HomeDine is all about getting more people cooking — and eating — home-cooked meals, with a peer-to-peer marketplace that connects people who like throwing dinner parties with those who like to attend them. To make those events even easier to find and create, HomeDine has rolled out a new iPhone app to help those users find one another.
While there have been a number of companies which have emerged to directly connect regular people with local chefs for hosting lavish dinner parties at their homes, HomeDine kind of flips that idea on its head. HomeDine is for regular people who want to throw lavish dinner parties on their own and invite friends and strangers to join. As a result, it’s a way to help amateur and home chefs promote themselves, and also to allow them to get a little bit of cash doing what they love — cooking for large groups of people.
It’s also a fun way for guests to get to know new people and eat awesome food without paying restaurant-type prices to do so. There’s a growing community of users who attend events just to meet new people in their area. And for those who are traveling, HomeDine is an interesting way to get to know local cuisine from those who know it best — locals.
HomeDine started as an online platform for booking and creating these events. But just like every other online service in the world, the startup is now going mobile, with an iPhone app to instantly create or sign up for local dinner parties and other home-cooked food events.
The app takes advantage of GPS to locate the user and suggest meals and events nearby. It also provides all the same details about the gathering that are available on the website. Users can review hosts and use ratings to find the best local hosts in their area. They can also pay for events that that they plan to attend directly through the mobile app.
On the community side of things, the app gives users a list of attendees that are expected to attend. Users can connect to one another and network with other foodies, chefs, and eaters. There’s even a private messaging system for keeping in touch after an event is over. And, of course, there are social tools for sharing events with friends and getting them to show up. You know, so you’re not just surrounded by a bunch of strangers.
HomeDine was founded last year in Tel Aviv, Israel, but recently opened up shop in San Francisco. Since then, it’s been looking to grow the community here and connect with potential chefs and guests in the local area by throwing its own events and spreading the word at local farmers markets and other foodie hangouts.