啟發他創業的是自己一次難忘的旅行經歷。他和家人到希臘遊玩,恰巧被當地人邀請到家中共進晚餐,他吃到了一路上的餐館裡沒吃到的道地食物,還和主人聊天聊得十分愉快,瞭解到了不少當地的風俗文化。所以 Michlin 決定創辦 EatWith,讓當地居民把自己的餐桌和廚藝分享出來,為使用者提供均價 30 到 50 美元之間的餐點,招待在路上的旅客,而 EatWith 會從中抽取最多 15% 的佣金。

首次進入EatWith主頁的使用者,需要根據自己的口味註冊一個賬號,接下來就可以選擇成為旅客預訂餐桌,或是成為主人提供餐桌。對於當地居民來說,EatWith 幫助他們在家裡做起餐飲小生意增加收入,同時也給了他們結識不同人群的機會。而對旅客來說,他們可以以相近的價格享受到非標準化的美食,還能在餐桌上遇到同樣來旅行的人,認識新朋友,並且從主人的口中瞭解瞭解當地的特色,哪裡好玩,哪裡坑爹,減少被導遊忽悠的機率。

為保證提供的餐桌和餐點質量,EatWith 現在採取人工認證的方法,就是親自到那些居民家裡試吃食物,確保質量後,會在網站上給提供餐點的居民發放認證。但 EatWith 希望日後使用者量逐漸積累起來,能把認證這個工作交給使用者點評來完成。同時 EatWith 還會和第三方機構合作,提供一百萬美元的保險,免去招待旅客引發食物中毒等問題的憂慮。

不過目前 EatWith 還只對以色列的特拉維夫市和西班牙的巴塞羅那開放,網站上現在有 130 個可提供餐桌的居民,但正有成千上萬的餐桌租借申請從世界各地湧來,他們計劃下一步對紐約市開放。

On one very memorable evening in 2010, while vacationing on the island of Crete, I had the extraordinary privilege of dining at the home of the Papadakis family. The connection was made through a friend of a friend.

It was a small two bedroom apartment in a suburb of Heraklion (the main city in Crete). They were so excited to host a traveler for dinner that they invited their neighbors and their cousin from Athens to join. The main topic over dinner was the Greek financial crisis and how every family had at least one family member that was unemployed. Theirs was a perspective I definitely had not gotten from the headlines.

They offered me tips on places to visit, told me about restaurants where the locals eat, and even gave me a bottle of local Cretan liquor as a gift. I still have the bottle – it’s empty. For dinner, we had an absolutely delicious Cretan dish known in Greek as, “makaronia with kreas vodino and tiri athotiro [on top].” Translation: spaghetti with meat (beef) and a local Cretan cheese (athotiro) on top. It was amazing!

After four hours – and I’m sure no one was looking at their watches – it was time to say goodbye. I originally planned on being there only two hours, but wow, how the time flew! Truly a unique experience I will never forget.

In all my years of traveling, connecting with the locals has always made my experiences more meaningful. I enjoy tours, museums, tourist sites, and eating at great restaurants. But as a tourist, it’s easy to feel disconnected, like you’re walking in a bubble. The best way to break the bubble and enrich your connection to a place is to interact with real people in their own private spaces. After my evening with the Papadakis’s, this is exactly what happened.

I was inspired. When I returned home, I shared my experience with my friend Shemer, and we began to envision a global community of enthusiastic guests and passionate hosts. We imagined a website where users could discover amazing hosts around the world, delicious homemade cuisine, and recount their stories of unforgettable experiences.

So there you have it. That’s how EatWith was born. If you’re as passionate as we are about meeting new people, eating amazing homemade dishes and doing something a little different, then we would love to extend you a warm welcome to join our growing community!



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