We always want to support people's desire to cook. The more you do it, the better you get. So really, you can't cook enough. But when Airbnb, the site that connects the traveler with affordable lodging in people's homes, rolled out their new dining feature that allows home cooks to sell their dinners to visiting tourists all we thought was: AWKWARD.
You know how when you eat at a friend's house for dinner and you have to exclaim how much you like everything, even when it's super bland, bad or gross? Or, how if you break a wine glass you feel really bad about it, because now their set has just been ruined? Now imagine that times a million, because you have to do it all with a complete and total stranger.
Part of the charm of eating out is that we can say or do whatever we want without the risk of upsetting someone. We can complain when the fish is cold. If we knock over our glass, we can demand another drink. Basically, we get to be big old brats and it's grand. No one's feelings get hurt. This new Airbnb feature takes that whole great experience out of dining.
The idea behind Airbnb's new feature is an admirable one: They want to give aspiring chefs a chance to test out their skills -- for a fee of course -- before they take the plunge. They also want to give travelers a chance to taste truly local cuisine. They're not the first ones to dream this up either. Feastly and a couple other sites offer similar programs. In theory, the idea is genius. It's nice to experience a culture or place through local food, and the most local of foods happen in the home. But theory and reality look very different.
Here are just a few ways we dreamed up that this could all go very, very wrong:
- You show up and the people are AWKWARD. How do you politely escape?
- You show up, eat the meal, it's not good, and you feel like a terrible person because their food sucks.
- You show up, the place is dirty, and there's no way out.
- The host won't stop talking and you just want to chat to your friends/partner/spouse. AWKWARD and ANNOYING.
We could go on forever. What do you think of this idea?
h/t The Braiser