A new mobile app launched by a local entrepreneur aims to offer discounts to date-goers while driving more business to Denver’s most highly rated bars, restaurants and other locations.
The Date Night Denver app was developed by Jesse Truax, a local entrepreneur who previously founded environmental startups. Truax had the idea for Date Night Denver after he and his wife, Melissa, planned several lackluster dates that made them cautious of trying new places, he said.
“I realized I could utilize my expertise in software and app development to create a solution that helps Denver-area couples and friends discover only top-rated, date-night establishments while also saving them money,” Truax said in an email to Colorado Inno.
Date Night Denver partners only with businesses that have a rating of 4.2 or higher on Google’s five-star rating scale, which are based on customer reviews.
Truax spent months talking to business owners to bring them on board. So far, 159 businesses are offering 175 deals to members of Date Night Denver. The list includes some of Denver’s most popular spots, including Prost Brewing Co., Deep Roots Winery & Bistro, Mythology Distillery, Tamayo and Front Porch Coffee Shop. The list also includes experiences, such as ax throwing, pottery and food tours.
Businesses have been receptive to the idea because couples on date nights are their target market, as they’re less sensitive about spending, Truax said. The average cost of a date in Denver was $106 during the summer of 2021, according to a report from the online dating service Zoosk, which used data from Numbeo.
The businesses don’t pay to be part of Date Night Denver’s platform. Instead, they offer deals, including overall discounts on customers’ tabs or a free drink with the purchase of an entrée, among others.
Date Night Denver launched June 8, and several hundred members have signed up so far, Truax said. The app charges members $79.99 per year, but is currently offering the annual membership at 50% off, or just $39.99.
Date Night has two employees and worked with AppIt Ventures, a Denver-based software development company, on the app’s development, Truax said. The company isn’t looking to raise capital now or in the near future, he said.
Truax previously worked in the solar industry. In 2012, he co-founded SolarReviews, a consumer reviews website for reviews and ratings of residential solar panels. He later worked as an executive at Clean Energy Collective and served on the board of directors for Solar Energy International. His last business, Clean Energy Social, sold in July 2021 to Ally Energy for an undisclosed amount.
Truax said he was looking for a change of pace and thought he could use his skills to fill a need in the food and beverage industry.
“Through Covid, it was disappointing to hear about all of the great food and drink establishments that were facing challenges and forced to close down,” Truax said. “I was determined to leverage the successful customer-acquisition strategies we had created in the solar industry to build a risk-free solution to help generate new customers for our partners. While our partners are still going through a wide variety of challenges, we want to make sure that partnering with Date Night is one of the solutions.”