The smartphone generation don’t want to have to walk along restaurant row to see the blackboard specials. They want to be swiping left and right, according to a new app.

Wellingtonians Danesh Abeyratne, Connor Finlayson and Josh Brake have developed what they hope will be the Tinder of the hospitality industry, to introduce people to the bargain of their dreams.

The trio said they often found themselves with an open evening or lunch break, keen to try something new but unsure of where to begin or what their friends were up for, Abeyratne said.

“Before the internet, you had to plan things out, there wasn’t a choice. But people are inherently lazy.”

Their recently launched app Hatcher presents people with a collection of food and drink specials, pub quizzes and live music, all happening now or in the next three hours.

“We haven’t found anything that does quite what this does … this is specifically for people who realise they’re free, want to do something, and just want to see what’s available then and there.”

Like Tinder, Hatcher highlights one offer at a time. Users can swipe left if they are uninterested, or right if it appeals to “hatch a plan”, Finlayson said.

“You can also see what Facebook friends of yours said yes to. So if I do decide to go there I know exactly who to ask. You can pick the people you want to go with and it will send them all a text message.”

Hatcher grew out of an idea Finlayson had as a recent graduate from Victoria University, working at the Renouf tennis centre. “I always ran into lots of people who were looking for people to play tennis with – and I had an idea for an app where you’d get all those people and get them together. But I never had a background in coding.”

Abeyratne, a former army officer, and Brake, the developer, joined during an entrepreneurial boot camp, and the idea to get people together was stretched beyond the tennis courts. Hatcher is free for users, though the hope is that restaurants and bars will eventually pay to promote their events.

The development has taught the founders that Wellington’s restaurants, cafes and bars are offering some great deals to lure in customers, but that people are often unaware of them.

“Wednesday’s the big one, has a lot of good things on. And surprisingly, Sunday,” Finlayson said.

The trio were refining the app in the capital. Hatcher also has a collection of Auckland deals and will gradually launch in other cities. They hope to one day add last-minute concert ticket sales and taxi fares to the available treats.

“We use it ourselves to find lunch, so if nothing else, we’ve created a solution for our own problems,”  Abeyratne said.

Post originally by Stuff

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