Friday, January 20, 2012

Group Dinner Dates- Would you do it?

A new dating service in Orlando recently asked me to check out their service, and I have to admit I was kind of curious. DinnerDate is a site that lets you pick a group meal to attend, where you'll get to meet other local single people. It's kind of a cool concept- it takes away the possible creepy factor of meeting someone online, since you're out with a lot of other people. I like that it also ups your odds of meeting someone you find interesting, since you are in a group of around 8-10 people. They keep the mix of men and women attendees at each dinner party balanced (except for the gay/lesbian parties, of course), so you don't end up with a Bachelor/Bachelorette type situation where everyone is fighting over the same person!  Plus, if you don't find yourself interested in anyone, it sounds like a cool opportunity to make new friends or do some networking! (It's Orlando, we almost all work for a theme park.)

I checked out some of the available dinners, and it looks pretty cool.  The dinners are organized by age groups (20s and 30s, 30s and 40s, etc.), and they do some themed dinner groups like single parents or young professionals. You can see who has signed up to attend each one, so you have a general idea of who you'll be dining with. The restaurants are nice without being too fancy (I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of them were interesting places that were already on my list of local restaurants to check out!), and you can check out the menu options ahead of time. Most of the restaurants currently up for dinner parties are located in Winter Park or Downtown Orlando, so I would love to see them add something on the south part of town, for those of us on that end. You pay a flat fee for your meal when you book your spot (most appear to be $20-$35), plus a $5 booking fee.  I did a little investigating, and found that the price is basically what you'd be paying for a meal anyway, so DinnerDate isn't charging an absurd mark-up or anything.

Setting up a profile takes like 2 minutes, and then you can browse through other members, and even invite them to the dinner you're attending.  Kinda cool!

Overall, it sounds pretty cool.  You get to check out a new restaurant, meet new people in a low-key environment, and break out of the whole "dinner at IHOP with coworkers when we get off work at midnight" routine.  If you don't end up connecting with anyone on the date, it's no big deal since it wasn't a one on one thing. If someone does catch your eye, but you don't get around to exchanging contact info, you can always message them later via DinnerDate's site.

What do you guys think?  Is this something you'd do if it was available where you live? (They're launching in Orlando, since we are obviously the most awesome, but it will probably be elsewhere soon!) Do you think it sounds more fun than the old fashioned (ha!) dating sites?  Should I do one of these when I'm back in Orlando?



Disclosure- I am being compensated for this post, but all words and opinions are 100% my own.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

That actually sounds pretty cool! If the age ranges were a bit more specific (i.e.: 30's only) I'd be more likely to sign up. The difference between 20 & 30 year olds is SO huge that I'd probably be more likely to go to a 30-40 meal, if a 30's only option wasn't available.

If this shows up in my area, I'll definitely look into it. I enjoy dining out and meeting new people, so I'm definitely intrigued.