The idea of entering a complete stranger's home in a foreign country to eat a home-cooked meal might seem well, foreign, but a whole new sharing economy space based on this idea lets travelers set aside their travel guides and immerse into a foreign culture at the dinner table.
BonAppetour is one such meal-sharing platform, with over 500 hosts in 80 cities around the world and its strongest presence in Italy and France. Meals, barbecues and cooking classes are among the gastronomic experiences found on the platform.
"Several tourists end up travelling to a city without exploring the city's culinary traditions and we want to make it easy for people to discover this by connecting them with the best home chefs and hobby chefs in the city," Rinita Vanjre Ravi, CEO and co-founder of BonAppetour told CNBC in an email interview.
BonAppetour hosts are encouraged to add details such as photos of dishes and dining experience descriptions, and enquire if the guests have special dietary needs. Meal sharing platforms take a service fee, which is a percentage of the meal fee the guest pays to the host. Meals can range from $15 to more than $100.
From traditional Tuscan dinners in Florence to South Indian specialties on a rooftop in Singapore, the dining experiences are varied, with the added touch of hospitality and a closer look into a local's life.