It’s always happy hour

It’s always happy hour

New smartphone app is the ticket to free drinks

Remember those small “Buy One Get One Free” cards you pick up at a hotel or airport? Those are no a thing of the past with the advent of an app on a smartphone. It’s greener, easier, and available anytime to anyone. That was the thinking behind David Thibault’s new app, Free Libations.  Having been in the hospitality business for more than 25 years, Thibault has created an app that promises a free drink, benefitting both businesses and customer alike. 

“Hundreds of BOGO Cards would go out a month,” said Thibault, who spent years as a concierge, “so when the iPhone came out, I just figured there had to be a better way to do this.”

Free Libations is in the beginning stages and Thibault, a 15-year resident, is using Key West as the test market. Users can download the app for free to a phone and log in with Facebook. (Logging in with Facebook ensures the reviews are substantiated by real people and not just anonymous internet trolls.) The phone’s GPS feature registers the city and shows users available restaurants with happy hour specials. The restaurants marked by the signature “olive” logo will be able to scan the phone and register the customer for the free drink. Businesses registered with the app will attract customers and anyone with the app can partake in not just the “BOGO” but any other specials or advantages being offered. Some restrictions apply, and there is a 12-hour waiting period for your first free drink.

“I started from zero, just an idea,” said Thibault. Thibault partnered with Ben Hennington of the Sunset Social Drinking Club for managing and marketing and used local website designers 7th Wave. After great success during Parrothead week, Thibault is taking the app to Nashville and developing the next market there. Soon cities around the country will have affiliated bars and restaurants and free drinks for everyone with a phone — which is basically everyone.

Although the app is a mere two months old, developments are in rapid progress such as working with hotel concierges, being able to buy drinks for other people, coordinate scavenger hunts between bars, and a special Free Libations Tervis cup for more discounts. Thibault has lots of ideas for the app and Key West undoubtably is the perfect demographic.

Pictured: Bartender Micaela Hebert of Island Dogs shows how easy it is to scan the customer’s phone for the free drink.

 Find ‘Free Libations’ in the Apple iTunes store. The app is free.

Participating bars include Island Dogs, Half Shell Raw Bar, The Rum Barrel, Charlie Mac’s, Turtle Kraals, and Señor Frog’s. We’re looking for more.    David Thibault, developer of Free Libations.

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