Open house cooking offers tourists local homemade food and friendly chat
Eating is traditionally a social experience, something recognized by the UK’s Casserole scheme, which connects elderly people with leftover meals cooked by their neighbors. Now EatWith aims to link up travelers in need of food with residents willing to meet new people. While established services such as Airbnb let homeowners open up their empty rooms to visitors on a short-term basis, EatWith users can advertise their kitchen as an alternative to expensive restaurants for those passing through the city. Adventurous travelers get to sample a taste of a regional cuisine not available in commercial eateries and can also connect with locals in a way otherwise not possible. According to co-founder Guy Michlin, it’s not unlikely they will receive tips not found in guide books to make their trip more unique, and might even make a friend. Hosts typically charge around USD 35 to USD 50 per head, of which EatWith takes a 15 percent cut. While it currently runs a scheme offering a ‘verified’ badge to users that the EatWith team have personally dined with, it hopes to eventually allow frequent users to make recommendations for others. Are there other industries that could be given the Airbnb treatment?