Beginning this week on Airbnb, dinner is served.
The site is currently piloting a new facet to its home-sharing platform in which users will be able to throw dinner parties for total strangers.
Airbnb extended the invite to prospective hosts on Tuesday in its home city of San Francisco, Reuters reports. One of the initial listings by a host named Geo advertised locally-sourced brunches and dinners for $30 per person -- of which Airbnb will pocket a cut.
Geo’s Jamaican-inspired meal garnered rave reviews from guests. “The opportunity for a home-cooked meal, meeting new people, and creating new friendships far outweighed the routine of going to a familiar restaurant,” wrote one diner. “A couple from the Netherlands, a traveler from Germany and another from France only added to the richness of the experience. We immediately became a ‘family’ and didn't hesitate to get cozy in conversation.”
And this is exactly what the company wants to hear. Airbnb is "always experimenting with new ways to create meaningful experiences," Marissa Coughlin, a company spokeswoman, told Reuters.
While a foray into communal dining marks a concerted effort for the $10 billion company to expand its scope within the hospitality industry, it is certainly not the first to the party.
Founded in Washington, D.C. in 2011, Feastly is a marketplace that also aims to connect artisanal food entrepreneurs with adventurous eaters. EatWith, a similar platform that offers meals in 17 international cities -- from Amsterdam to Rome to New York -- was founded in 2012. There is even a network entitled LeftoverSwap enabling waste-conscious eaters to -- yep -- share their leftover food.
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