Groupon Alternative Launches in Chicago: Offers Help Local Charities

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BunchBite officially launched this month as a competitor to other group-buying websites such as the popular site Groupon. However, unlike many group-buying sites, BunchBite specializes in restaurants and with each offer a charity will benefit.

BunchBite launches in Chicago today with an offer to P.J. Clarke’s Restaurant & Bar. For this offer, P.J. Clarke’s is donating 10 % and has partnered with StreetWise so that a portion of all offer purchases is donated to the local organization.

BunchBite officially launched this month as a competitor to other group-buying websites such as the popular site Groupon. However, unlike many group-buying sites, BunchBite specializes in restaurants and with each offer a charity will benefit.

“A major difference between Bunchbite and others like Groupon, is that Bunchbite is focused on helping charities raise money and supporting local business growth,” Ola Ayeni, creator of Bunchbite said.

Each non-profit working with BunchBite not only receives a portion of the sales (donated by the promoted restaurant) but at checkout consumers are given the option to donate additional money to the organization.

For the Chicago launch, BunchBite members can purchase a coupon for $40 worth of food and drinks at either of P.J. Clarke’s locations for only $20. P.J. Clarke’s considers itself a “Chicago Tradition Since 1986”, and has two locations. The BunchBite offer is good at both the Gold Coast and Streeterville locations and although the menus differ slightly, both offer traditional American items such as Mrs. R.’s Homemade Chili, Baby Back Ribs, and P.J.’s Chicken Pot Pie.

Furthermore, 10% of each coupon purchase will go to StreetWise. StreetWise is a non-profit organization founded by Judd Lofchie in 1992. The main goal StreetWise strives to achieve is to help people become financially self-sufficient. They publish a weekly magazine and distribute it to people who are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. These people, referred to as vendors, then sell copies of the magazine for a profit. However, the magazine program is only one of seven programs that StreetWise offers.

“Many of our other programs happen behind the scenes,” Bruce Crane, Executive Director at StreetWise said. “We are more than a magazine.”

Those “behind the scenes” programs include a housing program to help vendors find and sustain housing, a soup kitchen open five days a week, and space for social workers to meet with the vendors.

Other nonprofits working with Bunchbite to help raise donations include the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Autism Society of Illinois, and Naperville Junior Women's Club. BunchBite’s first offer was in Naperville, but offers will expand to other suburbs soon after the Chicago launch.

How Bunchbite works:
Restaurants partner with local nonprofit organizations.
Bunchbite provides a one time exclusive voucher to its members.
Members purchase vouchers and are also offered additional ways to donate.
Nonprofits receive quick payment and enjoy continuous fund raising efforts.

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Ola Ayeni
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