Gratafy Social Gifting App Lunches in Los Angeles
An Interview with CEO and Cofounder Brian Erke
Let’s say it’s 5 p.m. Your cell rings, and it’s your best friend, who now lives in Los Angeles, complaining about her rough day at work. She spilled coffee on her boss, she suspects her boyfriend of cheating and those last pair of Jimmy Choo shoes were sold to the tall blonde that came into the store right before her at lunch time. You feel bad; you’re in a different city and can’t meet up to help heal her wounds over a glass of wine and appetizers. Well, technology has resolved yet another problem, as there really is an app for that.
Brian Erke is CEO and co-founder of Gratafy, a unique social gifting platform that allows iPhone and Android users to remotely send food and drinks from an exclusive list of restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues in specific cities, delivered immediately via email, text, or Facebook to the person your sending it to. Erke explains, “I have worked all over the country and was making new friends and leaving them; it was difficult to always be away as they celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, etc.,” he told us. “I wished there was some way to send something more then just a wall post or a message.”
And this is where Gratafy came into play. With longtime friend Ryan Halper, who sold his business he ran for 10 years to pursue Gratafy, they put their heads together and were surprised to find that nothing like it existed. The next logical step for the two business partners was to ask themselves where these social engagements really were taking place. The answer? In bars and restaurants. “We wanted to form a social gifting platform that united the most popular restaurants with their consumers in a really fun and unique way,” he added.
With a small sales force in both Seattle and now in Los Angeles, many restaurant owners in both cities have jumped on board to partner with Gratafy and offer consumers 10-15 items food and drink items to send to friends, family and business clients. For example, you just closed a deal on a house, send the buyers a bottle of champagne they can use at Bodega Wine Bar. Or let’s say your buddy announced he’s having a baby, send him a Stella Artois he can celebrate with at The Churchill. As soon as you have downloaded this free app and bought your friend a gift of your choice all they need to do is provide their server with the three-digit-code. Simple, convenient and you’re there to celebrate in spirit. Great for business, great for keeping long distance friendships lasting.
Fingers crossed that if you are not residing in Los Angeles or Seattle that your city will be their choice for their hush hush launch of three more cities by the end of this year.
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