Many people are now perfectly happy sleeping in a stranger’s apartment thanks to Airbnb. And Uber made the idea of paying someone to drive you around in their car more popular than hitchhiking in the ‘60s. So what about an app that connects you to people who want to sell you a home-cooked meal?
Foodie Shares is a Los Angeles-based company that hopes to do just that, billing themselves as “a private community marketplace for gourmet homemade food.” The LA Weekly proclaimed that the app hopes to be the “Uber of home cooking,” and if you live in the Los Angeles communities of Santa Monica or Venice, you can give the app (which is currently only available in the iTunes app store) a test run right now.
Part of what makes Foodie Shares more akin to Uber than, say, a Craigslist for people’s leftovers is that, though anyone can apply to join the community as a chef and the application process is described as “minimal,” the company claims to vet all the chefs to some extent and, more importantly, the app includes a “robust review system” to help members let each other know what they thought of their meal or ask chefs questions. And according to the Weekly, “The makers of the app claim that most of their home chefs have culinary training,”
It’s different from an app like Feastly, which invites you to actually eat at a chef’s home. Instead Foodie Shares sells their food for pick up or delivery. Users browse the app, pick what they want, pay online and then either pick up their food or have it delivered. Meals should be ready in about 20 minutes to an hour. From there, if you survive the experience, you can give your chef a positive rating to let other people know that the particular chef you chose is legit.
As with several of these food startups there are possible concerns over the quality of the chefs and their dishes. Additionally, it also seems to operate– much like Airbnb and Uber –in a bit of a legal gray area. Foodie Shares seem to hope that their status as a “private community” will help circumvent any issues from the health department. Even so, the company hopes to expand to the rest of the Los Angeles area by the summer, so we should see if the promise of home cooked meals overcomes issues of trust and legality pretty quickly.