Drink up, it’s on the text

YOU can now stand someone a drink without having a to stand at the bar — thanks to a new texting service which allows you to buy someone a pint via text message.

Text-me-a-drink.com will allow people anywhere in the world to buy someone a drink back in Ireland, with the recipient able to redeem their “gift” at certain pubs.

As of yesterday the only pub at which people could redeem their text drink was the Czech Inn in Dublin’s Temple Bar, but Text-me-a-drink chief executive Denis Callan said other pubs around the country would be part of the scheme within two to three weeks, with the company aiming to have 2,000 businesses registered by the end of next year.

“We tried it in a bunch of pubs all over the place,” he said.

A trial was held across March, April and May and when that proved successful in generating web traffic, the scheme went live yesterday.

Mr Callan said the company had received some support, but no funding, from Enterprise Ireland and hoped to cash in on the Irish diaspora while extending the number of pubs and restaurants beyond these shores.

The idea, which has been tried in other countries, was developed here by three Irish-based Frenchmen who work in social media and IT, David Loyer, Fabien Morvan and Aude Loyer.

Mr Callan, an entrepreneur who has worked in the telecommunications industry, came on board in the past year and was keen to stress that food as well as drinks can be bought through the text service, with payment made through Paypal or Visa.

He also said any participating pubs or restaurants would still have a right of refusal when it came to serving, particularly if underage drinkers attempted to avail of the text service, with the company in a position to refund any money.

“We control the financial side of it,” he said, adding: “We don’t want people under 18 buying alcohol.”

Mr Callan said redeeming any drink or food should take just six seconds and David Loyer said it would allow people working abroad to be part of their friends’ celebration for important occasions by buying them a gift — ie, a pint or some food — when they cannot be there in person. Pubs can also set their own parameters regarding the number of pints that can be redeemed.

Either way, it seems there’s even less of an excuse for not getting your round in.

How it works

* People can log in via Facebook and then select drinks/food from the bars on Text Me A Drink and pay with their Visa or Paypal account.

* The recipient of the drink or food gets a text with a unique code valid for 30 days.

* They show the code at the bar to redeem their drinks or food.

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