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Peer-to-peer technology has been spreading all over the world the past couple of years, and the ease of online connectivity when travelling means that it is much quicker to connect an individual who wants something, whether it be a room for the night or a car ride, with somebody who can provide it. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber are only gaining in popularity, and, now, a brand new travel trend is hitting the marketplace: peer-to-peer dining. OROGOLD helps you understand the concepts of peer-to-peer dining and how it works.

Beautiful setting at the dining table for dinner.

What is Peer-to-Peer Dining?
The concept of peer-to-peer dining connects local people who want to open up their homes and host a dinner with travelers, or even locals, who want a home-cooked meal. There are now several online marketplaces that are connecting these willing cooks with hungry travelers who want a more authentic alternative to a restaurant meal.

How Does it Work?
People sign up to peer-to-peer dining sites by creating a profile as a guest and then choosing a host that they would like to dine with, after which they would schedule a reservation. All of the sites have some sort of vetting process, either by using social media and ratings that guests have provided, or by performing a site visit to check that it is safe and clean.

Guests having a delicious meal at a host's house.

Peer-to-Peer Dining Marketplaces
As with any tech trend, the number of options to sign up for peer-to-peer dining is constantly growing, but there are some marketplaces that are more established than others. Feastly is a popular marketplace that allows hosts to advertise their meals with mouthwatering images and competitive prices, and offers the service in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and other large cities. Mealsharing and Cookening are both international programs that handle meal listings, bookings and payments in over 400 different countries, and encourage reviews of the experience, which they use for quality control. Even Airbnb, the much-loved peer-to-peer service, is running a trial in San Francisco, where diners can enjoy a 3-course meal at the house of a local for $25.

Woman clicking a photograph of her guests during dinner.

Who is Peer-to-Peer Dining Aimed at?
Peer-to-peer dining attracts a wide variety of people. Passionate home cooks sign up as hosts and are able to share their favorite dishes, meet new people and earn a bit of extra money. Professional chefs also participate, using it as a platform to test out new recipes and reconnect with the less commercial side of what they do. The guests are mainly travelers, who, these days, have a new mindset, and want to get an authentic taste of the place that they are visiting. However, many locals are also catching on to the benefits of being able to dine at somewhere other than the standard neighborhood establishments.

A decade ago, the concept of opening up your home and providing a home cooked meal to strangers would have been ridiculed, but these days, thanks to the way in which the internet, especially social media, has encouraged connectivity, it is an idea that many people are open to. Not only does peer-to-peer dining offer a unique dining experience, but it also brings people together and creates new friendships, and is a concept that is likely to continue expanding as the months go by.

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