When hospitality becomes an art, it loses its very soul, said Max Beerbohm. I’m not sure what he would have made of dineshare, which turns feeding strangers in your home into an income. This Ozy piece describes the attempt to eat locally, relatively inexpensively and with the chance to practice one’s English as a new phase of the “sharing economy boom”. Pooja Bhatia describes Travelling Spoon, Cookening and Meal Sharing as ways to provide “travellers seeking home-cooked meals on their journeys (with) more authentic eating experiences”.
The principle seems to be to connect potential hosts with hungry diners. The USP is authenticity.
It sounds brilliantly simple, especially for extrovert travellers who despair of the usual tourist fare and good hosts who like a bit of company now and then.
Meal Sharing founder Jay Savsani calls it “facilitated serendipity”, a rather magical way of describing the search for an unexpected treasure trove of experiences in faraway lands.
It’s all very new but Mr Savsani’s platform, which boasts guests and hosts in 425 cities, turns three this Thanksgiving and might be categorized as the granddaddy of homecooking platforms.
India, Vietnam, Thailand, France, Spain, the US…the list of dineshare locations is long enough and likely to get longer. The trend is probably worth watching even if you’re not travelling anywhere, anytime soon.