That gentle thudding you hear is the restaurant industry collectively bouncing their skulls against the wall, because Airbnb is about to roll out the worst thing since Yelp. Lovable local neighborhood hole-in-the-wall restaurants will now be forced to compete with a new feature on the hospitality site that allows home cooks to invite guests into their home for a cooked meal, apparently with the intention of giving cooks a test run to see if they can hack it in real restaurants. Sort of a pop-up’s pop-up.
Airbnb first launched as a hotel alternative, where people can offer their spare rooms to tourists at a much lower rate than traditional hotels. But the tourist dining experience doesn’t seem as cost effective. A Brooklyn home beer and cheese tasting at similar site Feastly ran $43 a person.
For now, Airbnb’s pilot dining program is only available in San Francisco, but once it rolls out nationwide, we’d be very interested in a study finding the correlation between people who use it and people who Yelp. This seems like a thing Yelpers invented.
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