Dinner with strangers.

Dinner with strangers.

Last week I had dinner with a bunch of strangers. And it was awesome.

Grubwithus is a super cool idea I had been eyeing for a while and when a dinner at Beretta, one of my favorite restaurants in the city, popped up I had to try it out.

Straight from their site:

Grubwithus is a community where friends and future friends create and join group meals. Whether you want to get to know people from your neighborhood, you’re in a new city, or just want to meet like-minded folks, we regularly offer a variety of meals in major US cities.

Grubwithus meals are hosted at restaurants and typically have 6-10 people at each table. Each individual pays in advance through Grubwithus for a set menu that is served family style. Most meals are themed or hosted by a Grubwithus Group to help bring together interested and similar people as well as to guide initial conversation topics at the meal.

In addition to the regularly occurring Grubwithus curated meals outlined above, Grubwithus also allows users to create their own meals. User created meals are fully designed by the users and the logistics and coordination are handled by Grubwithus. These meals can be public or private: public meals can be viewed by the entire community and appear just like any other Grubwithus meal, while private ones — such as birthdays, bachelorette parties, and such — can only be seen by those who have been invited by the organizer.

Grubwithus strives to bring people together over food. We invite you to book a seat and join the “in real life” movement with us.

The whole concept is cool —  getting together with a group of people who have similar interests, enjoying a meal and maybe walking away with a couple new friends sounds like a good way to spend an evening.

Here was my experience:

  • I dragged along The Boyfriend because initially, I was a little nervous about going to dinner with a bunch of people I really didn’t know. Looking back, I totally could have gone on my own and rocked it.
  • The people were awesome. I don’t know if it was just this particular dinner, but I really got along with everyone. Everyone was smart, funny, social and easy-going.
  • We basically threw the theme to the dogs. Our theme was “Showtime” and apparently we were supposed to talk about Showtime shows and Television? We didn’t. I mean, we did for about five minutes, but that’s it.
  • Table size made a difference. We had a couple seasoned GWU veterans and they said they’ve been to dinners where the table was too big it ended up dividing into two tables. We had seven at our table and I think that was a perfect number — we all talked to each other!
  • I actually made some friends. I now have a few more people I follow on Twitter, and that I would totally go out with again. Success!
  • We got a ton of food. GWU took care of us for sure.

Overall, I think this idea is great. I wish I would have known about it (or it existed?) when I first moved to San Francisco and I didn’t know anyone. It’s a great way to meet people in a non-awkward scenario. Plus, GREAT FOOD.

I’d absolutely have dinner with strangers again.

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  1. I went to a dinner at Gracias Madre awhile back! It’s a cool concept, especially for those looking to meet new people. :-) The dinner I went to was good, but we didn’t end up keeping in touch. Glad to hear your experience went well though!

  2. We have a group that does this very thing in Oz, only difference we do it in people’s homes. Been going nearly a year and we have all met some great people and become firm friends. It’s an out there concept but because so you tend to meet like minded people, which apart from eating well is the whole point!

    • Hey Alexis,
      Is it a business thing / website like Grubwithus or just a personal thing that your group does?

  3. Very interested in this GWU concept. What goes on down here is South Florida, in the Aventura, Holywood, and Hallandale Areas? Dade and Broward Countyies are in need of a cool group of mixed ages just having a theme and fun meal with non-desperate to date peoples. How do we get it going down here?

  4. Grubwithus rocks. The dinners can be a hit or a miss depending on the crowd and who attends. I went to my first one over the summer (entrepreneurship focused) and landed my current job through someone I met at the dinner (who became my boss). It’s a great way to meet new people and explore new food. I wish alcohol tab had been included in the dinner payment, maybe a two drink minimum or something. It was complicated at the end to split the bar tab.


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