AirBnB doesn’t own any apartments but offers rooms to stay around the world and is valued at $25.5 billion (USD). Uber doesn’t own any cars but operates a network of drivers in cities around the world and is valued at $50 billion.
The rise of the sharing economy has given individuals the chance to make the most of their resources and its review system protects customers by forcing hosts to deliver well. Do well and you will earn well. Under-perform and you’re out. So we have AirBnB in Barbados and it’s working but, if Uber doesn’t join in, does that mean we get left out of the sharing economy?
Enter Deidre, Heather and Denise. These three women have understood that we can all still maximise on our resources and now that they’re doing it, it seems obvious. The curse of Why didn’t I think of that?!
Isle&Dine (Island Dine! Get it?) has kick-started the sharing economy from our kitchens. How many times have you had to convince someone that the best Bajan cooking is always in your mother’s home? Now it’s time to live up to that reputation. Register on the website as a host and you will be briefed on what is expected of you. Register as a Diner and you will never run out of new places to eat.
So what’s the big idea and how does it work?
You have registered as a diner and now you’re ready to try someone’s food. The listings show you when dinners are available. You find out which area they are in and then you get to look at the menu. Not your style? Look at the next menu and the next until you strike gold. Someone has a pepperpot that has been brewing longer than your impatient partner. You read the reviews and people loved their experience. And you can bring your own wine? Score. Check for availability, reserve and hey presto.
The genius is that everyone cooks different things in different homes. Sea view? French food? You’re a vegan and no one understands you? Sorted. There’s something for everyone.
You write down the details and on the magical day you set off. Everything is new. The location, the menu, the food, the style and especially the host. Dinner for two, here we come.
At the end of the night you’ve met some people who are just as curious as you and who love pepperpot even more. You’re so full they squeeze you through the door and roll you home. That’s when you write your review and end up telling people that you didn’t know what to expect but now… You’re a convert.
Welcome to the future. You’ve taken some photos of your home, the dining room table and your selfie looks good on your profile. What do you even cook?! Well isn’t the idea that you experience real life through the eyes (and culinary talent) of others? So the same is expected of you. What do you love making? What is it that people crave every time they visit? What about that secret recipe which is gluten free? These are all good and great things that people can only try in your house and they are exactly what makes you unique.
Write up the menu, do some shopping, calculate how much you need to charge and you’re ready to launch.
Post the dinner and start receiving reservations.
The real joy of doing this in Barbados is the pride we, Bajans, take in our work. Isle&Dine are working in such a way so that you can have different levels of participation. The obvious way has always been to just cook and present but what if there are people out there who love cooking too and being part of the preparation is the experience they would prefer? Suddenly you have yourself a niche. Come and learn to cook with us on Friday! Many hands make light work and the interaction with your guests will probably be the part that you find the most fulfilling.
We will let you know when they are worth $8 gazillion. Until then, get involved and invite us!