Business Unusual

Now restaurants have an Uber and Airbnb type competitor, their own chefs!

Potato Rosti with Smoked Salmon & Avocado from Daily Dish

Selling food dates back as far as we have recorded history, but the first restaurant can be traced back to the 1770s in Paris when an establishment opened that specialised in just that.

The word "restaurant" comes from the Latin word for "restore", as they were created as a place to provide food to restore you.

Fast forward to today and Paris is once again at the centre of a trend that some are claiming will ruin the institution.

Online services are allowing home owners to book trained chefs to cook at their homes.

The chefs bring the food and the specialist tools to prepare the meals which allow you to spend time with friends in the comfort of your home and not have to worry with travel (or cleaning the kitchen after you have eaten).

The services are still relatively new but are creating enough waves that has the French Union for Restaurateurs complaining to the Government to ban them or at least find legislation to regulate and tax them.

Book a Chef

The two services that allow you to book a trained chef are KitchenSurfing and Kitchit.

They publish menus regularly - you choose your dinner and select the date for the meal.

Prices are all inclusive and usually settled upfront - similar to what you would pay at an upscale restaurant.

The service should do well in South Africa (although the ones above are not operating here yet) as we tend to entertain friends and family at home already.

The chef option is a step up on the ability to pre-order meals to cater for dinner parties which is more widely available already.

Host a dinner party

An alternative to booking a chef is for those with a flair for cooking to host a dinner party at their home.

VizEat creates the combination of a visit with eating (hence the name) and is likely to be especially popular for out of town visitors to enjoy a meal cooked by a local and enjoy conversation with other travelers or other locals.

This option might see you book your Airbnb accommodation in a city, travel there via Uber and then pop over to a local's home for dinner booked via VizEat.

It forms part of the shift to what is often referred to as the sharing economy where digital technology allows us to access and use services and products collaboratively by using them when we need them rather that having to own them.

Making cooking easier for you

The options above either remove the need to cook or have you cook for others. But the real obstacle to home cooking is having all the ingredients in the right amounts to make the amazing dishes that can be found in cookbooks (a market that is worth $4 billion annually).

Imagine if you could receive just the ingredients for a recipe you want to make. Now you can with services like The Daily Dish or UCook which send you the ingredients for the three or four recipes it supplies per week at about R500 to R700 for two.

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