Thirsty for not just a yummy cocktail but also a great deal?
The app Airtab, developed by CEO of Perfect Vodka and Jupiter resident Dennis Cunningham, notifies users on the best local drink specials and events taking place at their favorite bars. The initial beta test restaurants will include Blue Martini, Carmine’s Ocean Grill, Bricktops, Parched Pig, Barolo, Double Rounds, Old Key Lime House, YOLO, Hullabaloo and Camelot. Through the app, users can send and receive notifications about free drinks, live music and more. The app will officially launch on May 8.
Tell us about the inspiration for Airtab.
Having been in Silicon Valley most of my life, moving here in the late ’90s, I was able to take over a liquor brand called Perfect Vodka, which is out of France. That experience taught us a lot about the liquor space and what businesses really needed and what consumers really wanted. So we did a beta of an app test two years ago, and in that beta test we were able to get data on what people really wanted based on a market analysis. Since then we have developed what we now call Airtab 2.0. My inspiration was to be able to help other suppliers and liquor brands, and restaurants and consumers. It’s a win-win across the board in the liquor industry.
Describe the app in your own words.
Airtab is a social engagement app, which allows consumers to know what is happening live where they are and be able to track activity, and allows them to know about drink specials, live music and even free drinks. The app works with a first-of-its-kind technology, which allows the bartender to know that you are checked into a restaurant through the app. It will tell you when you have free drinks available. It allows a restaurant to know who their frequent customers are. The most important thing the app does is that it offers a trending platform. You can see which bars are trending on any given night and see what app users are at the trending bar at that time. This social engagement app allows a lot of things, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than where you’re going to go eat and hang out with friends, especially as a millennial. And by sharing through the app, you get more free drinks. We facilitate what to do on a Friday night.
For how long have you been working on the app?
It’s been a three-year process. Our first beta test took us 18 months to build and launch. Now the latest version, we’ve been able to employ seven technology people who installed a new platform, and we’re going on our third year.
What was your favorite moment during the creative process of the app?
We had an aha moment when we realized for us that we wanted to bring restaurants and liquor brands into the equation to be able to craft the opportunity for the consumer. That way, we’re able to maximize the experience at zero cost to the consumer.
How do you hope the app will change the way users order drinks?
Our app focuses on the social experiences. The users are able to see their favorite bartenders and what they’re making through the app. We are looking to enhance the speakeasy experience through the mixologists who are making amazing new cocktails. This allows users to take their time to truly enjoy their cocktails and have a social experience.
What are some of your personal favorite features on the app?
I like the dashboard that is available on the bartender, manager and consumer side of the app. Each user can see what drinks they have ordered and which ones they liked. When you walk into a participating liquor, the app will include discounts and coupons. This gives all users a way to benefit. It’s not just ladies night on Airtab, it’s everyone’s night. We expect to give away between 25,000 and 50,000 free drinks, and we expect 40,000 to 50,000 people to join.
You can find more information about the app here.