Haven’t you heard? Restaurants are so passé! EatWith is the Airbnb of dinner parties, putting strangers together to enjoy great food in the kitchen of a local. EatWith diners get to bypass the usual eat-out spots and connect with creative, open-minded and interesting people; its chefs are able to manage their own menus and run a profitable business from the comfort of their own home. If you consider yourself handy with a spatula or are already hosting knockout dinner parties, then you can now start making real money from your skills. EatWith allows you to be a chef on your terms – set your own menu, schedule and dining experience – a liberty which even the most proficient professional cooks do not enjoy.
Uncomfortable eating from the hands of a host you’ve never met? Rest assured, EatWith vet potential hosts themselves – a process which involves a home visit and a taste, and apparently only passes a minority of applicants. Want to cook yourself but not thrilled by the idea of inviting a rabble of unknowns into your personal space? Fear not – you will be able to review the profiles of potential guests and ask for any additional information before you send out an invite. Think back a few years, and you likely would have thought twice about the idea of jumping into a stranger’s car in the early hours for a lift home or bedding down in the spare room of someone you’ve never met; Uber and Airbnb show exactly how fast things are changing. Ever hungry, Fat Lama is glad that EatWith have extended this trend to dinnertime. As we discussed with Chaz Englander on the first ever Bottom Liner Podcast, ‘the online stranger is no longer the online stranger’.
EatWith was founded in 2012 by Guy Michlin and Shemer Schwartz, two Israeli entrepreneurs who wanted to bring guests and hosts together for homemade community meals. Since its inception, it has grown from its humble beginnings in Tel Aviv to over 150 cities across Europe and the United States. Forbes recently reported that 600 EatWith chefs have now catered for 70,000 guests. Michelin and Schwartz have also secured $8 million in funding from Greylock Partners and Genesis Partners in a Series A round.
The Bottom Line: EatWith is like Come Dine With Me without the commentary or the aggro – FL implores you to start sampling your local menus soon.