Grouper’s CEO Michael Waxman Talks Group Outings and Good Bars

First 'meetings' with groups at nightlife hot spots make Grouper’s dating science successful

Blind dates are not usually the easiest dinners to sit through — the realm of the unknown can be pretty unsettling. However, what happens when you get rid of that whole awkward scenario and turn it into a pleasant experience? Blind dates can become light-hearted meetings of the sexes over a few beers and cocktails, with less potential for awkward silences and uncomfortable conversations.

Cue Grouper, a new online dating site where guys and girls are matched up based on their Facebook profiles. And the best part is that you don’t go alone! Bring your friends and make the one-on-one a three-on-three. Have a few drinks or a light dinner and go from there. Grouper decides the best spot for the "meeting" and the location is emailed to you the morning of.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? It's currently based in New York City, but with San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to come next month and more throughout the year, you'll be sure to have an opportunity to get on board!

Grouper’s founder and CEO, Michael Waxman, gave us the lowdown and answered a few questions.

What is the science behind grouper?

Why is a group date better than a one-on-one? We match people based on their Facebook profiles and answers to a few very short questions. We also use feedback from previous Groupers to help hone our approach. Grouper is all about meeting new people, hanging out with your friends, and checking out a cool new place. We don't think of it as "dating" — it's more fun and less awkward than that. 

How do you choose restaurants/outings for the group?

Experiencing a cool, local bar or lounge is definitely part of the Grouper experience. We work with a ton of great venues, ranging from speakeasies to hotel bars to neighborhood bars, but the ideal space is inviting, has a cool atmosphere, good service, and solid cocktails. 

Have certain destinations become more popular than others?

We do have some bars that members request, like Ella Lounge in the East Village, Viktor and Spoils on the Lower East Side, and Apotheke in Chinatown.

Why a triple date and not a double date?

Well, it's actually not a "date" — we don't like labels. We found that two-on-two is too intimate (and often more awkward than a bad one-on-one date), whereas four-on-four is a crowd. There's something magical about the three-on-three setting.

Are there certain activities on dates that you find more effective than others as ice breakers?

Our members tell us some hilarious stories, but you'll have to find out for yourself by going on a Grouper.