Ever Want Your Own Restaurant? Here’s Your Chance
We’re loathe to call things the “Airbnb of…” dog-biscuits, chessboards, whatever. We are sure peer-to-peer marketplaces have a prelapsarian past, but few enterprises have made purchasing services from your friends and neighbors as easy as Airbnb. So unfortunately, we have to designate a great new venture called Feastly the, ahem, Airbnb of restaurants.
Feastly allows chefs and gourmands to transform their homes into their own restaurants without all that overhead and investment of a traditional restaurant. Conversely, it allows diners an alternative to the traditional restaurant.
It’s pretty simple: As a chef, you register on Feastly’s site. You determine the menu, the price, the date, how many feasters you can handle, etc. Feastly fills the seats, handles money and takes a modest administrative 12% cut.
As a diner, you browse and sign up for dinners in your area (right now, their main markets are Washington DC, NYC and San Francisco). More than just a restaurant, the Feastly experience awards diners with home-cooked meals and a unique social experience, or as Feastly cofounder Noah Karesh put it, “The dining table is the optimal social network.”
We’ve been using Feastly chefs to cater the LifeEdited dinner parties and are very impressed with the quality of food and service.
We asked Mr Karesh some other questions about how Feastly started and how it works.
Why did you start Feastly?
Feastly came from my travels to Lake Atitlan,Guatemala. I was struck by my inability to find authentic, local food there and convinced a local to invite me over for dinner. Sitting around his family’s table, I had my “a-ha” moment realizing that it shouldn’t be so hard to eat local food and meet people when traveling. Feastly was born over Start-Up Weekend DC in November 2012 and a year later, we’ve hosted hundreds of meals for thousands of Feasters. One of my many goals with the platform is to bring Feastly to Lake Atitlan.
Do you know ahead of time what will be served? Can you make requests?
Yes, our chefs post menus online ahead of time so that Feasters can search for their favorite dishes or chefs. For those with food restrictions, our chefs do their best to cater to any food issues. Thanks to our feedback forms, chefs can receive immediate feedback on their meals and get ideas from Feasters for future meals and how to improve the overall user experience.
How much do dinners typically cost?
Our meals range from ice cream tastings to brunch to seven course dinners and may range from $5-200 with the average meal costing $38.50 [booze is sometimes, but not always, included in price.]
Do you think your approach could replace going out to a standard restaurant?
Yes, but even more than just replacing people’s reliance on restaurants to “eat out,” we are increasingly serving as a social network for our Feasters. Our users come for the food, but increasingly stay due to the positive relationships they are building around the dinner table. We’ve helped to introduce couples, business partners, friends and activity partners over meals.
What about markets you don’t serve yet? How can people get involved?
We’ve been excited to see so much positive feedback in NY and DC and soon SF, and we get emails daily from people around the world encouraging us to open in their cities. Like our peers at Airbnb, we are eager and working to expand globally, so that we can bring the best of Feastly everywhere. We are also eager to bring on more chefs, and like to work with local partners eager to bring Feastly to their communities. We’re always open to new ideas and partnerships and it’s best to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.