MisterDrinkster: Bahast Bakir
The serial entrepreneur discusses breaking into the lucrative bar and clubbing market and why he knows the business will succeed
Name: Bahast Bakir
Company name: MisterDrinkster
Location: Greater London
Date launched: 23-09-2014
Tell us what your business does:
It helps people save money on nights out. Through our website people can save up to 80% on drinks in bars, pubs and nightclubs in the UK. A customer enters the website, chooses his/her city and browses through a list of deals; you then buy the deal directly through our website and later redeem the drink deal in the venue.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I lived in Berlin three years ago and saw that many promoters handed out vouchers where people could save a certain percentage on drinks and entrance fees but that people were throwing out the vouchers because the promoters were not able to target relevant customers or spot who was really interest in the promotion.
This made me think about taking all this online, offering the voucher via the web instead. This would save the bars/clubs printing and hiring costs and as the customers would seek the voucher beforehand – this would ensure that only those interested would be targeted.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We researched the market for seven months; interviewing bar/nightclub owners and people aged between 18-35. We received very good feedback from the majority of the people we interviewed.
Furthermore, websites such as Wowcher and KGB were already selling drink deals; however not focusing on these alone – which was another indication that there was a market for our business.
What were you doing before starting up?
Before starting up MisterDrinkster, I was running my first start-up twoB in Denmark. This business delivered special personal care products to supermarket chains such as Netto, Aldi and Lidl. Prior to that I completed an MSc in Entrepreneurship at the University of Liverpool.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I have always been able to come up with new ideas and I’m motivated when I work long hours and in roles that involve responsibility.
How did you raise the money?
All the partners in MisterDrinkster have invested their own money so far, so we have not had the need for investors thus far.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
MisterDrinkster simply takes a commission on the deals it sells for a venue/partner.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge when we started MisterDrinkster was that we did not have any specialist in online marketing. Initially, our team consisted of a partner with programming and web development skills, one partner with sales skills and one with financial skills.
We realised that in order for us to be successful we would need a team member with expertise in online marketing. Consequently, we brought in the fourth partner after we released our website who had such expertise.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Our first big breakthrough was when we were chosen as one of the best 100 new start-ups in 2014 by The Pitch UK.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
To continue believing in your business even when you experience 100 hurdles and setbacks in the same day.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Our goal is to offer our service nationally; meaning offering drink deals in every major city in the UK.