Foupons looks to expand, enlists users

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Restaurant search engine Foupons.com, an interactive site that allows users to browse restaurant listings, user-generated reviews, and maps of eateries, is planning to expand its reach across the US.

The site, launched in 2004, features discount coupons for around 200 participating restaurants, including Subway, Moe's and sbarro. Most of the featured restaurants are in Buffalo, Cleveland, and other northeastern cities.

Since partnering with Affiniscape, an affinity-based sales company in Austin, the company is further developing its Web site and focusing on expansion to markets outside of the northeast. Due to this partnership Foupons.com is currently featured as a sponsor on the New York State Restaurant Association's Web site.

The site is also promoted through a campaign of online, print and local radio advertisements, which refer to some of the participating restaurants by name.

In addition, its 4,000 registered users are encouraged not only to post restaurant reviews but are also rewarded when recruiting local restaurants to offer coupon saving on the site. Users can earn up to a $100 commission from printing promotional letter and recruiting member restaurants.

Based in Buffalo, NY, it was founded by Michael Grimaldi, Jason Lehman and Andrew Worral. The site targets business travelers, college students and other restaurant goers. Of the 35,000 individual hits the site had last month, Nicole Schuman, Foupons.com's public relations and marketing manager, said a majority were from middle-aged women.

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