SAN DIEGO, CA – When Isabel Jenson checked her watch and realized she shouldn’t have ordered that last drink, she felt a twinge of panic. “I had to stop drinking right then if I was going to drive home at the end of the night,” she said. “I’d only taken a sip, but I hated to see a $12 cocktail go to waste.” Rather than down her drink and hope for the best, she pulled up the Desdri app on her phone. Minutes later Desdri associate Justin Martinez appeared, shotgunned Isabel’s drink, and left her holding a glass of water before heading off to his next job.
Martinez, 24, works for Desdri, the world’s first designated drinker app. Whenever someone can’t or doesn’t want to finish their drink, they use the app to find the closest designated drinker. Arrival time is always under five minutes because, according to DesDri’s creator Marc Appleton, “people who aren’t squeamish about finishing a stranger’s drink tend to spend a lot of time in bars.”
Appleton said the idea for DesDri came to him when he got tired of having to retrieve his car after a night out. “I hated waking up in the morning knowing that the first thing I had to do was take an Uber to a bar or IHOP parking lot,” he said. “I remember thinking if only I’d skipped that last drink. That’s when I realized there was an entire untapped market of people like me.”
Since launching last September, DesDri now operates in twelve cities across the United States and has over 4,000 employees. While the app costs 99 cents per use, the employees are paid only in the free drinks they consume. And that’s just fine with Martinez. “I haven’t paid for a single drink since I joined DesDri,” he said. “I’ve saved so much money on booze it’s almost like I’m drawing a real salary, which is awesome as long as you don’t think too much about it.” As if on cue his DesDri app pinged, and he was off to solve another first world problem.
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