Come Dine With Me was launched in the UK in 2005, and the popular Channel 4 TV show has spawned over twenty international versions, such as Dinner Takes All in the US. In a nutshell, the show brings together amateur chefs to compete against each other through hosting dinner parties, with the contestants voting on each other’s overall performance. It has proved immensely popular, with many people setting up their own ‘Come Dine With Me’ evenings with friends.
But Christopher Tau, a 23-year old entrepreneur based in Milton Keynes, England, has taken this a step further, by launching an online marketplace for people to create and share dinner parties in their area.
Foodhost was founded in March this year and is set to launch for the public in beta mode at the end of August. It’s designed as a platform to help people make new friends, whilst satiating their hunger for good homemade food. Users sign-up for free and scroll through a list of events happening nearby – they book a place by purchasing a credit which allows them to receive the host’s contact information, or they can set up a brand new event for others to participate in. Prices start at £2 for each successful booking.
Users can choose from a ‘series’ event, where each individual takes a turn at playing host, or a ‘one off’ event, which lasts for one night and everyone contributes something, such as drinks, starters, dessert or entertainment.
“The public love this idea because it’s cost-effective, and customers can save money on utility bills, and weekly food shopping through bulk buying”, says founder Christopher Tau. “They get to try out new dishes instead of eating the same ones again and again. Wasted food can be put to good use and not in the bin; and it minimises the effort of shopping/cooking/washing up all week.”
Foodhost is also working with local independent suppliers to help promote their businesses for free, encouraging users to source the best local products.
Members also have access to online tools that help police the website with event reviews, ratings, and anonymous flagging options. “The mission is about complementing consumer choices about food, and the vision is building up communities”, says Tau. “For the average price of one meal out in the UK (£20), up to 60 dinner parties can be attended at Foodhost, saving the equivalent of over £1,000″.
On the community page, filters give users the option to find exactly what they’re looking for by distance, date, rating, diet among other key attributes.
You can sign-up now to receive official confirmation of when Foodhost enters into beta mode. The service will only be available to UK users at first, but there are plans to expand its availability later.