BOCA RATON, FLORIDA–Further solidifying its reputation as a leader in mobile passport apps for the tourism and hospitality industries, Boca Raton, Florida-based software developer Daruma Tech is partnering with the Florida Craft Spirits Association to create a passport app spotlighting the association’s member distilleries. A digital reimagination of the association’s paper spirits trail map, the app allows users to search for member distilleries near them, learn about their offerings and events, and earn points toward prizes such as t-shirts and tasting glasses by checking in with the app at participating distilleries.
The upgrade from paper passport maps to a mobile app will have several advantages for both the fast-growing association and craft beverage fans, said David Cohen, executive director of the Florida Craft Spirits Association. “We would get people joining the association throughout the year,” he explained. “If that happens, they’re then stuck waiting for us to do another print run of maps and getting those maps into circulation. And the distillery industry is growing at such a pace that someone joining and having to wait six months as a paying member for access to that is a big deal. So the app is going to allow us to onboard new members more quickly more efficiently.”
Cohen said the app will also offer users a seamless way to discover and connect with distilleries before they visit. For instance, users will not only be able to see which distilleries are offering tours and tastings, but will be able to reserve and pay for tours and tastings directly from the app. “It’s just going to create a better engagement across the board,” he said. And because Florida attracts such a large volume of tourists, he envisions the app being attractive to both visitors to the state and resident craft spirits connoisseurs.
Moreover, besides attracting more foot traffic and raising the visibility of member distilleries, the app allows member distilleries to post paid advertising, which could provide an additional revenue stream for the association. The Florida Craft Spirits Association is still fairly new – founded only three years ago – and entirely staffed by volunteers, most of whom are distillery owners or managers themselves, Cohen said. “All of us that work in the association are also running full-time distilleries and are working to help advocate for our industry,” he explained.
The success of Daruma Tech’s mobile passport apps for other craft beverage associations was a big part of why the association chose to partner with them. “We had a conversation about a year ago with the Colorado Distillers Guild,” Cohen said. “We talked to their leadership, and I knew that they were in the process of soliciting bids [for their app], and Daruma Tech was in the running and was ultimately selected. And so in our mind, we thought, ‘Why don’t we go ahead and work with somebody who has already built out something with the exact same functionality we would like?”’ And yes, all of our calls, all of the user feedback that we got from our users and some of the other states that they designed apps for, was really positive. And that probably drove our interest.”
Daruma Tech is excited to see the growing impact and industry-wide reputation of its apps. “It’s deeply rewarding seeing how our apps are helping boost local economies and small businesses and to see how much fun users are having with them,” said Susan Erickson of Daruma Tech. “But to see associations and business groups across the country recommend them to each other is the biggest honor of them all.”
For more information, contact Rick Griswold: 561-990-1625.