One free drink every day. How's that sound? That's the motto of Hooch, the subscriber-based app that encourages you to leave your couch and your comfort zone to find a few new watering holes in your neighborhood. And what better way to do that than with the promise of a free drink?
Here's how it works. First, you download the app to give it a whirl. If you like it, you sign up for a month membership of $9.99. Once you're registered, you select a bar from their list of venues and head over for your complimentary drink of the day. Maybe you'll see the name of a bar that you've heard about from friends, or maybe there's a spot that you've driven past 1,000 times on the way home from work and now have a legitimate reason to stop. Either way, this is a definite no-brainer to us!
You'll learn a lot about Hooch from their FAQ page, but we thought we'd share a bit more about the company via our friend, Justin Neill.
This Girl: What is your background in the spirits industry?
Justin Neill: Previously I worked with the marketing company Brand Allies. The founder of the company, Mike Appel had extensive experience in marketing for many spirits companies and I was able to learn a great deal from him. Our speciality was entertainment marketing and connecting the dots for brands looking to expand their exposure with local LA tastemakers and influencers. Every spirit is unique but what is not unique is they all need to get people to be correctly educated on the product, enjoy the product and spread the word though social media/word of mouth.
This Girl: Describe the moment you realized that you needed to launch this business.
Justin Neill: The idea for HOOCH came from our founder Aleksey Kernes who wanted to create a "universal drink ticket". Aleksey was a well established top door guy in NYC and to help get new people in the door at his venues he would give them them a drink ticket so the first drink was on him. HOOCH became the electronic marketing solution to get new people into venues. Aleksey, brought in our now CEO Lin Dai who had built and sold start-ups in the past. Lin had been a friend of mine for many years and I was able to jump on board and launch the second market, LA (NYC was the first). I immediately saw the value for venues and liquor companies to get exposure to many new millennials who do everything on apps. Obviously, there is a ton of value for the member who can redeem one promo every single day for the price of one cocktail.
This Girl: You have a few competitors out there. What makes you different?
Justin Neill: We are the only company like this who has 9 active markets, including Hong Kong. Just like Class Pass, members can use the app in any active market.
This Girl: Have you noticed ordering trends and does it vary from city to city?
Justin Neill: The biggest variance in ordering is time of day. LA tends to be most popular for happy hours and mixed drinks and NYC tends to have more redemptions later in the night.
This Girl: What are the next big plans you have in store for HOOCH?
Justin Neill: We are in the middle of fundraising that will be used to grow the company. So expect to see HOOCH grow into more cities and more major liquor brand partnerships.
To download the app, follow this link ti iTunes: https://bnc.lt/2HAk/5ZcppYtLUE