While I’ve been thinking a lot lately about moving away from Provo, I have noticed that the sense of community here is different from most other places in the world. One thing that is really cool is the concept of dinner groups. Here in my apartment complex, there are usually one or two groups that will get together for dinner five or six nights a week. The groups will have 10-15 members each, so each person cooks dinner for everyone every 1-2 weeks. I think it’s awesome because it means you don’t have to worry about preparing dinner except for once or twice a month. There are also the social benefits of eating with the group. I believe that sharing a meal is the second best way to form a relationship with someone, second only to traveling with them.
So what exactly would the app need to do?
The main function would be to assign days for everyone in the group to cook based on preferences they specify within the app. For instance if I usually work late on Mondays I can request that I never cook on a Monday. A calendar would be created so everyone knows who will be preparing the meal every day, and you could set up notifications so you would be reminded when it’s your turn and at what time the host wants you to show up each day.
A secondary function could be to set up groups. Users who don’t already have a group could ask to be matched with others. At first this could be as simple as finding other users in the same general area, but could later be expanded to match users with similar dietary needs, interests, etc.
After the first two features are functional, a rating system could be put in place. After every meal, users would be asked to rate their host based on the quality of the meal and on their skills as a host. Likewise the host and other users would all rate each other based on their social skills (manners, interestingness, etc). These ratings could eventually be factored into group matching so that you could have groups at different levels of interestingness or food quality.
Some users may not want to prepare meals at all, but would love to join a group and eat home cooked meals. Groups could set a price for a user to join for a single meal or for a month’s worth of meals that would allow other people to participate in the group without actually preparing food. This money would then be distributed among the members of the group. The app would take a small percentage to help cover costs.
I will probably never end up building this app, mainly because I don’t see a ton of money making potential. I think there is still room for something of an AirBnB for food out there, but I’m not quite sure this is the correct model. If anyone wants to run with the idea, feel free.