Gratafy Announces Updated Version and Launches New Market
Gratafy, a unique social gifting platform, announces the launch of version 2.0 and rolls out market expansion in Los Angeles. On August 27, the new version of the app goes live with a fresh look, allowing users to remotely send food and drinks from an exclusive list of restaurant, bar, and nightlife venues to Facebook friends as gifts.
From the functionality and technology behind the app, to the top-notch culinary partners, Gratafy has established itself as a leader in the experiential, social gifting realm. The app has formed partnerships with nearly 200 restaurant locations in the Seattle and Los Angeles markets, including the award-winning teams at Seattle’s Coterie Room, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Tom Douglas, and Tavern Law. Merchants new to the app in Los Angeles include The Hudson, The Churchill, Jones, Bar Toscana, Santa Monica Seafood, Seven Grand, Mo-Chica, Paiche, and Ford’s Filling Station, among others.
“We have seen some great success bringing the gift of amazing food and drink to Seattleites since launching in beta at the end of last year. It’s time we brought the Gratafy experience to another market,” says Brian Erke, Gratafy CEO and co-founder. “Having lived in L.A. for several years, I can certainly attest to the incredible food and nightlife scene. There are many people in Los Angeles with strong ties to Seattle and other West Coast cities, whether they used to live there or have friends and family in the area. We wanted to further build upon those relationships through the gifting experience that Gratafy enables – the ability to be there when you can’t actually be there.”
Gratafy was founded by University of Washington alums and friends, Ryan Halper and Brian Erke. The two originally launched the company in November of 2012 in their home base of Seattle. The expansion into Los Angeles is the second market for Gratafy, and the company plans to launch in several other major U.S. markets later this year.
Gratafy not only allows users to buy a bottle of Prosecco to commemorate a friend’s recent promotion, or thank a co-worker for a job well done, the app also enables merchant partners to open up a new revenue stream by selling merchandise without the buyer having to set foot inside of the establishment. “In a digital world where everyone craves more personal connections, Gratafy offers a new adventure in personal gifting and a sense of camaraderie for pure, simple-to-give fun for life’s moments: big, small, and embarrassing,” says Ryan Halper, Gratafy co-founder and COO. “The process of giving, receiving, and redeeming is effortless, and can happen anytime from anywhere using a smartphone.”
Gratafy has also gone to great lengths to ensure that the gift redemption side of the product is an easy and seamless experience for both consumers and merchant partners. “Gratafy's technology and simple-to-use interface allowed us to get up and running in a matter of hours,” notes John Howie, owner of John Howie Steak and Seastar. “Training staff is quick and painless. The guests love it! It's a no brainer for any restaurant.”
Version 2.0 of the app provides a sleek and modern interface while maintaining seamless, user-friendly technology. Merchants can now sell their products online and bolster brand awareness via a new transactional engagement and customer retention platform, and have seen, on average, over 500 percent overspend on redeemed gifts. Consumers now have the ability to effortlessly celebrate birthdays, graduations, promotions, and bachelor(ette) parties, as well as soften the blow for tough days at work, bad haircuts, and those “Sorry I forgot to pick you up from the airport again” moments. Gratafy offers a wide range of options at every price point, allowing users to finally send specific items such as a dirty martini, intense chocolate lava cake, or pint of IPA from that special someone’s favorite restaurant. Gifts are immediately delivered via email, text, or Facebook, and recipients can redeem the gift when they dine at their selected restaurant or bar by providing the server with a three-digit code from the app – for complete Gratafication!