Attention, daily deal market! There’s a new startup on the block. While sites like Groupon and LivingSocial have exploded in New Orleans in recent months, there is a specific void they have not been able to fill. Enter PourLiving.com, a New Orleans-based startup devoted to local bar and nightlife deals, whose pre-launch party will be hosted at Warehouse District winebar Bouche tonight. Allison Good sat down with Jay Jayakrishnan, the co-founder and CEO.
Allison: How did you get the idea for PourLiving.com?
Jay: Even though the daily deal market is extremely saturated, I found that every morning I was getting these deals from other providers that weren’t necessarily things I wanted to buy. Spas, yoga, and five dollars for one hundred dollars of cupcakes doesn’t apply to everyone, so my partner and PourLiving CFO Keith Naccari and I thought there was a chance to target a specific customer and buying experience. A logical way to do that with our demographic was the nightlfie and bar area. This is a niche that makes sense for the daily deal market because the gross margins in a bar are typically much better than for other retailers. New Orleans a very logical place to operate a company like this, because celebrating and having fun is such a big part of New Orleans culture. In March I approached Keith, and we started talking about it. We crunched the numbers a bit, we thought about it, and we decided to run with it.
Allison: What makes PourLiving.com different from other daily deal sites?
Jay: We think we can do a lot of things in this space specifically that you can’t do in other ones. With PourLiving there’s a social component you don’t find on other sites. This is something you share with your friends. If you get a deal at the Bulldog, there’s a chance I’m going to want to experience it with you.
Allison: What’s the current status of the site?
Jay: The site is built and functional, but it’s not live yet. It will be live after our official launch, which will be on White Linen Night, but right now we’re focusing on building critical mass in the market, making sure our technology is up to par, and rolling out some mobile applications as well. The way that it’s plotted out for the beginning is that we’re going to feature one deal every two or threedays a week, and ultimately we want to be running as many deals as we can fit into a week. We’re optimistic that our product will do well
Allison: How have bars and clubs responded to your initiative?
Jay: It’s been great so far. One of our advantages is that we’re able to work with the bars to provide a deal that makes sense. On a basic level, bars just want to put people in seats, so that’s what we’re trying to do. It’s important for us to be a destination for people who are thinking about what they want to do and where they want to go on a night out.
Allison: Tell me more about the pre-launch.
Jay: We’ve spent the last couple of months just putting together our business plan, sonow we need to build buzz. What we’ve worked out with Bouche is a built-in voucher so that you have a discounted price there. We’ll also have some cool surprises. The important thing right now is just delivering a cool product and releasing new things. We’re definitely not short of ideas.