SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

March 5, 2014

Savings in the cards

Salem designer's discount deck promotes local restaurants

SALEM — Her first child is due later this month, but for graphic designer Jessica Brand, her first “baby” is named Dinner Dealer.

This is the name of a colorful, slickly designed discount deck of 52 coupon cards that Brand wants to use to boost North Shore restaurants from Swampscott to Newburyport, including Salem, Peabody, Beverly and Danvers.

It’s not just a business, said Brand, a self-employed graphic and Web designer, but a way to increase foot traffic in local restaurants at slow times of the year. She hopes the deck will get residents of Gloucester to come to Salem, and vice versa. She also sees the deck, with its various coupon offers, as a way for a couple to take a culinary tour of the North Shore.

“I wanted it to be a little bit of a stimulus package for the community,” Brand said. “If it could boost some foot traffic for the restaurants during the off-season, why not try it?”

The coupons are for local restaurants, not the national chains. Eateries do not pay to be in 52-card deck; they just honor the coupons.

The 2013-2014 deck includes Scratch Kitchen and Opus in Salem, Duckworth’s Bistrot in Gloucester, SALT in Ipswich, The Farm Bar & Grille in Essex, Wild Horse Bar & Grill in Peabody, Shubie’s in Marblehead, The Little Depot Diner in Peabody and 9 Elm in Danvers, to name a few of the 52 eateries. Discount coupons range from savings of $5 off a $20 meal at Scratch Kitchen to $20 off a $50 meal at Foreign Affairs Wine Bar and Bistro in Manchester.

Brand said she personally went to all 52 restaurant owners to sign them up. She is Dinner Dealer’s CEO, the graphic designer, plus its sales and shipping departments.

The decks cost $25 apiece and carry $400 in discounts. There are also bulk discounts: five packs for $100.

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