When the owner of a small bakery outside London posted a deal for cupcakes on Groupon, she ended up getting more than she bargained for.
Rachel Brown, who runs Need a Cake bakery in Reading, Berkshire, offered a 75 percent discount on a dozen cupcakes in the spring. She expected the offer would generate perhaps a few hundred orders. Instead, thousands started pouring in.
"We had to cut it off at 8,500 orders," she told The Telegraph. "As soon as we were making, packaging and sending the cakes out we were on to the next order. It was non-stop."
Need a Cake normally fills about 100 cupcake orders per month, according to the BBC. Suddenly faced with baking 102,000 cupcakes, Brown was forced to hire 25 workers to supplement her normal staff of eight, according to The Daily Mail.
Brown told The Telegraph she ended up spending about $19,500 in extra labor and shipping costs, wiping out a year's worth of profits. It was "without doubt, the worst ever business decision I have made," she told the paper. "It's been an absolute nightmare."
Heather Dickinson, a Groupon spokeswoman, told The Telegraph that there was no limit to the number of vouchers that could be sold. "We approach each business with a tailored, individual approach based on the prior history of similar deals," she said.