While working for the Boston Beer Company (the makers of Sam Adams), Philip DiMuro saw a lot of drink specials come and go. He also got to know some of the best deals, like the three-beers-for-$6 happy hour special at Mahaffey’s in Canton, where we met up with him.
Being in the industry, he also realized that the bars were doing this to attract customers, but he felt there wasn’t an efficient way of letting people know about the specials outside of individual Facebook pages, or a chalkboard.
“They were organizing specials or running promotions or renovating in hopes of bringing in a bigger crowd. But the big miss was that there was no easy way to communicate all of that to everyone,” DiMuro said.
Along with cofounder Ryan Gutleber and two developers, DiMuro has spent the last year creating an app to provide just such a service.
The result is Loople, a free app that went live yesterday on the App Store. Initially, Baltimore is the only city where it is available.
It’s also available on Android.
The app provides users with a map that shows bars and restaurants in their area at any given time. Owners of each bar and restaurant can input their specials and deals, and the app allows users to search those specials based on categories (bars with craft-beer deals, restaurants with live music, etc.) to find what they are seeking.
Users can also post information about the food-and-drink spots, including reviews. DiMuro acknowledged that it brings Loople into the realm of a host of other sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor that offer users the chance to weigh in on a favorite (or, more often, not-so-favorite) restaurant.
DiMuro said people can write what they want, but he wants to create a more social experience. The app has “loops” where people can connect with groups of friends to figure out what they like. The team also wants to implement features that will help balance the reviews in the future.
“We want people to write quick reviews, so people can know what it’s like” if they’re at a bar up the street, DiMuro said.
Along with letting people know about the specials, DiMuro believes the app will also help the businesses get the word out about what they’re offering.
“I think this will help the businesses just as much as the users,” he said.
While the initial product is built, the launch marks the beginning of getting users to populate the system. The startup is looking to spend the summer in launch mode to encourage people to sign up, and get feedback on the app.
Feel free to get in touch at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, the cofounders say.