The Book People co-founder and former c.e.o. Seni Glaister is preparing to release "Airbnb for the dining table".
WeFiFo (short for "We Find Food") enables home cooks to connect to the "thriving UK supper-club community" and help them find them "a larger audience", letting them promote and sell seats at their supper clubs through its website, on which guests and hosts will later leave feedback on the dining experience.
Glaister said: "We are to the dining table what Airbnb is to the spare room. We want to be at the forefront of a social eating revolution that will see tens of thousands of people across the UK cook for their neighbours and other guests, who will quickly become friends."
“Our target market is literally anyone who needs to eat and everyone that loves to cook. We want to put these people together.”
The Sussex-based start-up has secured £350,000 in first round funding. It has also won the support of a network of well known chefs and food experts. Jamie Oliver said: “This could be the largest and most diverse restaurant group in the world without the overheads, grief and risk that goes with it.”
The company will seek a further funding round later this year as it seeks to grow aggressively in the UK and begins to look at key overseas markets.
Glaister founded The Book People with Ted Smart in 1988, initially as a mail-order company. The pair built it into one of the largest book retailers in the UK, before Glaister led a management buyout in 2014 which saw Smart leave the business. Glaister subsequently presided over a restructure, before stepping down as c.e.o. in June 2015.