Three Manchester entrepreneurs are transforming the festive season for party-goers as they expand their mobile app to meet its female-led audience.
Viper – which was launched in September 2017 by Craig Gidley, Stephen Powell and Craig Davies – gives Manchester revellers the power to avoid queuing for bars and is unique to the city.
The innovative business idea allows people to check the availability of space in bars and reserve entry ahead of arrival while they are already out.
The app, which took 12 months to develop, is targeted at customers who are looking to spend their night out in higher-end bars and was originally designed as an ‘on-the-night-app’.
The calendar feature of the app, which is being launched today (December 21) allows people to use the app to plan nights out in advance as well as on the same night and is designed to meet the needs of a female audience.
Stephen Powell, 32 said: “As we’ve done demographic research, it suggests that it’s a lot more female led than expected, which is good.”
This particular expansion is one just way the Mancunians have succeeded since launching Viper.
The name Viper stems from the acronym VIP (Very Important Person) and the idea behind the branding is to make people using the app feel like one.
Eight bars originally signed up to be part of the new business trend and after three months that number has more than doubled.
The trio won a special commendation in the Talk of Manchester Awards ‘App of the Year’ category in November against fierce competition from the likes of LadBible.
Craig Davies, 31 said the bars were originally drawn in to signing up to the app because of the information they could get about potential customers – handing them more control over who they let in.
“They want to be associated with the right audience,” said the 31-year-old.
As well as allowing users to be able to check the availability in bars and reserve entry instead of queuing, the app has a number of additional features: customers can pre-order drinks packages and offers as well as entry into a bar’s VIP area.
CELEBRITY BACKING: Hollyoaks stars Jorgie Porter and Kieron Richardson with the Viper boys
“We provide the software for the bar to make their offers active or inactive,” said Stephen Powell.
This allows both individuals and bars to personalise the app to meet their needs. If a table becomes available at a bar, for example, the bar can advertise this at a moment’s notice and customers can respond straight away.
The app also means bars can organise themselves more easily and prepare drinks and tables before clients have arrived, giving the bar and the client a better experience.
While the food industry has Deliveroo as a hub for people to order food from different restaurants in one place, there is nothing similar to that in the drinks market.
Deliveroo was founded in London 2013 by Americans Will Shu and Greg Orlowski and now operates in 84 cities including the UK, France, Australia and Hong Kong.
Although Viper only currently operates in Manchester the entrepreneurs plan to expand the app into cities in the north of the country and eventually to London.
“We want people going into new cities to be able to know the bars they’re going to using our app. That’s the goal for us,” said Mr Powell.