked by feedback from our customers and merchants; this was a marriage of both that is more than just changing the way people shop…it’s becoming an addiction.

When we think of mobile addiction beyond Now! we think foursquare, and many of you guys do, too. So, attention Mayors, Newbies and Badge Bon Vivants – the foursquare check-in just got a little sweeter! Starting today, Groupon is partnering with foursquare to offer deals you can use instantly.

As you get out and explore your city, just peruse participating Groupon merchants on foursquare, from lunch spots to live events, and purchase your Now! deal to apply immediately to your purchase. Groupon Now! features the same high quality merchants you’ve come to expect from us, and we have thousands lined up in each Now! city ready to celebrate your foursquare addiction.

Have you tried Groupon Now!? Found a great Now! deal on foursquare? Comment here and let us know how it went.

Portland Beer Day

For those of you in Portland, our rep Kerry brings you news from your coast:

Portland is known for many things: food carts, sustainability, coffee, and, of course, beer.  So as my first responsibility as Portland’s Community Manager, I thought I should give our customers what they want: A day dedicated to deals that spotlight Portland’s brewing community. Today on Groupon’s Portland site we are featuring the city’s best breweries, restaurants and home brew shops. We proclaim today “Portland Beer Day” in honor of the Oregon Brewers Festival.

We are also creating awareness and raising funds for the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation’s Brewing Scholarship. Groupon will donate $1 for each Groupon sold (up to $2,000) toward the scholarship fund.

To help you locate the pubs participating, we teamed up with Taplister.com, a site that helps find where your favorite beers are being served. If you happen to miss all of the cool beer offers today, don’t worry! All weekend long we will have real time beer deals through our Groupon NOW service.

We hope to see you at the Brewers Parade or at the Oregon Brewers Festival. Stop by our booth, win free swag, and play bags while sipping on a cold one!

A Soda with Kathie Lee and Hoda

Groupon’s Customer Support department has been known to march to the beat of a different drummer.

Keeping with this spirit, everyday four ladies and one lad get together to watch the fourth hour of the Today Show with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford.

They call it “A Soda with Kathy Lee and Hoda.”

Sarah, one of the five, explains how it got started. “Last month I found this clip from the show where Kathie Lee and Hoda drink wine and bike during this Aspen Wine Festival, and I thought, ‘This is so funny and so much fun,’ so I passed it around to a few co workers that I thought would like it…and they did! From there we started watching the streaming episodes at our desk during lunch. Then we were like, ‘What are we doing? Let’s watch it together!’”

And that’s what they do. Everyday at lunch they find a conference room, grab a soda, and watch most of the show (streamed online) during their lunch break.

Wes, the only male in the group, sums it up. “Well, it’s a lot of fun. The two of them are fun, easy, and self-deprecating at times. I only wish we were splitting a bottle of white wine instead of sodas, but oh well.”

The group vows to keep watching the show at lunch and they are also planning a “margarita night” sometime soon.

Thanks to Eric in Customer Service for writing about our new favorite lunch time pastime.

PAWS! Volunteers

Warning: This post contains little text and a majority of cute pictures of puppies and kittens. Thanks to Emily in our Customer Service department for giving us our daily dose of cute community service.

What’s better than working at Groupon?  Playing with adorable animals before your shift, of course!

Back in April, the Groupon Customer Service Night Team had the warm-fuzziest bonding experience when we volunteered for PAWS! Chicago, the city’s largest no kill shelter.

A dozen of us invaded PAWS! on an April afternoon.  Our brains were stuffed with kibbles and bits about how to handle the animals and sanitize their play areas.  We were allowed the opportunity to mosey between the many dog and cat rooms at the cage-free facility.  Our day ended with fierce competitions between ourselves and the animals to see who could amuse the other more.

Defeated, but still smiling, we carried our newly-minted hearts to work with hopes to return again.

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G-Team Service Week

Thanks to Jennifer on the G-Team for writing about their latest G-Team efforts:

Groupon high school, undergrad, and MBA interns joined together with their “buddy” and other Groupon employees to volunteer at Working Bikes and Growing Power, two non-profits located here in Chicago.

Growing Power is a large urban farm located in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. On site Growing Power composts garbage that they collect from local restaurants. The composted soil is then used to grow fresh vegetables that are sold in the community. There are also bees making money on the roof, worm composting bins large bins, and aquaponic systems on site. Growing Power has many programs that employ and educate Chicago youth about urban farming. Groupon employees got to get their hands dirty by helping Growing Power repair hoop houses, plant basil and tomato plants, transport freshly composted soil and build aquaponic systems. It was not only a great way to give back to the community but also a fun opportunity to interact with new people within Groupon.

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G-Team and Cabrini Connections

How it all began…
Groupon’s G-Team recently ran a campaign on its Chicago page to help raise money for Cabrini Connections. Cabrini Connections is a volunteer based tutor/mentor program specifically created for 7th-12th graders located in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood. Cabrini Connections was officially founded in 1992 but its history extends much deeper. It all began in 1965 when a small group of employees from Montgomery Ward traveled to Cabrini Green to tutor elementary school students. The 600 W building where Groupon is currently located is home to the former Montgomery Ward office building and is where the 2nd-6th grade version of the tutoring program operated from 1980-1999. Today, four Groupon employees serve as mentors at Cabrini Connections. So running a campaign with Cabrini Connections could not be a more obvious fit for Groupon’s G-Team.

Calvin and Romello

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Behind the Deals: Side Projects

When seeking out new employees, Groupon looks for self-motivating, creative problem solvers from local music, comedy, and journalism communities. That’s why the company bulletin board is always covered in fliers for Groupon employee artistic endeavors and social gatherings. Here are a few of the most recent postings:

**This Friday!** Free BYOB papier-mâché millinery classes at The Kevin Gallery, located in Kevin’s apartment, 842 Fernwood #3B. When you see Kevin—tell him Kevin sent you!

**Do You Like Music?** Neither do we! Join The Silence Girls for four hours of quiet meditation—every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Park Ridge Awareness Center and Community Indoor Recreation Structure. Tell your friends (quietly!).

**Men’s Flat-Track Roller Derby Is Back!** With special guest referee That Guy Who Reads Poetry to Passersby While Occupying One of the City’s Few Remaining Phone Booths. Mention this flier to receive a free order of vegan not-chos!

**Beatles Reunion!** Is what you wish this flier would say! Learn the secrets to writing great flier copy at Coffee & Copywriting, generously hosted by O’Skeleton’s Haunted Family Pub in association with The Kevin Gallery.

Meet a Factchecker

Popular to contrary belief, facts are not just something you make up. As a Factchecker at Groupon and proud owner of a fine-toothed comb, Kieran tells us how many details he pays attention to on a daily basis:

On the not-so-top floor of the not-quite-tallest building downtown, a group of bright, young, mostly-bespectacled individuals sit clamoring over their keyboards, picking up phones, hanging up phones, lifting their distressed hands to their foreheads, and clicking away as fast as their little fingers can into the far reaches of the worldwide web (aka information superhighway).

They’re checking facts. They’re Factcheckers. And lucky for you, I, Kieran Michael Kredell, happen to be a Factchecker, myself.

Kieran - Factchecker and Bicycle Enthusiast

As Factcheckers at Groupon, our job is to ensure that (1) everything written and published about our merchants and about our deals is accurate, (2) there are no hidden expenses that would distort the stated value of any deal, (3) there are no super-secret caveats to a deal that would restrict people from actually buying it, (4) this is the best possible deal and that there are no competing discounts available anywhere that would devalue it. Then with smaller teams of us dedicated to the company’s newer project launches (the Getaway and Home & Garden channels, for example), this task list reaches into the double digits. Or triple. Probably quadruple. Continue Reading

Behind the Deals: The Groupon Lunch Hour

Groupon employees start out as regular people—and, like regular people, they must eat at least once a day. Taking a standard lunch hour is encouraged, and Groupon’s staff of overachievers spends this hour carefully:

**00:01:** Reluctantly leave desk.

**00:02–00:10:** Procure and consume nutritionally balanced midday meal.

**00:11–00:14:** Consider alternate renewable fuel source, possibly derived from methane oceans of Saturn’s moon of Titan, for Groupon’s generators.

**00:15–00:19:** Sketch schematics for unmanned intrasolar mining craft on Quiznos napkin.

**00:20:** Abandon schematic in disgust after realizing the disproportional amount of energy exerted solely in the mining operation to transport cost of the harvested compressed methane. _What were you thinking?_

**00:21–00:26:** Take third of 15 daily productivity-boosting microsleeps.
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Bike to Work Week Results

From June 11th-17th, Groupon and many other companies in the Chicago area participated in the Bike Commuter Challenge in the hopes to rally employees to bike to work. With phenomenal results for a company our size, Groupon is proud to announce that 400 people took part in the challenge, making our over all company participation 22.17%.  Last year, Orbitz took the prize for most riders in the 500+ company category with 14.27% participation.

With the overall goal to get people on bicycles and educate them about how to safely ride in the city, different departments went head to head for bragging rights and a trophy. Each department grew increasingly creative and showed great teamwork by organizing group outings and bike shuttles for those who did not own bikes. But with 66.67% participation, the winning department was Human Resources. Their secret? A winning attitude, team spirit, and Quadcycles.

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