Once you’ve had a few drinks at a bar it’s easy to let loose and blow off steam. Unfortunately, while you’re having fun, you could end up annoying others around you, namely the staff at the venue you’re at. By acting like a fool, you’re jeopardizing your future visits, since bartenders tend to remember who was a jerk and who was a great customer.
A project at our Disrupt Hackathon called “Bar Power” is an app that will remind you to “not be a douchebag.” It’s somewhat of a game, walking you through nice things to do when you enter a bar. For example, the app will suggest that you say “hi” to the bartender and introduce yourself. If you do it and mark it down in the app, you get some karma points.
The really interesting part of the app comes into play when you’ve done something wrong. Did you drop a glass? Fall down? Mark that down, too. Naturally, you’ll lose those karma points that you gained by being the perfect customer.
I chatted with the team who built it, Patricia Ju and Chris Baily, and they discussed their reasons for creating Bar Power, mostly stemming from Baily’s professional experience in the bar scene. While Bar Power might complicate what you’ve set out to do, which is drink, it is a good way to have a little fun and learn how to be a better customer. Ju explained: “It’s so much better to go out to places where you know people. Bartenders gave us feedback and that helped us make Bar Power’s rules.
Once you’re in the app, you select the bar that you’re at and then start doing the nice things that it tells you to do. Slip up? Check that off on the list, too:
The map below will track how you’re doing throughout the city, alerting you to areas that you should avoid since you were a freaking jerk the night before:
As Baily explained, if people understand what to do and what not to do from the bartender community, their experience will be a better one. If the team can build relationships with venues to get them to interact with customers through the app, this could be a neat rating system that goes both ways, à la apps like Lyft and Uber. It sounds like Bar Power has potential past being “just a hack,” and I know that I’d use it.