Grad student develops app for drink specials
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Bar-goers will be happy to hear they can find out where the drink specials are because now, there's an app for that.
A graduate student at the University of Florida created an app called FOMO to help people get the best drink specials.
In an age where millennials are constantly on their phones looking for the next big thing, Parenteau thought of an app to help combat the fear of missing out, or FOMO for short.
"Ultimately you go out to get social interaction, and we want to drive that," said Parenteau.
Cindy Matar, one of the app users, said, "I've actually used the FOMO app every single time I go out since I've gotten it."
Parenteau co-founded the FOMO app with his best friend to help his peers.
"We can send out a push notification directly to your phone, basically like a text message saying, 'Hey, Cantina's doing free beer right now, show up.' We notice for about every 1,000 people we send that out too, about 70-100 show up," Parenteau said.
Already over 2,000 people in Gainesville are using the app. It even asks you before you begin using it whether you're of age.
Parenteau said, "We found out bars want to make money when they're slower. They don't need to make money when they're busier."
13 bars in Gainesville are already connected to the app and one manager said he already noticed an increase in business.
David Scott, the general manager at Oozoo on University, said, "If we are having a slow night, and "man there's no one in here, what can we do to get some people in? Oh let's send out a push notification really quick, let's fire out $1 beers for the next 2 hours."
"We've definitely chosen places to go based on what deals they have and I never would have known about them if I didn't look at them," Matar said.
Advertising drink specials has been evolving with the digital world.
"Getting somebody to get in your restaurant or bar used to be taking an add out in the newspaper, or on the radio, or hanging flyers, and now so much of it is app based. So much of it is literally just the click of a button," Scott said.
It is not only in Gainesville. FOMO currently works in Athens, Georgia, as well as Tallahassee and Tampa.
"This is something we want to go forward with long term," Parenteau said about expanding the app. He hopes to bring the app to 50-100 other cities within the next year.
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