Some restaurant owners say they're souring on Groupon because the daily deal site holds onto their money for too long. Unlike many of its rivals, Groupon collects the money immediately but pays merchants in installments spread over 60 days. "The payment timing is so erratic you can't count on any of that money helping to pay your bills," said Meridian Restaurant owner Mark Grohman, whose third Groupon deal was his last.

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