What’s the one thing Open Table and Priceline were sorely lacking in?
If you said “cocktail waitresses,” you may already be a winner.
Fortunately, nightlife veterans Mike Myers, Greg Costello and Yale Rowe—who all worked together at the Hard Rock Hotel, when Rowe was the general manager in the mid-2000s—are stepping in to fill that particular void with new app PartyPetition. The app brings clubs and patrons together in the most meaningful of ways—negotiating exactly how the latter can procure bottles from the former.
Here’s how it works: Partygoers download Party Petition from the App Store (an Android version is still in development), and scout out their comprehensive list of nightly events. A group can then submit a petition that encompasses their entire budget—tax and tip included.
For example, a group of eight guys can send out a $2,000 petition for a Friday night to up to five clubs. Those clubs then come back with a bid—one may offer a dance-floor table with one bottle, another may come back with four bottles and a back-of-the-club table. The petitioners then choose whether to accept the bid, up their offer and try again, or take their chances in meatspace.
“We created it for people that didn’t know they could afford bottle service, that don’t know there’s still availability, even on a big weekend, at some of the big clubs up until the last minute,” Myers says. “That’s one thing we’re really anxious on presenting to the world, that bottle service is a lot more attainable than they think.”
More features are slated to roll out within the coming weeks and months, including one that will allow everyone to split the tab up front. That option, Costello says, is aimed at the guy who’s thinking, “I’ll go in if I can split payment and I only have to put in $200. I’m down. But I’m not walking in and giving that girl my credit card and you guys all take off to go gamble, or you’re in the bathroom when the bill comes, and I’m stuck with that $2,500 bill.”
Currently, clubs operated by AMG, SBE, Palms, Tao Group and Drai’s are signed up with the service. Eventually, PartyPetition backers hope to expand into other cities, using relationships with SBE and Tao Group as footholds into the Los Angeles and New York markets.
It’s a slick-looking interface, based on a somewhat-proven premise. If the success of the Hotels Tonight app shows anything, it’s that there’s a market for moving perishable inventory to deal-savvy buyers. Plus, there can be, for first-timers, an intimidation factor that comes with booking a table: Who do I talk to? Am I going to get ripped off when the bill comes? Will anyone make fun of my shoes? (The latter is still up for debate.)
There also isn’t much in the way of competition right now. PartyPetition’s creators says the app offers clubs greater flexibility than similar products in other markets that use a discount-based, Groupon-type model.
“Light Group can sign up Light, and they may not ever need to use PartyPetition because they’re slammed every night. But that one time 10 girls come to town and they want to spend $2,000,” Costello says, “[a host could say] yeah, I’m going to make a bid for them and see if I can’t get them in.”
Still, it’s not a magic bottles-for-nothing bullet. Clubs aren’t going to bite on lowball bids, even with the perishable inventory that they work with on a nightly basis.
“Don’t think because you’re using our app, you’re going to get a table at Marquee for $500 on a Saturday night,” Myers says. “However, I booked a table the other night that was $350. It was on a Monday, but I didn’t realize they had $350 minimum tables.”