Do you spend your days at the office dreaming of becoming the next celebrity chef? Do you wish you could spend more time at home in your kitchen cooking up a storm? If you do, these 10 meal-sharing websites may turn that dream into a reality.
There are now a plethora of sites that enable keen amateur and professional cooks to make money doing what they love. Often referred to as food world equivalents of Airbnb, these websites unite adventurous cooks and inquisitive diners, all with the mission of hosting and experiencing intimate and unique dining experiences, worldwide.
For any enthusiastic home cook, hosting a dinner party is the ideal way to spend a Saturday. The week before is spent planning every detail of the menu, and Saturday morning is a whirl of beautifying your home, rushing to the grocery store, the butcher, and the farmers market, before spending the afternoon in the kitchen with your apron on, preparing a feast. When the evening comes, sharing your day’s work with your friends and a few bottles of wine makes for the most idyllic Saturday night.
Now, imagine that your friends have been swapped for some fascinated strangers — maybe they’re locals, maybe they’re tourists — who are all so desperate to try your food that they’re willing to pay for it. They want to be welcomed into your home to meet you and other keen foodies, and to have a truly unique dining experience. Your favorite way to spend the weekend has now become a way to put some extra cash in your pocket.
By signing up to be a host on websites such as EatWith, Feastly, and VizEat, you go through a verification process (the rigor of this process varies from site to site), and once completed, set about creating your event, setting the menu, deciding on a price, and finally you can sit back and watch the reservations come pouring in.
If you’re worried about having strangers in your home, you shouldn’t be, as the websites are community-focused. Everyone gets reviewed and rated: you as the host, your food, and all the guests. These companies charge a commission of generally around 10-15 percent on every booking, but for that cost they will take care of the reservations, the payments, promotion, and the cancellations, and make it easy for you to keep track of what’s going on through their websites or apps. The night of your event you’ll go to bed, and wake up the next morning to find the money in your account.
There have been many success stories from these websites, where hosts have turned their home-cooking hobby into their full-time job. If you want to follow in their footsteps and turn your culinary hobby into a small business, sign up for one of these websites, and get cooking.