App helps bring strangers together over meals

TORONTO Mon Feb 4, 2013 10:16pm IST

Related Topics

Inside the Peshawar school

Inside the Peshawar school

The aftermath inside the Pakistan school where at least 132 students and nine staff members were killed by Taliban gunmen.  Pictures 

TORONTO (Reuters) - Looking for new friends or dinner partners? A new smartphone app is designed to help people connect to others to set up groups for dinners.

The app, GrubTonight, links hungry and adventurous smartphone users for dinners, fun evenings and friendship.

"We wanted to build a real-time spontaneous app where any night of the week you could go out and eat, because you need to eat anyway, and also have a social outing," said Eddy Lu, CEO and co-founder of Grubwithus Inc, an online community for group meals based in Los Angeles, California.

Users can browse group dinners through the app, which works with restaurants to fill open seats. Each night there are three prix-fixe group dinners available. Bookings for the meals, which average about $20, are made through the app. The meal includes a shared appetizer, entree and a drink.

GrubTonight is available in Los Angeles but the company's other app, Grubwithus, is worldwide and enables users to attend group dinners that are planned several days in advance and revolve around themes.

Users are also able to organize their own public or private group dinners using the app.

"When you want to create an event you just select one of our partner restaurants and the menu is already taken care of," said Lu.

"People need efficient ways just to meet people. It's a good social way to come together and you need to eat three times a day," he said, adding that most users are between 20 and 35 years old.

The company has organized meals in more than 50 cities worldwide but the app has been most popular in San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

The motivation for Grubwithus, according to Lu, came from the difficulty he faced in meeting new friends and people to do things with in Chicago.

"When you go to dinner parties and meet friends of friends that's when you really connect with people because you're sitting beside them for an hour," he said. "We thought that dinner was just such a good way to connect with people and build meaningful friendships."

Although it is not a dating app, Lu said that it has played a part in bringing some couples together.

GrubTonight is available for iPhones, but web and Android apps are being developed and the company plans to expand GrubTonight to other U.S. cities. (Editing by Patricia Reaney)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

26/11 Accused

26/11 Accused

Pakistan to appeal bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Android For cars

Android For cars

Exclusive: Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources.  Full Article 

Mass Stabbing

Mass Stabbing

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing.  Full Article 

In Distress

In Distress

Former SpiceJet owner leading rescue plan: reports.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Losing Popularity

Losing Popularity

Dalai Lama's star waning in the West, China official says.  Full Article 

Tis' The Season

Tis' The Season

Stars around the world wish you Happy Holidays.  Video 

Cyber Warfare

Cyber Warfare

For N.Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage