New service invigorates online relations by taking people offline to connect over social dining.
The London based startup TableCrowd combines online connections and a hearty dinner to give you a new social networking service that allows people with shared interests to meet, eat and mingle.
Founder Kate Jackson pitched her startup at The Next Women European Pitch in London in April this year but TableCrowd was launched in 2011. Drawing on the age old concept of bonding over (and about) food, TableCrowd offers dining experiences from their roster of diners and users can also join “crowds” which are like special interest groups like “Hungry Romantics” and “Escape the City.”
Users can sign up via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or e-mail and then browse tables that have been booked and join or get invites to tables of their liking. Speaking about TableCrowd‘s connect-over-dining concept, Jackson says,
When meeting new people, it’s good to have a focus and some ice breakers to put people at ease. Dining out does just that. You have the combination of the food, restaurant and ambiance as the first level of conversation, which allows people to become comfortable with each other before the conversation goes deeper.
TableCrowd‘s selling point seems to be the online goes offline concept but it is not the first of the kind. Meetup is another service that allows online shared interest communities to meet offline, plan activities and get to know each other in the physical world.