If the past two years have shown us anything, it’s just how much the little things matter — a walk in the park, a catch up with friends, a special dinner. But when we were apart from friends and family, trying to show our loved ones just how much we cared was a challenge. During lockdowns and travel restrictions, many of us wanted to offer a gesture of our affection to show someone special just how much we missed them. But it’s not exactly sustainable to send a bunch of flowers or a gift basket every time we have that tinge of that sadness.
A new gifting solution
For entrepreneurs and brothers Rohan, Teddy, and William Doodnauth, it seemed there was a gap in the market. Why was it so hard to gift people something that didn’t break the bank to show you were thinking of them, regardless of the distance? This was the idea behind OpaLink, a mobile app that enables family and friends to virtually send food or drinks to each other. The idea is to not only make it easy to show someone you are thinking of them, but for it to be fun and stress-free — no delivery apps charging huge fees, notifying your recipient too early, or taking a gamble on a local business you know nothing about.
Most people who are culinary enthusiasts will rely on apps that have a point of sale system, which inevitably acts as the middle man between a customer and an order. Not to mention that sending an item to someone who is already at a restaurant is near impossible. Opa instead uses current blockchain and geofencing technology to integrate to point of sale systems which helps identify when customers are at restaurants and bars. The idea is that you can order a drink for a friend or family member you are meeting at a restaurant before you even get there, or treat someone to their meal who is across the country in a different state.
No more fear of missing out
It might be that you couldn’t make the college reunion or the weekly family dinner, or perhaps you just had to drop out of the leaving drinks at the last minute. If you know the time and the place, you can buy a round, treat your parents to dinner, and show someone that you wish you were there. Whether you’re a thousand miles apart or sharing a booth, distance shouldn’t matter.
The app aims to cure the fear of missing out and the barriers to placing orders if you aren’t at the venue. The goal is to create a new “standard of dining” which is optimized to share experiences. The concept is essentially the same as gifting money to a digital wallet, but instead creates virtual connection by turning that monetary amount into emotional value, with the perk of being able to do it in real time. There’s also the added benefit for the restaurants themselves. As many businesses are still recovering from the financial hit of Covid-19, this gives them the chance to increase top line sales – from customers not even in the vicinity.
Ready to launch
OpaLink is now finally ready to share what they’ve been working on with a (real life!) launch party at The Robinson Cafe and Cocktail Lounge in Orlando, Florida. In the spirit of making celebrations fun and stress-free, the launch will include a free cocktail using the app, merchandise, a gift from the Opa team, as well as networking opportunities with thought-leaders, restaurant owners, and influencers. The app’s mission is to encourage people to make unique human connections and memories — what better way to do that than an in person celebration. With an exact date yet to be announced, keep an eye on the Opa website and social media so you don’t miss out. Physically being present to order someone a beverage or food item is a thing of the past (but they’d love it if you made it to this shindig).