Last Thursday, we were walking through the bar district in Toronto. We walked past a number of really common establishments but were hesitant from entering as we looked inside and saw fewer people than we expected.
This is a huge problem for bar owners and bar goers as it creates a viscous cycle of bar goers not wanting to go into empty bars/clubs and as a result bar owners lose money. We've seen some current solutions for this problem, such are bar promoters physically reaching out to people to come to a bar for at a certain time for special deals, other times there are on site promoters to tell people to come in! But as you can tell their reach is ever so limiting and this solution is effective.
What it does
So we created On The House, it's an application that will allow bar owners to deal with this problem more effectively. Bar owners can push coupons to users of On the House that are in the area, offering a free drink or another sweet deal, and once user claims the promotion, (s)he has a time limit (30 or 45 min) to get themselves to a bar and actually get their drink. Short expiry time allows managers to fill in their establishments fast and users to get free stuff. Bar owners have a lot of control on how many people can claim the promotion, what the promotion might be, how long users have to claim the promotion etc.
How we built it
We have used a linux server running Apache, PHP and MySQL hosted on Linode as our backend server. There is a web interface for promotion management for bar owners and an iOS app for users.
What's next for On the House
We actually want to turn this idea into real business. We have a bunch of cool ideas that we can implement and that will increase value of this app both for bar owners and bar goers.