SupperKing: New App Lets You Invite Strangers to Your Next Dinner Party

SupperKing aims to be the leading mobile app to allow foodies to open up their next home-cooked meal or dinner party to the general public.

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Launched this week, SupperKing aims to be the leading mobile app that allows foodies to open up their next home-cooked meal or dinner party to the general public.

Hosts can post information about the meal they are serving, and users can search for different “tables” by “Neighborhood,” “Cuisine,” “Attire,” “Date,” and “Price.” So far most events are taking place in San Francisco and Los Angeles. For example, “Strange Meat Sunday” is coming up on Dec. 16 in San Francisco. Host Melissa Scheiderer, the creator of an eco-friendly candy company, plans to serve reindeer meat with sautéed kale and homemade egg nog, and guests will get to help decorate her Christmas tree. A seat costs $10, and the dress code is casual, according to the event description. Soon users will be able to post live updates and upload pictures from each event.

SupperKing CEO Kai Stubbe, originally from Germany, has lived in Australia, Chile, Beijing, and says he started the app because it is hard to make friends when you move to a new place.

“If you go to a restaurant and just walk over and say ‘hi,’ it’s difficult,” says Stubbe. “I was always looking to sit at a table in someone’s home and get insight and news about a city. The main goal of the app is to bring people together, and it’s much easier to meet people over food and drinks.”

He is marketing SupperKing to food bloggers, but he also believes the app could be a useful way for charities to expand their reach and find new donors. He says the Creative Visions Foundation in Malibu, California, is organizing a dinner through SupperKing, in which the price to attend will be a charitable donation. SupperKing will make a profit by taking a portion of each event transaction.

Essentially, the app wants to be the food version of social travel sites like Couchsurfing and Airbnb, in which travelers can find an authentic experience in a new place by staying at a local’s house—and hopefully make new friends, too.

Founded in 2004, Couchsurfing, which claims to be the world’s largest social travel network site, is made up of an online community of volunteers who literally offer their couch or spare bedroom for free to travelers on tight budgets. “Couchsurfers” do not have to pay for their stay, but they are encouraged to bring their guests some token of appreciation, and the site makes money by charging users $25 to verify their real identities.

(LIST: Couchsurfing: TIME’s 50 Best Websites of 2009)

SupperKing is also inspired by Airbnb, an upscale version of Couchsurfing where people generally rent out homes that they are not using to make some extra money; currently, for $135 a night, you can crash at an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side or curl up inside a historic beer barrel in Germany.

But letting strangers into your house still poses risks. In July 2011, an Airbnb host blogged about a nightmarish experience with a visitor who wrecked the entire home and stole personal property, prompting Airbnb to announce a $50,000 insurance policy.

(LIST: Airbnb: TIME’s 50 Best Websites of 2011)

Likewise, one of SupperKing’s Frequently Asked Questions is “What if a diner gets food poisoning?” To forewarn fellow diners, the site says it encourages users to write a review about their experience. Regarding safety in general, Stubbe maintains that it is easier to keep tabs on guests while hosting a dinner, as opposed Airbnb, which allows guests to stay in your home when you are not there: “Before I have a stranger sleeping in my bed, I would prefer to have someone at my table, where I’m at my place, and I can take care that everything is going alright.”

The app is available in Apple’s App Store, and SupperKing hopes to launch a website version of the app so that people who do not have an iPhone can organize meals.

22 comments
bothandother
bothandother

Wait, for real? @kvtarazona #app #SupperKing #Dinner #Party

Foodzai
Foodzai

@tiagomvalente obrigado Tiago.

Kabs Kubs
Kabs Kubs

this is very exciting.for all you know,a derange psychopath could be one of your next guest and how nice would that be...

Darius Augustus
Darius Augustus

This guy name Jesus told a story like this once in a book. Your story is 2000 years old, get some new material, TIME.

Neckbone Saganenko
Neckbone Saganenko

They stole from you and you decided that was ok???? This is what is wrong with America people.

Mary Anne D'Agata
Mary Anne D'Agata

Oh yeah, invite an axe murderer to dinner, I'll be all over that app, NOT! Some people are so stupid....

Tamika Ann
Tamika Ann

I've done that before. A young couple (well they were younger than my husband and I were, and we were young) were at a Burger King two days before Christmas. I over heard the guy say, 'it's okay we can sleep in the car'. They had a baby with them. I looked at my husband and then down at my belly (I was pregnant for our second child), told him no way was I going to let them sleep in a car with a baby. We approached them, invited them to stay with us for a couple of days until they could figure things out. After a LOT of convincing they finally agreed. Christmas day comes and goes, we eat-everyone falls asleep early. I wake up at 4 in the morning only to discover all 3 of them gone-along with my diamond necklace and some costume jewelry (rings). I was hurt but decided they needed those things more than I did... Even though they stole from us, I still feel we did the right thing.

Dean Morgan
Dean Morgan

I don't think so... not in these 'strange' times we live in now.

NorEastern
NorEastern

I need this. Sous vide, shameless ripoffs of the French Laundry, complete warpage of the Fatted Pig recipes, Alinea's presentations redefined. Plus I live within 9 miles of the greatest wine store in the US. If it goes web, I am so there.

Foodandthefab
Foodandthefab

@beanbagboy that is really on trend! US based obvz but supper clubs and pop ups are the way fwd. I'd take Credit card deets first though ;)

iOSForLife
iOSForLife

@TIME @techland That's the point - 'if you're into that'

jillianlou
jillianlou

I know @TIME did not just misuse "let's"

kvtarazona
kvtarazona

@bothandother it seems so... don't you love the story?

beanbagboy
beanbagboy

@Foodandthefab like that Come Dine With Me thing?

Foodandthefab
Foodandthefab

@beanbagboy no, not at all like that freak show... one would hope! Pop up restos in ppl's dining rooms, halls, shop spaces. Fun & different