Dining With Denise Neil

Stumped on what to do for date night? This business has a plan

A new Wichita start-up called Date Night Genius offers step-by-step date packages once a month.
A new Wichita start-up called Date Night Genius offers step-by-step date packages once a month. Getty Images

It’s a typical date-night conversation for couples – especially those who have been together for a while.

“What do you want to do tonight?”

“I don’t care. What do you want to do?”

“I don’t care. What do YOU want to do?”

And so it goes.

But a new Wichita business dreamed up and set up in a single day aims to help end that conversation. It’s called Date Night Genius, and it’s a monthly service that sends subscribers an envelope containing plans for a complete, unique date night – right down to conversation-starter ideas – along with gift cards that will cover the cost of the date.

The business was conceived and will be run by Ennovar, an “applied tech institute” at Wichita State University that provides hands-on technology, engineering and software development opportunities for students. Its software development director is Kenton Hansen.

The group decided it wanted to conceive and develop a start-up business in a day and took ideas from audience members at a recent 1 Million Cups presentation. They thought about a morning coffee delivery service, a service that would provide boxed lunches for the week and a service that would offer planned date experiences.

The third idea stuck.

“I’ve been married for 15 years, and I definitely married up,” Hansen said. “I want to take her on amazing dates, but I work full time and volunteer and have a kid. When it’s time to go on a date, that’s when I think about it. But what if there was a way I could take care of the planning?”

Date Night Genius is now accepting subscribers, who will pay $50 a month for a date envelope. Hansen didn’t want to reveal the details of the first date package, which will be mailed to subscribers next week, but most will involve meals or drinks plus step-by-step instructions detailing interesting things to do and see. The envelopes will even include suggestions for date discussion topics.

Subscribers can try the package out once or continue their subscriptions. Several businesses have signed up to participate so far, including Public at the Brickyard, The Anchor, The Flying Stove and Noble House Hawaiian Plate Lunch. People who order the date packages will get their full $50 worth, Hansen said.

The service’s founders are already thinking up ways to expand and enhance it, but they want to get a base of subscribers first. People who want to receive the first date package must sign up before Tuesday at www.datenightgenius.com. For more information, call 316-978-4781.

Hansen said he volunteered to test the first date-night package and tried it out on his wife, Lacy.

It was a hit, he said.

“She’s just really happy that I’m planning a date.”

Denise Neil: 316-268-6327, @deniseneil