Cookening, the latest iteration of “it’s like Airbnb but [fill in the blank]” – but don’t worry, it’s FOOD! – launched yesterday in France. Collaborative consumption, or the “sharing economy,” is a rising movement in the global tech start-up scene that is substantiated by a widespread growing proclivity for sharing with strangers. In effect, collaborative consumers maximize resources by monetizing assets they already have.
Cookening users – travellers and tourists – are invited to share a home-cooked meal (and a bit of conversation) with locals, effectively enabling foreigners to authentically experience cuisine and culture. Host profiles include a pre-set meal (or favorite dishes), price, and interests. The Cookening platform also integrates a rating and reviews system (read: food reputation scheme), one of the hallmarks of collaborative consumption.
As with many other peer-to-peer marketplaces, the establishment of trust is crucial, and Cookening addresses this in two ways. Payment is managed through the Cookening website (this is also where the company takes their 20 percent cut akin to the Airbnb / Skillshare / TaskRabbit business models), and hosts dine along with their guests, thus eliminating this kind of situation.