Are you a food enthusiast looking for a novel way to meet new people? Social dining — eating a meal with strangers — is becoming increasingly popular among travelers both in the U.S. and abroad.
A growing number of platforms like BlendAbout, PurpleDinner and MealSharing are harnessing the power of the Internet to connect strangers over dinner, at private homes and restaurants. The trend is an offshoot of the sharing economy that spawned popular peer-to-peer sites like Airbnb, HomeAway and Uber. First popularized by tech-savvy young people, it has spread to other users of computers and smartphones.
For travelers, it’s a way to meet locals while experiencing new cuisines, customs and cultures in authentic settings. For those who opt to participate in meals closer to home, it’s a non-threatening way to get out of the house, enjoy a shared dining experience and potentially meet new friends who live nearby.
Writing for the PBS website Next Avenue, I interviewed several diners and experts about their experience and advice for those interested in diving into the world of social dining.
Read the entire article on social dining on Next Avenue.