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By Vijaykumar Meti | February 9, 2013 11:44 PM PST

The hospitality industry is on the verge of a unique makeover. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are breaking into the dating business, and leading that transformation is St James' Gate in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Identified as a growth industry worth over $1.5 billion in North America, the success of the dating industry is so huge that it has managed to attract even online giants like Facebook into its web. Their recently announced "Graph Search" now competes with dating industry leaders like Match.com and eHarmony.com.

Like all profitable industries, the dating game attracts competition and is always scouting for ways to capitalize on services that help more people find lasting love. The question is: Can a small restaurant/ bar compete with dating giants and if so, then how?

It is known that any small business in the hospitality industry has a local presence and an established access to its clientele. Theresa Williams, CEO of Atwood Technology Inc. and provider of eMatchopolis, an online dating technology explains the advantages clients (like St James Gate) possess: "Singles don't go out to a restaurant or bar to be alone. They go out to network. The most successful establishments make networking more efficient. Our technology helps these establishments to raise that communication to the next level."

"If you spot someone interesting at your local hangout now, but you are too shy to strike up a conversation, just take out your smartphone. Look to see if that person is on the establishment's singles network. If he or she is, just send a virtual flirt right there and then or later from the comfort of your home. This is an advantage that solves a number of problems. First, there is no embarrassing walk-up to a stranger, and secondly, if you do hit it off, you already have one thing in common -- where you both like to hang out."

In hospitality industry, everyone loathes closing time. The fun and the flow of beer stops. The cash register cashes out for another night. Indeed, bar and restaurant owners are always on the search for new avenues to build communities and stay connected with their clientele online, after closing hours.

Enter eMatchopolis -- a unique platform that is specially designed to connect people with in-house offers, incentives, and let's face it, each other. After all, everyone knows good company is important to a good night out.

When you incorporate eMatchopolis into the already active singles' network happening at bars, restaurants, and other establishments, you already have a location where conversations are flowing well and admirers are more receptive. It's a natural step for users to go home, then go online, and find that same good-looking person they brushed shoulders with earlier at the hangout without having to stalk them on Facebook.

eMatchopolis is a win-win situation for the bar and restaurant scene. With only a small upfront fee for site creation, business owners can connect to their clientele after-hours and keep them aware of upcoming specials, promotions, and events.

When asked how they decided to venture into in the dating business, Kolin Barley and Troy Boudreau, the owners of St James' Gate explained saying: "It was over a year ago when we first sat down with Theresa and heard her pitch. At the time we said, 'this is too good, so what's the catch?' Then they revamped our website, set up the dating site, and helped us with our Social Media marketing. Atwood made us feel like we were in a real partnership, and not just our vendor. Our success and our clientele's success is a real priority with Atwood and this has become a great marriage!"

"I knew when we first met to discuss this that it was the right match to get started," says Williams. "Troy and Kolin are leaders and visionaries in the industry and I can relate to that. They see the potential unlike others who would rather wait to see what everyone else is doing first. It is business owners like Kolin and Troy that challenge the status quo and who will find greater success in the long run!"

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