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Startup Innovator: Chuz New App for Finding Local Hot Spots

Chuz (pronounced “choose”) is a new mobile app that curates the city’s hottest spots and experiences, by mood, time of day, and neighborhood, and tailors your experience by leveraging favorites from your trusted foodies, socialites, and friends.

CleverTap recently interviewed Erini Schlosser, CEO and Co-Founder of Chuz to learn more about the new mobile app service and plans for the future.

1- Tell us about Chuz and what your role is at the company.

Chuz is a mobile app that provides a curated guide of local hot spots suited for any mood and proximity. We developed Chuz to disrupt a market that has been dominated for years by products built for an older generation. Baby boomers and Gen X are comfortable viewing a mass catalog of options, valuing the time spent in doing their own research on user reviews and making a decision. Millennials and Gen Z are slightly conflicted as they prefer to have options, but want those choices already refined or curated by trusted sources. With that in mind, Chuz is a curation of restaurants, bars, cafes, museums and more, chosen and internally vetted by industry experts, hospitality insiders, bloggers and local influencers.

As the CEO and Co-founder of Chuz, I launched the company because the process of finding a quality spot, inviting friends and getting there was just too inefficient for me. I wanted something I could trust that would not require me to manage multiple text message threads to figure out a time and place to meet with friends. Chuz was built to cover a direct need that my social group of millennials felt.

2- You’ve just launched Chuz in LA. What has your experience been running Chuz in NYC, and how is the LA scene different?

The beauty of Chuz is that we have created an app to enhance, as well as act as an integral part of urban life. It revolves around people who enjoy the wonders of food, drink, music and art. As a result, we feel that Chuz is not only adding healthy competition to an industry that nationally has been dominated by select players, but is supporting local businesses and the avid “foodie” culture in our own neighborhoods. (Please explain how your experience was running Chuz in NYC) To launch in Los Angeles is an incredible opportunity as we are able to meld with its growing ecosystem, becoming known as Silicon Beach.

3 – What are your key differentiators vs other event discovery/planning/venue-finding apps?

Chuz’s key differentiators are internally curated, quality content, the ability to invite friends and also navigate transportation, all in one easy-to-use interface. While other apps are limited to either bar or restaurant discovery, forcing the user to toggle between various options. Chuz is the one-stop shop allowing users to discover bars, restaurants, museums and nightlife within a single interface. We cover a wide-range of spots that are geared towards the millennial lifestyle and based on moods including late night munching, tequila and tacos, rooftops, clubs and shenanigans. We see roughly equal interest between the categories, making it is very easy for users to utilize Chuz on a daily basis for all of their social planning.

Our platform does not boast any sponsored content or biased reviews for the spot descriptions, creating trust with the users as there are no incentives leveraged by the spots themselves.

4 – What strategies are working for you to acquire your users? 

Partnerships with larger brands and influencers have worked well for us in the past. As the basis of Chuz is centered around quality and trust, we had trusted sources reach out about the app initially, creating loyalty and engagement. Although Chuz is geared towards locals, there are many tourists looking to find the “non-touristy” local hot spots to visit. Grabbing tourists at their point of need is an important step for our user growth. Supporting these strategies is of course social media and digital marketing, as well as press relations.

5- What strategies does the company use to engage and retain your mobile users after they’ve downloaded the Chuz app?

We engage users by curating experiences around the hot spots. For example, if a cool event is going on in that city, we engage users by providing exclusive and limited access to dinners, drinks and after parties in combination with the event. We have seen success withour recent event at Steve Angello’s art gallery, curating an experience that offered exclusive access for his exhibition and fashion line launch with his new album, Wild Youth.

6 – What tools & SDK’s does the company use for mobile analytics and engagement?

We track data including time spent in each mood, click-through’s for popular moods and spots, favorite spots, invites to friends and personal preferences (if they prefer brunch and foodie moods over wine or whiskey). The benefit for us is to utilize this knowledge to better personalize the app in the long run. We want Chuz to start adapting to each user’s particular tastes and preferences.

7 – What is one tip you have for entrepreneurs?

Test and tweak, fast. Do as much research as possible to find what users like and what they don’t like, then make updates quickly. The quicker you can onboard users, the faster you can get investment and then it is all upwards from there with ever-continuing tests and tweaks.

Download the Chuz app here.

Author: Kara Dake

Kara Dake is a Product Evangelist who helps startups drive personalization with CleverTap's mobile analytics platform. She's based out of Los Angeles.