MEAL SHARING AND SOCIAL DINING, THE ULTIMATE COLLABORATIVE ECONOMY
Social dining or meal sharing consists of sharing a table with internet users looking for new experiences. This trend, promoted in France by platforms such as EatWith or VizEat, has many followers. According to a VizEat study carried out on more than 1,400 users, 53% would be willing to sit down to eat with strangers if, with it, they tasted dishes from the local gastronomy and shared the expenses of the purchase.
In Spain, the study carried out by our Spin-off SociaFood reveals even more information, since 78% of users are encouraged to share a table with strangers to socialize, and 68% are willing to open their home and cook for strangers sharing expenses. With all this we expect the evening to be interesting and to promote cultural and gastronomic exchange in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.
Sharing table and table, and generously welcome the guest, is a tradition strongly rooted in all cultures for millennia. When we travel to Cuba for example, it enriches us to welcome us in the house of a private person tasting their traditional cuisine and permeating their culture. But what has the internet done to revolutionize this custom? Thanks to the new user interconnection channels, hosts or chefs have easier visits every day. Technology has put in the spotlight the formula of the collaborative economy, which has already encountered certain legal aspects that prevent its development in some fields. For example, in the mobility. Platforms such as Uber have been suspended in Spain or regulated with precautionary measures because they consider unfair competition or unfit for security in the field of user mobility.
It is not the case of meal sharing or social dining, an evening around a table with food that places the local cuisine as the main protagonist of a meeting that is expected to enrich both parties. The origin of this trend would have to be found in what is known as couchsurfing, at least in the modern and connected aspect of hospitality. With couchsurfing, travelers from all over the world (often with a low budget) are interconnected through the internet with local hosts who give up a sofa or a bed where they can sleep for free. Thankfulness usually comes in the form of a souvenir or symbolic gift. The hosts also provide guests with cultural information about the surroundings, and often prepare typical dishes to enjoy local hospitality and cuisine.
If the accommodation is avoided, the couchsurfing evolves towards social dining. Lunch or dinner shared as a social and cultural activity is a formula that is becoming a trend, especially in Spain, one of the countries with the most tourists in the world and, therefore, more attractive of the European Union to practice the collaborative economy . PriceWaterHouseCoopers ensures that this type of consumption, in its different fields, will move 300,000 million euros in 2025. A confirmation of the strength of this new way of seeing life and developing commercial or leisure activities such as traveling, eating, selling or exchanging products second-hand, or stay collaborating with the local economy. The collaborative economy has come to stay and every time will penetrate in more sectors contributing alternatives and different values to the users, often in a low-cost concept.
You can consult our post about Definition and trends of the Collaborative Economy.