Whether it’s the local watering hole or a premium bar, waiting endlessly for a server to take your order is something most of us encounter on a night out; worse, if it’s on weekends. Naturally, we were excited when we heard of 21+, a new app that promises to save you from the waiting. But that’s not the lone attraction. The app allows you to pre-order your drinks even before you reach the bar, or gift it to someone who is already there. So, to check its user-friendliness, we tested the app with a colleague on a Wednesday evening.
How it works
Started by Khushnuma Sheth, Anuj Kanakia and Parag Mehta, with technical expertise from Dhananjay Arora, 21+ is available for free download on Android and iOS app store (search: 21+ jump the bar rush). To use its services, you need to log in by providing an email ID, your contact number and date of birth. Once logged in, the app offers a list of bars that have signed up for the service. At the moment, 12 bars are on the app from areas like Lower Parel, Juhu, Andheri (W), Versova, Breach Candy, Kurla, Powai, Santacruz and Bandra (W). We tried the service at The Barking Deer in Lower Parel. Once you have selected the bar, the app lists out all the drinks on the menu. There is a 10% discount on the app, and all prices are tax-inclusive. The process to order is simple: choose your bar, select the drink, pay online (with a Credit/Debit card or Netbanking), and you are done. You will receive a four-digit code that you can show at the bar to get your drink. You can also gift the drink to a friend by sending the code to their mobile number via the app’s built-in messaging system.
The tipple test drive
At the time of the order, this reporter was at Phoenix Mill wrapping up last-minute Eid shopping, while our colleague was at the bar, catching a stand-up gig. We ordered two glasses of Belgian Wit that were charged at R294 per glass, as compared to Rs 326 at the bar. Upon payment, we received a four-digit code, which we gifted to our colleague.
Our colleague received a text message along with the code. Upon flashing the code, two glasses of Belgian Wit were served in less than five minutes, we are told. Real quick, we say.
The reporter arrived at The Barking Deer 15 minutes later. The next step was to check whether orders are delivered with the same efficiency at all times. (Note: the app doesn’t guarantee a table or instant serving of the drink, but cuts the waiting time to place your order). So, we turned to the app again; this time for a non-alcoholic Icy Lemonade (Rs 235 against the bar price of Rs 261). We showed the code to the waiter to get our drink. This time, there seemed to be some confusion, as the waiter forgot the code twice, and our order was delivered after 15 minutes, which is still a decent wait.
What we like
The process is smooth and quick as long as the ordered drink arrives. There’s a 10% discount; however, it might differ from bar to bar. You can also store your card details on the app, so, if you remember the CVV code, you can place an order without using your wallet or credit card. Once you’ve finished your drinks, walk out without having to pay for your bills.
What we didn’t
The User interface could do well with some improvement, especially when it comes to selecting sub-categories like imported or domestic beer, or whisky or rum in the menu. The app doesn’t store old orders and there’s no bill generated in the process. Though the folks at The Barking Deer told us that an email receipt will be sent to the registered email ID, none arrived until the time of this going to print. Also, gifting a drink requires you to remember the receiver’s mobile number, which can be little tricky, especially if you are slightly drunk. Perhaps, an option to select from your contact list could be more useful. A bit of advice: bar offers aren’t applicable on orders placed by the app. So, we recommend checking the offers section in the app, before placing an order.
Available on: iOS and Android
The Guide Verdict
21+ it’s a cool service, and worth a shot if you are heading to one of the member bars on a weekend. That you can gift a drink to someone from anywhere makes this service more exciting, and user-friendly, especially if you are running late, but want to keep your friends in good spirits during the wait. More offers and services will be added soon. Watch the space.